The Importance of Consumer Behavior in Marketing
by DJ Team, on January 24, 2020
Long-term sales stability is not just about having a great product. It's about meeting consumers' needs, understanding what makes them tick, and speaking to them in the ways that make them want to engage. In order to do this, marketers turn to a variety of reports, surveys, and tools to understand one thing - consumer behavior. It's a marketer's gold. And as we've seen time and time again, those who use it best, and align their marketing decisions to what the data tells them, are those who win. But what exactly is consumer behavior, and why does it matter to your business?
What Is Consumer Behavior?
In general terms, consumer behavior is a psychologically-based study of how individuals make buying decisions; what motivates them to make a purchase. Several facets of consumer behavior exist, such as:
- How a consumer feels about certain brands, products, or services
- What motivates a consumer to pick one product over another and why
- What factors in a consumer's everyday environment affect buying decisions or brand perceptions and why
- How consumers make decisions in groups or when they are alone
Multiple factors exist that determine buyer behavior, such as social factors, psychological factors, and even simply personal factors. For instance, a good consumer behavior example would be a single mother in her 20s choosing to purchase an SUV instead of a minivan because of her personal perception of the minivan being a vehicle for a middle-aged mother.
Why Is Consumer Behavior Important to Business?
According to a Salesforce report, 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. This means that if you don't understand what a consumer wants before they can tell you, they're probably taking their business elsewhere.
Successful organizations build their marketing strategies with consumer behavior insights as the foundation. They're not generating products and marketing plans based on their ideas alone; they are bringing external information into the fold to find out what customers want and how they want it, then interacting with them accordingly. This is the essence of creating a positive customer experience (CX), and CX means everything to fostering a loyal customer-base. Consider this stat from Qualtrics:
"Organizations that lead in customer experience outperformed laggards on the S&P 500 index by nearly 80%."
What Is the Role of Consumer Behavior in Marketing?
As addressed above, the organizations that not only solve, but best communicate that they solve, real consumer problems are the ones that win in the market today. Therefore, consumer behavior insights can be used to inform almost all areas of your marketing strategy. This may include what content you should be creating within your blogs and other content mediums, the types of stories you tell in your video and display advertisements, or even how you adjust your product lines to deliver what the consumer wants.
As an example, let's consider the content your marketing teams could create in the coming months. If you're a brand that specializes in products for men, you might have a plan to create a bunch of blogs about gifting for men this quarter. When analyzing consumer search behavior, you may notice that the phrase “gifts for men on anniversary” gets a substantially more searches than “ideas for husband anniversary gift”. This subtle tweak in the way you title and keyword optimize your content could mean the difference between getting almost 10,000 site visitors or just above 1,000 from this content.
Sources of Consumer Behavior Data for Marketers
Consumer behavior insights can be derived through a variety of ways. They may come from analytics provided by your marketing or sales platforms, they may be a result of surveys, or they may come from your own analysis of publicly available data (such as search engine data). The more you understand your ideal customer, the better you can tweak your marketing efforts to woo those individuals.
As the world becomes overwhelmingly digitally driven. Many, but not all, components of consumer behavior can be captured by the analytics provided within the marketing channels your company already uses. These may include your programmatic display advertisements, search ads, and website content. In these cases, clickthrough rates, page views, and site conversion activity can tell you a lot about what consumers do and don't like, what marketing content works, and what doesn't.
But there's a large amount of consumer behavior data that is outside of a marketers' readily-accessible view. Such as how consumers are engaging with competitors' websites - and how those sites' content influences consumer behavior in-turn. Analytics solutions that leverage competitive intelligence in combination with search behavior data have the ability to guide marketing strategies in a variety of ways.
To conclude, marketers who leverage the power of consumer behavior data automatically take giant steps forward in their race against competitors to reach their audience. If consumer behavior is currently driving your marketing strategy, you may be missing out on important marketing opportunities right in front of you.
If you'd like to see what your target audience cares about, what content they are most interested in consuming, and how you stack up next to your competitors, request a free consumer behavior insights report here.