The Importance of Consumer Behavior in Marketing
January 24, 2020 •DJ Team
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 and 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. We discuss four of them below.
What are the 4 Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior?
There are several factors that influence consumer behavior, but four of the most important are cultural, social, personal, and psychological factors. Let’s take a closer look at each.
- Cultural Factors - Culture consists of the practices of a particular nation, people, or group. It might be determined by nationality, religion, location, or associations. What does this look like? An example of a consumer making decisions based on their culture could be a Midwesterner who buys ranch for their pizza—or their french fries, onion rings, or chicken fingers.
- Social Factors - These are the parts of a person's environment or background that affect their purchasing behaviors. These factors include family and friends as well as other social groups whose acceptance the consumer desires. When purchasing an item, a consumer might choose a brand or a company based on what their parents bought for the family growing up.
- Personal Factors - These include someone's age, occupation, finances, marital status, lifestyle, and values. A good consumer behavior example would be a parent in their 20s choosing to purchase an SUV instead of a minivan. Why? Because personal perception might indicate that a minivan is a vehicle for a middle-aged family.
- Psychological Factors - The way someone sees a product or service, as well as their personal beliefs and motivations, affect the way they purchase. For example, a consumer who enjoys working out will probably spend more money on fitness classes or dumbbells for home than someone who dislikes working out.
What is the Importance of Marketing to Consumers' Behavior?
We can all agree: The best marketing educates people, helps them make informed decisions about their purchases, and ultimately drives their buying behavior. In other words, marketing makes the world go around—at least for businesses that are trying to sell a product or service. And therein lies the key importance of marketing to actual customers and their behavior—it sells.
Too often, marketing teams have been forced to rely on hypotheticals or historical data to build out marketing strategies. And while this approach can certainly work for some companies, the best marketing takes into account what consumers actually want and need right now.
By using consumer behavior (and the four factors discussed above) marketers can target what consumers are searching for, what their behavior looks like, what their pain points are, and more. Doing so can help you prove to consumers that you’re a business that understands what they want, why they want it, and why you’re the best option around. All of this is essential to your bottom line.
Why Is Consumer Behavior Important to Business?
According to a Salesforce report, 66% 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:
What Is the Role of Consumer Behavior in Marketing?
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 (like cufflinks, watches, or ties, for example), you might have a plan to create a bunch of blogs about gifting for men around certain holidays. Easy, right? Well it certainly can be with the right information.
When analyzing consumer search behavior, you might find that there are a lot of searches around anniversary gifts for husbands. But what exact keywords are consumers typing into google? Will “gifts for men on anniversary” receive more hits than “ideas for husband anniversary gift?” This subtle tweak in the way you use titles and keywords in 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.
In an increasingly digitally-driven world, many components of consumer behavior can be captured by analytics provided by the marketing channels you already use. For example, display ads, search ads, and website content contain a treasure trove of data. In these cases, clickthrough rates, page views, and site conversion activity can tell you a lot about what consumers do and don’t like…and what marketing content actually works.
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. That’s exactly where DemandJump comes in. We save you time by automating the SEO keyword and competitive research based on consumer behavior.
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 not currently driving your marketing strategy, you may be missing out on important marketing opportunities right in front of you.
Discover Your Customers’ Complex Buying Behavior with DemandJump
If you'd like to see what your target audience cares about and what content they are most interested in consuming, DemandJump can help. Our reports give you data on what your customers are searching for, recommendations on how to better market to those audiences, and how your competitors are ranking in grabbing your audience’s attention. To simplify your content strategy and see how you stack up against competitors, get started with a free account today!
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