Marketing is challenging. You have to deal with people. You need to understand human behavior and must be able to change it accordingly. It isn’t easy to persuade someone to take an action or buy a product or service. This is what makes a marketer’s job a lot more difficult. You have to understand what is consumer behavior in marketing and how to influence consumer decisions.
Large businesses spend millions of dollars on studying and understanding consumer behavior. The idea is to understand consumer psychology and see how they make buying decisions. What’s going on in the mind of the buyer at each stage of the funnel is the key question that marketers want to understand.
What is Consumer Behavior in Marketing?
Consumer behavior is the study of individuals and activities and actions that are associated with the purchase and use of products. It involves studying how people make decisions related to buying a product or service. It is a multidisciplinary area that has its roots in psychology, economics, and biology.
Marketing depends on consumer behavior. You need to assess the needs, interests, and buying patterns of your ideal customers as a marketer. And this is related to consumer behavior. For example, what makes consumers stick with your business. Facebook, for instance, found that when a new user adds 7 friends in 10 days, the user will keep using Facebook for a lifetime.
And this led to Facebook’s more than 2.85 billion global users today.
Facebook identified its aha moment by understanding the behavior of its users. It requires a lot of data, tests, experimentation, and behavioral data from several sources.
Why Consumer Behavior is Important
So, what makes consumer behavior in marketing important?
Well, it is the core. Understanding the needs and wants of your customers helps you serve them better. You can meet and exceed their expectations. It also helps you improve the customer experience.
Here is what consumer behavior analysis reveals:
- Consumer thoughts, thought patterns, and feelings
- How consumers make buying decisions and what factors they consider before buying a product or service
- What influences consumer choices and buying decision
- How consumers react and respond to changes in marketing collateral
- How consumers interact and use the product and/or service once they have purchased it
- What makes consumers leave a brand and/or product
- Churn and retention variables
- Consumer sensitivity to price, product features, etc.
It can go on and on. Ideally, everything related to consumers and your ideal customers (aka target audience) is analyzed in consumer behavior.
The three key factors that you must study when trying to understand consumer behavior are:
- Personal factors
- Social factors
- Psychological factors.
These factors influence the buying decision of consumers either directly or indirectly. What you need to know is how each factor contributes to a buying decision, what impact it has, and how it can be influenced.
Consumer Behavior Data
Consumer behavior is analyzed by data. It is entirely data-driven. You need to collect data (as much as you can) to understand consumer behavior.
There are several ways to collect data from website visitors and consumers so as to better understand consumer behavior. These include:
- Analytics tool
- Customer reviews
- Surveys and interviews.
The analytics tool you are using such as Google Analytics is the best source of consumer data. It shows you detailed insights into consumer behavior and how visitors interact with your website.
Google Analytics provides you with lots of data related to visitors, their behavior, and how they interact with your website. For example, you can check landing pages and exit pages on your website in Google Analytics. It will help you identify the type of content consumers love interacting with:
Similarly, you can identify pages with the highest time spent. This will give you an idea of the type of content your ideal customers love to read. This gives you a good idea of what type of content you must publish to influence consumer behavior and buying decisions.
2. Customer Reviews
Ever read customer reviews before downloading your favorite app from the store or buying a SaaS? I’m sure you did.
Customer reviews and testimonials are equally good for potential buyers and sellers. Reviews are one of the best ways to shape buying decisions. As much as 90% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase decision:
What’s more important is that businesses get to know their consumers better via reviews. They tell you what users like about a product, what they don’t like, what’s the average rating, why users are leaving your company, and so on.
This is the first-hand data that you have at your disposal at potentially no cost. If you want to understand your ideal customers, read and analyze customer reviews.
3. Surveys and Interviews
If you want to know how your ideal customers make a buying decision and what factors they consider before buying a product, nothing works better than asking them directly.
Surveys, interviews, focus groups, polls, and other forms of data collection are ideal for understanding and analyzing consumer behavior. Yes, it is a costly route but you’ll receive firsthand data from your target audience. It is much better than guesswork.
When you collect data via surveys and interviews, you know it is reliable. You can trust it and use it for decision-making.
You can use user testing apps to analyze how website visitors or product users interact with your website/product in real-time. This takes consumer behavior to the next level because you’ll be seeing behavior in real-time.
Data from all these sources makes it easier to predict and influence buying decisions of your ideal customers.
Consumer Behavior is Driven by Data
Your target audience, potential customers, and consumers are the backbone of your business. The more you know them, the better. The more data you have about the consumers, the better.
And data is everywhere.
Whether it is your website, social media account, analytics, customer support tool, CRM, and so on. Consumer data is all around you. How you manage, analyze, and interpret this data makes all the difference.
Don’t let all this data sit idle. Use it. Get closer to your consumers. It will pay off in amazing unseen ways.
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