Why Consumer Behavior Is So Important in Marketing?

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Why do businesses study consumer behavior? What is so special about it that they are willing to invest serious money into getting insights into how consumers behave in certain situations?

The reason is the same as in any other behavioral study – when you understand the behavior, you can predict it. It is vital to consider customers’ behavior during product development. When you know why people buy this and don’t buy that, why they buy this thing once a month and that thing once every three months, and why they prefer to buy some goods online and others in brick-and-mortar stores, you can use this knowledge to adjust your production and marketing strategy to make them buy from you. The most frequently asked questions are:

  • Why is consumer behavior important?
  • How marketing influences consumer behavior?
  • How digital marketing affects consumer behaviour?
  • Why consumer buying behavior is essential in business enterprise?
  • How can marketing departments benefit from understanding consumer behavior?
  • What are the impacts of marketing on influencing consumer behavior?
  • How do needs and wants to affect buying behavior?
  • How does marketing impact consumerism?
  • Which buying behavior is the most important on which a marketer needs to focus?

This article will explain why marketing managers should understand consumer behavior and where to order consumer belief services. After reading this article, you can answer the following is not a reason marketers study consumer behavior?”

What is consumer behavior?

Consumer Behavior 01

Consumer behavior is a set of processes and patterns that influence the decision to buy a certain product. It is a complex phenomenon involving economic, psychological, and emotional factors that lead to a certain consumer decision. Therefore behavior is an important marketing concept, giving companies insight into their sales growth.

Why is consumer behavior important to marketers? Understanding why people buy things helps to find answers to some key questions that lie at the core of most marketing strategies:

  • Why do customers choose one product and ignore the other?
  • Which emotions does a certain brand or product produce?
  • Are buying decisions differently when the consumer is alone or can they discuss them with other people?
  • Is the consumer’s everyday routines and working and living environment influence their buying decisions?
  • When are they most likely to make a purchase?
  • How do they feel when they buy something?

All these issues, and many others, are the subject of customer behavior study. Finding answers to these questions can help businesses to adapt their production and fine-tune their online marketing strategy.

Moreover, customers expect businesses to understand their consumer behavior, too – as many as 66% of them. Of course, knowing what customers need can guide companies to make better product offerings and create fabulous experiences.

Consumer Behavior 02

Types of consumer behavior

When dealing with consumer behavior, it is important to remember its different types. It is also essential to be aware of the production behavior. All people are unique and may have a million different reasons to buy or not. However, consumer behavior displays distinct patterns that identify four main types.

Complex

Complex consumer behavior is observed when people buy expensive things, such as houses, cars, exotic vacations, etc. People do not make such purchases very often and never take them lightly.

Usually, a big purchase is made after detailed research and analysis. The customer studies various options compares competitors and analyzes user reviews. At the same time, they discuss the planned purchase extensively with family and friends, tapping into their experience and seeking opinions.

In complex consumer behavior, the customer is greatly involved in choosing the product and purchasing it. There is a significant emotional component, too, as the customer creates a certain attitude towards the purchase and devotes a lot of thinking. Large purchases often mean a change of status or lifestyle and require a considerable investment. The customer understands the risk and importance of the transaction. Therefore, they try to learn as much as possible about the product.

For marketers, complex consumer behavior means that they should possess deep knowledge about their products and help the customer make an informed decision.

Dissonance-reducing

In this case, the customer is highly involved in the purchase process, but the product they are looking for has rather limited options. For example, not too many brands offer the item, or their differences are not too significant.

The price and importance of the purchase may also be high, but the customer decides based on the criteria or urgency or budget rather than thorough research. The “dissonance” that describes this type of consumer behavior is caused by the lack of confidence during the purchase and the need to prove that they made the right decision.

The marketing strategy, in this case, should focus on establishing a positive attitude towards the brand. This can be achieved through high-quality after-sale service and support, maintaining the customer’s confidence that they have made the right choice.

Habitual

In habitual buying, consumers do not show high involvement. They buy routine, everyday things, such as food or household items, and don’t think too much about choosing one brand over the other.

In such purchases, people mostly buy the brand they used to buy. If it is not available for any reason, they look for something similar. There is no deep research involved in the purchase process, and customers usually do not show high brand loyalty.

Habitual buying can be influenced by advertising. If a customer needs to make a purchase decision quickly because their favorite brand is not there, they are more likely to consider the product they saw on TV or on a billboard. For this reason, visual advertising is more effective, as people can recognize the item more easily after seeing it.

Variety-seeking

In this type of consumer behavior, buyers are hardly involved and don’t do any product research before making the decision. They urge to try something new instead of buying their usual brand. This behavior mostly occurs in food or household purchases. The item’s price is not too high, so there will be no regret even if the experience turns out to be poor.

A variety-seeking purchase does not result from a bad experience with the usual brand. Rather, it is a desire to try a different product, often “on a whim.” For brands, such behavior calls for different marketing strategies – offer discounts and special conditions that can persuade the customer to try the product, run visual advertising campaigns to stimulate brand recognition, and give away free samples.

Importance of consumer behavior study for businesses

You have probably, already guessed why businesses need to study consumer behavior. Understanding what drives customers to buy is one of the crucial insights that a marketer can achieve to promote their product. The takeaways obtained from the analysis of buying behavior can prove useful at every stage of product promotion – from production per se to lead generation and choosing distribution channels.

Before we move on, a couple of words about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer behavior. The most important trend is a sharp increase in online shopping – 67% of respondents noted it.

Another observation worth mentioning is that people are more inclined to buy from new brands – 59% have done it since the beginning of the pandemic, and most of them will stay with them in the future. For businesses, it means new challenges that they need to adapt their strategies to.

Consumer Behavior 03

How can you use consumer behavior analysis in your business organization? Which actions can you take to adjust your production and marketing strategies to what you learned about your buyers?

Consumer differentiation and target audience determination

In analyzing why and how people buy things, you can identify certain consumer segments that differ in their preferences and needs. This knowledge will help you define target audiences using a product and improve your marketing efforts.

For example, if you run a custom merch store and you know your buyers who show brand loyalty, it's easier to say that they are more likely to retain. On the other hand, you will have to maintain the quality of your product at a high level to make them come back and not send them away looking for alternatives.

In turn, first-time buyers will need strong pre-sale persuasion and great after-sale service to increase their confidence and satisfaction.

Marketing trends and opportunities analysis

Studying buying behavior reveals unfulfilled demands and other market opportunities you can use to your benefit. From the analysis of customer lifestyle, work-and-life balance, income levels, and external factors, you can determine which products and services might be in demand soon.

For example, the trends in 2021 include increased attention to DIY practices when people tend to cook, work out, or do beauty treatments at home. At the same time, there is a focus on green products. If you consider these tendencies in your business strategy, you will surely see some market opportunities. Professional marketers can greatly contribute to market analysis.
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Marketing strategy improvement

The value of consumer behavior study for developing and improving marketing strategies cannot be overestimated. Knowing customer focus groups, target audiences, and factors influencing their buying decisions gives a wealth of options to adjust the marketing strategies accordingly. Consumers who want to give their opinions on products can be easily found on the web.

Consumer Behavior 04

Production and pricing policy adaptation

Information about consumer behavior can help you tweak your production and try to avoid getting into the sad statistics saying that 95% of new products fail. If you plan to launch something new, study the market and your prospective consumers’ behavior to see whether your new idea will be accepted.

If, for instance, you are a software developer, it may be useful to know that the trend shifts towards subscription-based SaaS services, the market of which is growing steadily. Both individual users and enterprises prefer software services running in a cloud which they can get against a reasonable subscription fee, rather than implementing complex local infrastructures.

And, last but not least, there is also the effect of price on consumer behavior. You may have a stellar product, but if customers think that the price-to-value ratio is not right, they won’t buy it. If this is the case, you might need to find ways to adjust the pricing policy to make your offerings affordable.

Increase of competitiveness and market presence

Customer behavior analysis includes a study of your competition and why consumers might prefer other brands over yours. Such a study can help you identify the gaps in your offering and the pain points your competitors address while you don’t.

Finding the issues that place you behind the competition is a great step forward. When you know what to fix, you are empowered to fix it. Adjust your product, revise your marketing campaign, balance your prices – and you may soon enjoy a wider recognition and market presence and observe business growth

Finding new channels of distribution

Knowing where your customers prefer to shop allows you to better select distribution channels and try new ones. Analyze whether your customers are likely to buy from wholesale stores or retailers, whether they shop more online or offline, and whether they are more eager to buy from direct marketers or agents.

Armed with this knowledge, you can identify underperforming distribution channels and think about which channels you can use instead. Sometimes, it helps to change the offline store location. Sometimes, you need to focus more on online sales. And sometimes, you might think of investing in your outlet instead of using the services of a store that offers competitors’ products, too.

Customer service improvement

Different consumers require different approaches to customer service. Studying their buying behavior and identifying groups within your consumer community will set up your customer service more effectively.

For example, there may be customers who are experienced users of various Internet resources and prefer to get as much self-service as they can. They will surely appreciate a detailed and comprehensive knowledge base where they can find answers to the most common questions.

Others might prefer communicating with a human agent and solving their issues under the guidance of experienced support staff. To cater to this group will, consider setting up a large team of professional agents who can distribute leads.

Customer retention

To increase your sales and profits, you must attract new customers and retain the existing ones. In achieving this goal, studying consumer behavior plays a significant role. From its insights, you see what you need to change and what you need to keep.

If your customers are happy with your product and buying conditions, they will likely purchase from you again. Your job is to keep them happy by maintaining the same product quality, customer service, and buying convenience so they will enjoy returning to you for new purchases.

Conclusion

Should you invest in consumer behavior studies? Definitely, yes. Consumer behavior studies are as important as business studies in their purpose of creation. You are going to get a wealth of insight into why your customers behave as they do, why some of your marketing techniques work, and some don’t, what marketing techniques and strategies are the best choices for your business, and, most importantly, what you need to change in your approach to your product promotion. New opportunities open before you when you know what makes your customers tick. Write down three key takeaways after reading this article and do them.

Article by:
CEO Andrew Chornyy

CEO Plerdy — expert in SEO&CRO with over 11 years of experience.

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