Consumer behavior has long been an interest of marketers. What do they want and need? What makes them tick? What drives them to buy? With an increase in customer data and an increase in the computing resources needed to process and understand the meaning behind the numbers, marketers have more customer information than ever before.
Data used to only be available from a limited number of sources – you would learn what books were on the best-selling list based on data compiled from at-register or catalog purchases. With the internet and e-commerce being added to the common ways that people consume media and buy goods, there is ample and varied data available. In an effort to find or help develop products and services that work better for them, customers are even willing to complete surveys about preferences and behavior, which can give you additional information to help supplement your data analytics efforts.
Why do you need to pay attention to consumer behavior?
Increasing your marketing’s effectiveness is an ever-growing priority – and one way to do it is through consumer behavior data.
Here’s why using that consumer behavior data is key to unlocking your modern marketing efforts.
Preferred Buying Channel
Some products are only available through one channel, line celebrity clothing line partnerships with chain stores like Target or Kmart. But many products are available in multiple locations. Coca-Cola, for instance, available at grocery stores, restaurants, airports, and convenience stores, sells better in some locations than others. Knowing where consumers are making more purchases gives businesses the information they need to adjust. If some channels are struggling, you may need to develop methods to strengthen the marketing for those specific channels, including things like point of purchase displays.
Additionally, having consumer information on online vs. in-person purchasing can be helpful in adjusting your marketing strategy. If you consistently sell more product at the farmers’ market but want to have a successful Etsy shop or e-commerce storefront, or you want to drive traffic to your store location so you can upsell them as opposed to people buying from Amazon, it may be time to think about online advertising or other methods.
Part of consumer behavior that marketers track is not just what they’re buying and where, but also the path they take to get there. Online search terms, time spent on websites, asking for referrals on social media, and sending away for information or catalogs is all part of how customers research products and factor into what they spend their money on.
Companies who know how their target audience is consuming information, what they’re searching for, and what problems they need solutions to, they can use this information to tweak their strategies and potentially create better marketing materials and more relevant products.
Marketing is often said to be comprised of four parts: product, promotion, place, and price. Figuring out what the value of your product or service is and what customers are willing to pay for it is part of the marketing strategy. Pricing helps to define many things, from the audience to buying channels to marketing budgets and tactics. If companies know that their customers are regularly buying from a cheaper competitor, they may think about developing a tiered product lineup to offer lower prices or potentially dropping product prices and accepting lower margins to keep or gain market share.
Customer behavior continues to be one of the most valuable tools in developing your marketing strategy. How can you provide a product or service that your customers want without knowing what they want? Customer behavior is the hard data that helps you make business decisions and ultimately create a brand that customers want to interact with. From developing better products or better buying processes to understanding that interests your customers to help create personalized marketing efforts, consumer behavior is an invaluable tool in your marketing toolbox.