The key to a successful marketing campaign lies in consumer behaviour. Marketing to an audience that you don’t truly understand will not get you very far; the only way to reach and connect with a customer, the only way to influence their purchasing decision is to understand their buying behaviour.
Why Do The Customers Chose To Buy?
We all base our buying decisions on two main forms of reasoning; rational and emotional.
Reasons for and against making the purchase can fall solely into one of the other category, or they can fall into both. You need to consider your product or service, and what the reasons are for someone buying this from you.
Emotional reasons often outweigh rational reasons. For example, when choosing between two car servicing companies, the customer is likely to return to the company they used previously despite this company charging more than the other. This is because they feel a trust and loyalty to the company, based on previous quality of services and customer service.
Building this emotional attachment between the brand and the customer is part of ensuring they return to you, as well as recommend the company to friends and family, via social media, etc.
How Often Do They Buy The Product/Service In Question?
If the product or service being offered is typically bought on a regular, time defined basis then using this information can help you to time your marketing efforts for maximum effect.
The current ‘Back To School’ marketing campaigns by children’s clothing retailers are a prime example of this in use. During the 6 week break from school, parents will be making preparations for their children to return to school, and new smart school clothing will be needed. By focusing offers and marketing campaigns on the school-friendly clothing lines during this period, children’s clothing retailers will maximise the sales of this lines.
Who Are They Buying For?
There are many occasions to be considered when the product’s intended audience are not the actual buyers.
For example, the final decision to purchase a children’s toy isn’t made by the child themselves, but they still have a say in the overall decision making process.
Therefore the marketing efforts must both grab the attention of the child as well as convincing the parent or relative that this toy is the best choice above all the other competitor’s alternatives.
What Are They Buying?
If the brand offers a range of products and services, it needs to be determined which of these are most popular and how regularly customers purchase these.
You can then use this information to make strategic decisions about marketing the whole product range or just focusing on particular products at certain times.
Where Do They Prefer To Buy From?
In the digital age, there are an increasing number of customers purchasing online through company websites and 3rd party seller websites, via mobile apps or even through social media. But there are also a number of consumers who will still prefer to make purchases via more traditional methods such as in store or over the phone.
To make the right marketing choices, you need to understand where your customers prefer to purchase from. Understanding their reasons for their current preferred purchase method could also be the key to influencing them to change the way they buy, for example switching from the website to the mobile app, or from in store to online.
Where Do They Look To For Their Information?
There are a variety of sources where information on a company and their products/services can be found both on and offline.
It is important that you understand where your customers look to for information (do they use search engines? Look to classified advertisements?) and who they listen to (do social media mentions and recommendations influence their decision to purchase?).
The company website is most likely the first port of call for a customer looking for more information about the brand, and so it is important that the website is clear and concise in the information it offers and the way it presents this information.
Social media often become the second or even first place that customers will look when wanting to learn more about a brand, so it is important that all information and the brand’s voice match up across the website and social media channels.
Understanding the customer is a key component in building an effective and strategic marketing strategy. If you would like to learn more about analysing customer behaviour and how it fits into the marketing planning process, you may be interested in the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing. The course is ideal for anyone in a junior marketing role aspiring to further their career in marketing.