Friday, July 15, 2011

4 Consumer Behaviour Facts to Help You Become a Better Marketer


It is no secret that social media has changed the way consumers shop for product information. But, chances are, pre-purchase research has helped consumers receive the information they are looking for while increases sales for most businesses. If you currently use Google as a means of searching for product information before purchasing it then you are not alone. On the other hand, there are some technology geeks who search the web for consumer forums to gather product information from consumers who seem to have a high level of expertise in that given field.

The following consumer behaviour tips are based on my own experience and things that I have observed over the years.

1. People buy for emotional reasons, then rationalize their purchase with logic

Often consumers purchase a product or service because there is some connection there for the consumer. Whether it is a personal connection, a childhood memory or a solution to their problem, the real reason behind the purchase is because of how it makes them feel. A popular marketing strategy to create that touch point for a consumer is the hero strategy: highlight a common problem, and showcase how your product/service can solve that problem for them. This created a need for that product.

2. Consumers often lie

It is common knowledge that consumers will often lie during an interview or while taking a survey. This is often done because consumers feel a need for acceptance; they don’t want to give the wrong answer. When conducting consumer behaviour studies or surveys, it is often said that consumers who take the survey together will often have the same answers. Consumers don’t want to be the odd one out; so many consumers with different opinions will often keep them to themselves. Marketers are now faced with the challenge of overcoming those barriers of truth or insecurities to get the results they are looking for.

3. Keep your brand message memorable. Chances are, if an employee can articulate your brand message, so can your consumers.

I have seen this time and time again, companies creating a “brand message” that is forgettable. One of the most proven tests for branding is seeing if the owner or upper level execs can articulate your brand message or even your mission statement. You will be surprised at how many don’t know it. Many marketers discount such things an unimportant. To give you a great example, my 11 year old niece likes to recite jingles and product catch phrases that she hears on the radio. It is quite surprising to hear how much they know about products at such a young age.

4. Brand ambassadors are willing to pay up to 25% more for their favourite brand then switch to a competitor.

This is an interesting one. I have recently gotten into the whole couponing thing after watching Extreme Couponing on TLC. I have also converted many friends and family members into couponers. While shopping in stores, one of the most common this I often observe is a consumer torn between purchasing their favourite brand or the one on sale. One thing that extreme couponing has taught me that has stuck is, in order to achieve the level of savings you have to be willing to try new brands. This of course loops back to my first point. When buying such brands as the ones they are used to, consumers will often justify their extra spending with the familiarity of the product, even though on a couscous level, they will admit that the products are about the same.

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