Marketing Focus – Consumer Behaviour
Consumer behaviour is a very complex subject with many elements so we are just going go start off with the basics. We believe understanding your consumer’s behaviour along with your marketing options can save you time and money in the long run and make your business more successful. So take some time to read this article and try and get into the mind of your consumers!
What is a consumer?
A consumer is simply an individual who purchases goods & services available on the market for his/her end use (not for resale). Understanding consumer behaviour is essential to the development of marketing strategies, especially for the consideration of pricing, positioning, segmentation, product design and promotion.
Creating consumer interest and desire for your product/service is one of the main factors to success and is achieved largely by understanding consumer behaviour. Creating a marketing mix to please your target consumers is the goal, as it will positively influence the buyer’s decision making process. To create interest and desire, you need awareness and one of the best ways to do this is with PR.
Basic consumer behaviour
Here are a few things to think about when you’re designing your marketing:
- Not all promotional material and advertisements will excite the consumer and they do not pay attention to everything they see. The consumer is interested in only what they want to see, this is called selective attention.
- How the consumer perceives the message in your marketing materials and advertisements is called consumer interpretation.
- The consumer remembers only the most relevant and meaningful message, this is called selective retention.
The Purchasing decision
Not all purchases are equal! You take longer to make a purchasing decision to buy a new car, than you do at the supermarket, so your consumer behaviour is different depending on the type of purchasing decisions you’re making.
High involvement purchases such as a house or car requires complex decision making and the consumer will search for more information and consider other brands.
For less important or repetitive purchases, little decision making is required and habit or brand loyalty tend to take over.
Then you have impulse buying which requires spur of the moment decisions and not much thought about other brands etc.
Several factors influence the buying decision of a consumer including psychological, social, personal and cultural. It’s also important to analyse what, where, when and how consumers buy to achieve a better understanding of your targets. Analysing this also helps you achieve more successful sales promotions.
The Buying Cycle
The buying cycle helps marketers and business owners understand when and how they can influence customers to purchase their product. There are five stages all together, when a consumer moves from becoming aware of what you’re doing, to the point where they are ready to buy.
Stage 1: Awareness – The consumer becomes aware of the innovation but lacks information about it.
Stage 2: Interest – The consumer is stimulated to seek information about the innovation.
Stage 3: Evaluation – The consumer considers whether to try the innovation.
Stage 4: Trial – The consumer tries the innovation to improve his or her estimate of its value.
Stage 5: Adoption – The consumer decides to make full and regular use of the innovation.
By understanding these stages, we can look at what we need to do as marketers.
First we need to have a sufficient presence to enable our target consumers to be aware of what we’re doing and provide enough information to make them interested. This could be pushing them to a website from a billboard, or a radio ad so they can find out more, or it could be more complicated than that and may require a sales representative to help or to supply guides or how to manuals to allow them to get through their evaluation stage and make an initial purchase.
After this, it’s vital to ensure that the service, support and after-sales is good enough to encourage repeat buying and recommendations, allowing these customers to be advocates for your brand.
We hope that this article has helped you to understand your consumers better and know what you need to do to convert a lead into a customer and keep them coming back for more. If you’re still unsure, we’d be happy to offer a marketing training session or work on your marketing strategy with a complete marketing plan. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.