Mastering the Art of Understanding Consumer Behavior

Sunny Samanta

8th Aug'22

Recently, as I was dwelling over the importance of consumers in marketers life, a marketer of mine dropped by. There basking in the opportunity I asked him several consumer related questions. However, the one that had my undivided interest was the correlation between consumer behavior and the marketers.

The discussion went too long. And it was a healthy one. The same night after my friend left home and I was clear of any in-house remaining chores, I sat with my laptop and wrote down some important points on things we discussed. Now, finally, after days since the meeting happened, I decided to approach the subject and write about it. So, here it is - Mastering the Art of Understanding Consumer Behavior.

Now, the way I see the subject of understanding consumer behavior, I think it is important to first know why marketers should study consumer behavior. Hence, instead of directly jumping into the ways to understand consumer behavior, we start with the importance of consumer behavior.


Consumer Behavior


Importance of Studying Consumer Behavior

Companies for long have had a dedicated department to reach and form their target audience. It essentially is the department we know as marketing. Marketing is the footprint that enables the consumers to walk into your stores or websites and check your product and services. Marketers constantly track consumer behavior for one critical reason - Achieving a product-market fit to increase demand and sales. Hence, evidently, it reflects the importance of studying consumer behavior.

Besides sourcing a pathway to attaining a product-market fit, marketers study consumer behavior for other purposes also. Consumer behavior enables the marketer to retract or reform their existing strategy and incorporate changed tactics or devise a new strategy to sell the product and services. Therefore, it is imperative for any company, small business or startup to understand consumer behavior. Understanding consumer behavior is critical to companies growth and success. However, to reach the level of understanding consumer behavior it is essential to know what influences consumer behavior.


Understand Consumer Behavior


Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

My research has shown that there are primarily four factors that influence consumer behavior. They are:


Psychological Factor

Psychology has a role to play in anything and everything in life. Even when it comes to buying a product or availing of a service, psychology does affect consumer behavior. Motivation, attitude, personality, and other tangible beliefs do have the power to influence purchasing decisions.

For example, a family who goes out for dinner at a restaurant ends up eating at a fast food joint. Here the changes could have been a result of the family insisting or influencing the choice of the person in charge.


Economic Factor

Economic factors are another major influencer of consumer behavior. The cost of the product and service alongside the financial ability of a consumer directly affects the consumer buying decisions. For same reason many people do identify customer needs and wants.

For example, a person wishes to buy a brand new launch iPhone in the market. However, she settles with another mobile phone. Here the direct reasons are straightforward. Either she did not see the cost of the iPhone justified or she did not have the budget for buying it.


Personal Factor

Personal factor essentially arises from a person's interest. It occurs due to the consumer's age, cultural background, gender, and even occupation. These attributes lead to a difference in preference where the companies use to target the audience for their product and services.

For example, Generation Z will have different requirements in a product than so-called “Boomers.”


Social Factor

Lastly, we have the social factor. Since childhood we have been taught how we are social beings. We tend to live in societies and yearn for belongingness. However, societies are of several kinds. Some are work-related, some family-related, and then are some we are related to social circles we better know as friends. Based on it, people often develop a habit of using certain products and services and avoid the other types.

For example, you can look at the fitness community. Their appearances, food habit, and topic of the discussion entirely defines the product and service they will lean towards as well as avoid.


Understanding Consumer Behaviors


Ways to Understand Consumer Behavior

Finally, we are here. I think it is quite clear why it took us time to arrive here, i.e., way to understanding consumer behavior. There are several things affecting consumers and their buying habits. Hence, we had to see through it to give ourselves the best chances of understanding this. So, let’s take a look at the five important ways to understand consumer behavior.

Use Available Data

Data is the ultimate king and there is no doubt that data analytics has transformed marketing. More data is produced and made available on a daily basis. Consider how many clicks you make when you use an online food delivery app or your smartphone's location to find "places to visit" in a foreign town or city. Likewise, you can avail data of your interest and study consumer behavior.  It will, eventually, teach you a lot about the consumer's preference. Furthermore, you can apply the available data to understand more about customer profiling to increase sales and demand for your products or services.


Do Scientific Analysis

Despite the constantly changing time the fundamental principle of a data-driven marketing strategy remains unchanged. Prioritize your consumer and understand their needs. There is still no definitive way to predict consumer behavior. The general rule is to look for data that can be analyzed, segmented, and then expanded upon. Again you can develop your marketing strategy based on the findings from the scientific analysis.


Know the Difference Between Interest and Intent

The most difficult aspect of data-driven marketing is that understanding consumer behavior and the interests of target demographics is much easier than understanding the intent to buy. It is difficult to differentiate between someone buying something and knowing when that person will go shopping. Connecting databases is critical for marketers when developing a strategy. A company will have an easier time measuring consumer intent if it can form a data partnership and gather information on shoppers from other websites and services.


Keep a System to Study Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior constantly changes. Therefore, to effectively target customers when they are ready to make a purchase, your company must first understand them. If, for example, a customer begins their purchasing journey by visiting a physical store, this is important information for you to know. Once in the store, the customer examines the products on offer and conducts additional research on their own time. This could include reading other customer reviews or getting feedback from people who have previously used the product.


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A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.


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