consumer behaviour

Understanding Consumer Behaviour: How It Is Used In Marketing

Do you want to understand what consumer behaviour is? How it for real affects a customer? Here in this article, we have comprehensively discussed everything related to consumer behaviour including how it influences a customer, what role it plays in marketing, why even companies need such data and more.

In simple words, the broad concept of consumer behaviour can be summed up as a study of the behaviour of consumers at a given point. It does sound easy in a way but is complex. Understanding the human mind was never easy, nor is it now.

But yes, you can study behaviour to understand the pattern and how consumers make a final buying decision.

Again, being a broad human concept, you need to be careful about how you want to carry out consumer research or understand it. To start with, you need to have a detailed understanding of your customers and their motivations.

What is Consumer Behaviour?

Consumer behaviour can be defined as a study of individuals and organizations and how they behave and use products and services. Here a study is carried out to understand the intentions of a group of customers while they choose to buy a product or service.

The study of the behavioural pattern of consumers mainly deals with the customer’s psychology, their motivations to buy a particular product and what makes them make a final buying decision.

What is Consumer Behaviour In Marketing?

So, you need to have a purpose for why you are carrying out certain consumer behaviour research. This could be related to understanding your target market and how you should improve. This directly is related to marketing.

With the study of the behaviour of consumers, you get a better idea of how people make decisions about what they buy want or need how they act toward a certain product or service or how they perceive a particular brand or company.

In marketing, consumer behaviour is used to understand how potential customers will react to a new product or service.

You also have the opportunity to identify the gaps and what expectations are not currently met.

Which Factors Affect Consumer Behaviour In Marketing?

Consumer actions and marketing are primarily related to three factors that affect purchase decisions: psychological, personal, and social.

A. Psychological Factors

Physiological factors play a major role in how consumers make a final buying decision. This could be related to the perception of a need and an individual’s attitude. We are unique, everyone will respond to a common marketing message in different ways, as each has their own perceptions and experiences.

Psychological factors are given prime importance during creating marketing campaigns and brand messages.

B. Social Factors

Apart from personal psychology, social factors also play a vital role in marketing. This could be about how a person has grown up in a family, social interaction, culture, communities and the social environment the person stays in.

Marketers often consider a person’s social class to target certain groups. It may be based on income, living conditions and sometimes even education.

While there could be thousands of social factors affecting a marketing campaign, it’s really important to analyze most of the important factors while developing any sort of marketing plan.

C. Personal Factors

Finally, coming to the third and another vital factor is personal characteristics. These are very specific and may not at all relate to other people, even within a group. Such personal characteristics include how an individual is making a buying decision, particular habits, interests, and opinions. However, different age groups have distinct needs and preferences.

Well, most marketers ignore them, it’s better to consider a few general personal factors like decisions made based on gender, age, culture, personal characteristics, and background.

Consumer Behaviour Research Models

There are a few commonly used consumer behavioural models followed in marketing. These are not exactly research processes, but mere models of how consumers should be observed.

1. Black Box Model

Here the observation is done based on external stimulus-response. So basically you need to note down what triggers the consumers to make a final buying decision. What is influenced by? Like what factors make them buy that product or service.

This could include social media campaigns, marketing messages, product availability, promotions, and prices.

2. Personal Variable Model

Here, consumers are observed while they make decisions based on internal factors. In the personal variable model, researchers observe what internal factors trigger them to buy a particular product or service.

This may include personal characteristics, opinions, belief systems, values, traditions, goals, or anything internal which is motivating them to do so.

3. Complex Model

Coming to our third and final consumer behaviour model, the complex model considers both internal and external factors. It’s a more comprehensive approach to understanding how consumers make a final purchasing decision.

The complex model evaluates all the related factors which influence a buying decision.

Importance of Consumer Behaviour

The study that, consumer behaviour plays an important role in shaping better marketing strategies and making decisions. If you don’t know anything about your target market, it’s foolish to market something.

Having vivid knowledge about the consumer will help a company make better marketing decisions by targeting the right set of potential customers.

Read: Product Positioning: How It Helps In Marketing?

Let’s check out a few points about why consumer behaviour is really important. Studying consumer behaviour helps in production. This includes scheduling, designing, pricing and positioning.

Consumer behaviour helps to segment a target market for advertising and other promotional activities. It helps in understanding the potential future problems and how to improve the current set of offerings. Furthermore, you can take its help to enact protective measures against consumer exploitation related to packaging, marketing, manufacturing terms of use and more.

Understanding consumer behaviour helps to develop a product that will be useful to consumers in solving real-life problems. Consumer psychology helps a brand to understand buying and purchase decisions. Thus it can identify the factors which influence consumer behaviour.

What Influences Consumer Behaviour?

There are different factors which impact consumer behaviour. This could be related to attitude, perception, buying power, priorities and more.

Let’s understand what are the important factors which deeply influence a consumer’s buying decision.

1. Economic Conditions

Buying decisions are highly influenced by economic conditions. Negative conditions often affect purchases due to financial limitations.

2. Group Influence

The buying decisions of a consumer are also affected by group influence. Be it, family members, peers, classmates or friends, they often have a subduing effect on the purchasing decisions of a consumer.

3. Personal Preferences

Personal preferences influence consumer behaviour the most. Your likings, dislikes, priorities, and values often affect the buying decisions of a consumer.

4. Marketing Campaigns

Marketing has a vital impact on several consumers. Good advertising often pays off. Purchasing decisions are very much influenced by strong marketing.

5. Purchasing Power

Purchasing power plays an important role in influencing consumer behaviour. A consumer generally purchases something within his capacity and makes a decision based on the pricing.

How To Collect Consumer Behavior Data

While there are different ways in which consumer behaviour and buying decisions can be observed, collecting such data can also be carried out in several ways. Different factors influence consumer behaviour.

So, a researcher should also be diverse in terms of collecting consumer behaviour data from multiple sources.

These are some of the most cost-effective methods of procuring consumer behaviour data.

  • Customer Reviews
  • Government Data
  • Social Media Trends
  • Q&A Sites
  • Google Analytics
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • Keyword Research
  • Facebook Twitter Viral Trends
  • Google Trends

Using a mix of such methods helps to obtain a variety of data from different sources.

The Consumer Decision-Making Process

Consumer behaviour can be analyzed through a five-stage decision-making process:

  • Problem Recognition: Consumers realize they have a need or problem.
  • Information Search: They seek information about potential solutions.
  • Evaluation of Alternatives: Consumers compare various options.
  • Purchase Decision: A choice is made to buy a specific product or service.
  • Post-Purchase Behavior: The consumer assesses their satisfaction with the purchase.

The Role of Marketing in Consumer Behavior

Successful marketing strategies are built on a deep understanding of consumer behavior. Marketers use various techniques and principles to tap into the minds of their target audience. This includes:

  • Market Research: Collecting data on consumer preferences, attitudes, and behaviors to guide product development and advertising campaigns.
  • Segmentation: Dividing the market into segments based on demographics, behaviors, and psychographics to better target specific consumer groups.
  • Consumer Psychology: Using principles of psychology to influence consumer decisions, such as scarcity, social proof, and emotional appeals.
  • Consumer Experience: Focusing on the overall experience of the consumer, from the moment they become aware of a product to their post-purchase interactions.
  • Feedback and Adaptation: Continuously collecting feedback from consumers to adapt products and marketing strategies to meet their needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What role does emotion play in consumer behavior?

Emotions often play a significant role in consumer decisions. People make purchases based on how products or services make them feel.

How does digitalization affect consumer behaviour?

The internet and e-commerce have transformed the way consumers make decisions, with online research, reviews, and social media playing a crucial role.

Can consumer behaviour be predicted accurately?

While consumer behaviour is influenced by many factors, it can be predicted to some extent by understanding these influences and using data and market research.

What are some ethical considerations in understanding and influencing consumer behaviour?

Marketers should use their knowledge ethically, avoiding manipulative tactics or exploiting vulnerabilities.