Consumer behavior is a field of study based on what, when, where, why, and how individuals or groups utilize products, services, and concepts. Although this description may seem simple and straightforward, the method of studying consumer behavior is quite vast and ever changing - especially as it relates to the world of inbound marketing. Consumer behavior can inform your buyer persona development, and content creation strategy. Consumer behavior has fostered a more personalized message within the inbound marketing content strategy. Because it gives marketers a better picture of their target audience, it allows for a perfected means of delivery that emphasizes the importance of the big picture, gives a more in-depth look at the competitors products and services, and presents the most up-to-date information on what drives the consumer to choose one product or brand over another.
By studying the behavior of a particular buyer persona group, a firm or company is able to investigate what means of marketing would best suit this market.
For example, it would seem rather silly to market Facebook on television to young people ages 15-25 because studies show the Millennial Generation seeks the Internet for most of their needs. A Baby Boomer, however, may be more likely to engage with a commercial on television rather than a Vine video online. "One defining characteristic of Millennials is their comfort-level with new technologies. This is the first generation to grow up with computers in the home and in the classroom, not knowing a life without the Internet or cell phones." (Doug Crang, comScore, Inc.) Taking into account simple trends like these can help you more effectively relay the proper personalized message in the most proficient manner; thus, creating a more effective marketing mix.
After establishing the persona of a particular segment, consumer behavior studies help perfect each experience, product, or service. More often than not, companies use a “how are we doing?” survey to gauge their effectiveness in the eyes of their customers. These tools measure consumer behavior in a direct approach. This ‘direct collection’ approach provides quality metrics to better improve the machine known as sales and customer service.
Imagine you just finished a purchase on a website that is fairly new to the game, and you had to sign up for a 'site account' instead of just placing the order. Let's say for example it took 15 minutes to complete the site registration. This could be an issue and possibly a deal breaker. The issue might never surface unless the company knows it is 'a waste of time' and annoying to consumers. Even in a direct collection approach, consumer behavior studies serve as a viable and necessary tool in marketing success and the success of the business as a whole.
Consumer behavior studies can also help you track trends in purchasing needs, abilities, and help you perfect the balance between multi-segment marketing. Consumer behavior studies can reveal in-depth the relationship of consumers, the products, and when and how they communicate.
Using consumer behavior findings can outline what is most important in the lives of current consumers. There is nothing more interesting than reading something you emotionally or morally connect to. Being able to tap into these feelings amongst your consumers is invaluable. These findings can allow for a firm to better touch the lives of their customers, create meaningful and addictive content, and present the best products or services, at the best prices, to their target market.
The examples listed above play a big part in creating a successful inbound marketing strategy. If analyzed and deployed properly, these practices can form the sturdy foundation required to achieve marketing success. The most important part of consumerism is the consumer, and you can't please them without first knowing how to do so properly.