Consumer behavior is a vital component in any marketing strategy. It's what drives consumers' decisions and how they react to different stimuli. Understanding consumer behavior allows companies to tailor their products or services to appeal to the needs and wants of the target market.
What is Consumer Behavior?
Consumer behavior is the study of how people buy, use and dispose of goods and services. It covers a broad range of topics, including:
-How consumers find out about products and services
-What influences their purchase decisions
-How they use products and services
-Why do they stop using certain products or services
-What happens to products after they are purchased
The Role of Consumer Behavior in Marketing Strategy
Understanding consumer behavior is critical to developing an effective marketing strategy because it helps companies determine what the target market wants and how best to get their message across. Marketers use research on customer demographics, geographic location, age, gender, etc., to gain insight into what makes their target market tick.
They also use focus groups and surveys to get feedback on what potential customers like and don't like about current and past products/services and gauge interest in new product ideas. Once companies understand consumer behavior, they can begin developing marketing messages that resonate with the target audience. They can also build product and service offerings that meet the needs of their target market.
Consumer Behavior Research Methods
Several research methods are used to gain insight into consumer behavior, including focus groups, surveys, observational studies/ethnographic research, conjoint analysis, and secondary data sources such as government records or public opinion polls. Each method has its strengths and weaknesses, which marketers need to understand when choosing the best one for their project.
Marketing research is often expensive, but it offers a valuable return on investment because it gives companies an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior that would be difficult (if not impossible) to achieve by any other means. As noted above, this understanding is essential for developing an effective marketing strategy.
Importance of Consumer Behavior
Companies need to understand their target market and behavior if they want to develop an effective marketing strategy.
1. Retention of Consumers
When consumers are satisfied with a product or service, they will continue to purchase it. This is known as retention of customers, and high customer satisfaction levels can result in increased sales, reduced marketing costs for repeat purchases, referrals from current users to new potential buyers, etc.
Companies need to understand their customers' behavior to retain them. This is especially important for companies that rely on repeat purchases or referrals from current users. These are known as 'relationship businesses' because they have long-term relationships with consumers and typically experience lower customer acquisition costs (i.e., less money spent to get a new customer).
2. Prediction of the Market Trend
Trends can be predicted by understanding consumer needs and wants. For example, the current trend for natural and organic products was fueled by growing demand from consumers for healthier, more environmentally friendly options. By studying consumer behavior, companies can get an idea of what new trends might emerge in the future. They can then develop products or services to meet these unique needs and wants. The trend for natural and organic products is an excellent example of how understanding consumer behavior can help companies stay ahead of the competition.
3. Develop New Products
Often, companies develop new products to capitalize on a trend. For example, many fashion companies create new lines of clothing based on the latest celebrity trends.
To create successful products, companies need to understand what consumer wants and needs. They can then use this information to design products that meet these needs. Developing new products is a common way for companies to stay ahead of the competition. It's also important to understand consumer behavior to avoid creating products that no one wants or needs.
Competitors can gain an edge over a company by understanding and responding to consumer behavior before the company does.
For example, Apple was slow to respond to larger smartphone screens (phablets), which gave Samsung a competitive advantage. As a result, Samsung gained market share at Apple's expense. Companies need to keep tabs on their competitors and understand how they respond to consumer behavior. This information can help companies stay ahead of the competition.
Marketing research is an integral part of understanding consumer behavior and developing a marketing strategy. Retention of customers, predicting the market trend, developing new products, and staying ahead of the competition are all reasons why companies need to understand their target markets and how they behave.