preloader image

How to understand and influence consumer behaviour

Understanding consumer behaviour is a large and complex task, but with the right mix of research, you can better understand your customers and their motivations.

What is consumer behaviour?

Consumer behaviour studies how individuals and businesses choose and use products and services. This research focuses mainly on their psychology, motivations and behaviour.

The study of consumer behaviour includes :

-How consumers think and feel about different alternatives (brands, products, services and retailers)

-How consumers think and choose between alternatives

-What behaviours do consumers adopt when searching for products and making purchases?

-To what extent consumer behaviour is influenced by their environment (surroundings, culture, media)

-How marketing campaigns can be adapted and improved to better influence the consumer

These issues are influenced by these factors:

Personal & Psychological Factors

Personal Factors -
The interests and opinions of the consumer. They will be influenced by demographics such as age, gender, culture, profession, etc.

Psychological Factors -
How people react to a marketing campaign will depend on their beliefs and state of mind. A person's ability to understand information, their perception of their needs, their mentality, all influence their behaviour.

Social Factors

Social Factors -
The environment (family, friends or social network connections). This factor also includes social class, income and education level.

Collecting data on consumer behaviour :

The motivations that influence consumer behaviour are so broad that the most effective way to study it is to use different research methods involving a variety of data. Some methods are more cost-effective than others.

- Customer feedback - Reading the comments left by your customers can highlight recurring problems or desires.

- Question and answer sites - These websites can give you an idea of the questions and concerns that consumers express about your brand, services or products.

- Surveys - Online surveys can be easily developed through sites such as Survey Monkey. They allow you to ask specific questions.

- Focus Groups/Panels - Gather a few customers together to ask them questions face-to-face.

- Keyword Research - A true pillar of SEO, keyword research can show you consumers who have a vested interest in your business. This technique is also very effective in finding out in which language searches are conducted.

- Google Analytics - Analytics can tell you where visitors to your website come from. The "Audience" tab shows you the origin, interests and many demographics.

- Competitor Analysis - This analysis can provide you with valuable information about consumers who shop in your industry but do not buy your brand.

- Comments on your blog - These comments can help you uncover potential questions from your audience.

- Twitter Insiders - Twitter recently launched Insiders, a discussion group with 12,000 Twitter users in the US and UK.

- Google Trends - Google Trends can tell you how popular a specific topic is.

- Government Data - Government data (especially in France) is available for free and can help you gain a better understanding of a group of people. You can also access other sources of information for free.

- Social media - Millions of people talk about their experiences on social networks. With appropriate tools, including Brandwatch Analytics, you can use this information to analyze certain parameters of consumer behaviour.

Social media intelligence and consumer behaviour :

Social media intelligence is very useful to extract consumer insights from social media analysis. You can ask specific questions or analyze the publications of people mentioning your brand. Beyond your brand, it is also interesting to look at what consumers are saying about your product category.

- Purchase intent - You can better understand the effects of your marketing campaigns on your audience, beyond just the buzz.

- Campaign analysis - Examine how consumers react to your campaigns, or research other brands and analyse their impact on customers.

- Sentiment analysis - Find out how consumers feel about your brand or products and how demographics affect the results.

- Since consumer behaviour depends on product usage and motivations for purchase, comments and opinions about your products can be useful and help you develop them.

- Smart market segmentation - Not all your customers are interested in your products for the same reasons. That's why segmenting them into different groups is key to understanding them all.