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What really drives your customer to purchase your product

There is an overwhelmingly vast amount of marketing decisions that must be made when establishing not only your marketing techniques, but your brand itself. Aesthetic and connotative content guidelines like colour palettes, typography, logo types, brand tone of voice - even the positioning of your logo to the very millimetre. Then there’s the ‘where’ - which digital platforms are going to be your key focuses? Selecting the right marketing techniques, aesthetics, and strategies is almost like curating your own algorithm.

Sometimes, businesses flippantly make these aesthetic choices ‘just because it looks good', or choose Instagram advertising because that's the only one they know about. Often important marketing decisions are not well justified enough to suit a customer persona, or perhaps won't accurately reflect your brand itself. If the minor details aren't paid enough attention, your content may not hit quite as well as you’d like it to.

But for your content to be effectively received, it’s essential to know your customer. And not just general, overly broad bits of information like age or gender. But how they behave, and why they behave this way. To create the optimum marketing decisions, businesses get to know exactly what makes their customers tick on a deeper level, asking why exactly would they purchase certain product or services?

What's the point in research of such depth?

But why must we dive so deeply into marketing theory, on such a molecular level?

Getting to really know your customer is what drives your content forward. It creates a template - a buyer persona which acts as a model which helps to inform and shape your marketing choices. In the world of digital marketing there’s a heck of a lot to choose from - so understanding your customer on a psychological level can point you in the right direction.

By dedicating the time to analyse your customers and how they think and behave, as well as curating buyer personas, you can tailor everything to fit the templated customer moulds you have come up with based on consumer behaviour research. Consumer behaviour research can direct you in terms of how you’ll market your products or services.

And once you effectively appeal to your desired audiences and organically pique their interest, you've hit the nail on the head - because that's how growth happens.

Consumer behaviour: the rundown

Studying consumer behaviour really gets to the crux of ‘why’ your customers will buy. What drives them to purchase your product or service? It considers background, occupation, age, gender, expenditure and purchasing habits.

Consumer behaviour is a psychology-based field of study, exploring human behaviour to its very core; and it’s a topic that is rooted in study-based behavioural, socioeconomic, psychoanalytical, and biological theologies. Even if your customer base is well established, further education and context on marketing behaviours can really provide some useful information that you can use to tweak your marketing.

There’s a breadth of consumer behaviour theories, all relative to their own specific models of consumer behaviour which explain how and why we purchase. Of course, there’s a heavy volume of consumer behaviour models - so to exemplify consumer behaviour, we touch upon a couple of commonly adhered-to traditional and contemporary models of consumer behaviour.

The psychoanalytical model of consumer behaviour

Freud’s psychoanalytical theory has been used to explain almost every facet of human behaviour since the theory was published. Despite being released over a century ago, we still use and apply the concept to modern human behaviours today. The psychoanalytic model suggests that we purchase products and services to satisfy both conscious and unconscious deep-rooted desires and motives.

In terms of marketing, the ways in which the products or services are marketed will pique a customer’s interest. This could be an Instagram ad, which has lots of engagement.

And because the drivers of behaviour can be unconscious, sometimes the customer may not concretely know why they’ve purchased something, it may have just felt like the right thing to do.

For example, psychoanalytic-moulded marketing might play on the human desire to ‘fit in.' Often this kind of marketing sells a fantasy-like image along with its product or service. Perfume adverts are a prime example of this. They’re flamboyant, over-dramatic, and somewhat seductive - selling the customer a whole unrealistic 'ideal' attached to the product.


The economic model of consumer behaviour

The economic model of consumer behaviour is probably something we can all relate to. It is a logical purchasing process which suggests we buy to cater to our needs while spending as less money as possible. This takes into account the customer’s income - so looking at background and occupation. It then compares their own product prices against these income estimates. To utilise this model, the company then models itself as having the lowest prices on the market, and so then the most popular to gain a consistent profit.

Although it’s straightforward, and the cost is one of the most, especially nowadays, heavily considered and pivotal aspect of purchasing behaviour, judging your customers solely on this is limiting - and you’d probably need to consider other models of behaviour.

The takeaway: How can I get to know my customer?

In the early days of setting up a business, you may not know yet which model best fits your business and your customer avatar. If you’ve been running your business for quite some time, it’ll become more obvious which theories best apply to your business and how it appeals to your customer base.

Simply, research your customer base. Do research upon research. Run surveys, get feedback from the kinds of audiences you’re selling to, look at their buying history and what they like about similar companies. You might not know which kind of consumer behaviour model your buyer persona will fit into yet. But by continuously analysing behaviours and the correct data,

Don’t assume your customers are carbon copies!

The danger though of course is assuming that every single audience member thinks and behaves the same way. Don't fall into the trap of assuming that all your customers are going to respond uniformly to the content you put out.

That’s where inbound marketing comes in. Inbound marketing particularly resolves the 'pain points' that crop up within the Engel-Kollat-Blackwell (EKB) Model of Consumer Behaviour. This is a contemporary model which is based on the notion that customers will use rational thought and logic to decide whether to buy into your business.

Think of this as a simple mental ‘pros and cons’ list, where the beginning stages of awareness are not pushy - they are simply to make the customer aware of your business. Strategies such as SEO help with this - the customer appears to just find services of their own accord. This is why inbound marketing is heavy on visibility.

This theory is based on the notion that a customer will research the product before buying, through activities like reading reviews and investigating competitors. The stages of this model are awareness, information processing, evaluation, purchasing decision, and outcome analysis. So not only will they research, consider and purchase, but they’ll analyse the product or service afterwards to see whether they made the right decision, under the awareness that they can change their mind if they’re not happy with it.

Inbound marketing recognises that your customer journeys are completely different and are unique towards totally different needs - no two customers are the same. It treats the customer tentatively, catering to their needs and offering honest, genuine solutions to their problems. Inbound marketing doesn’t wholly generalise. That's often where marketing can go wrong, if one assumes all customer needs and requirements are cloned copies of one another.

Method’s buyer persona tool

We’ve done the hard bit for you. Check out our buyer persona tool, to distinguish your customer avatar and drive your content forward.

Download Buyer Persona Guide