Understanding Consumer Behavior and Its Impact on Consumer Marketing

Businesses rely on consumers for growth, sustainability, and success because consumers create the demands for and invest in goods or products and services in the market produced to satisfy and fulfill their needs.  Hence, businesses must better understand and predict consumer behavior to effectively adapt to consumers’ ever-changing demands.

Consumer behavior entails exploring consumer decisions, actions, patterns, and processes related to the products and services they attain and utilize throughout the customer journey.  Understanding and predicting consumer behaviors through research enable key business managers, leaders, and decision-makers to gain deeper insights necessary to make good quality decisions, develop and improve products or services that meet consumer satisfaction and needs, and gain a competitive edge over its competitors.  Moreover, companies can develop effective marketing strategies and market segmentation that improve the efficiency of consumer marketing efforts to increase engagement with sales promotions and advertising and maximize profits.

Consumer research provides actionable data insights to identify and comprehend consumer behaviors, perceptions, values, and thoughts about products or brands, and services.  For instance, various methodological research techniques such as observation, experimentation, and surveys or interviews are helpful tools that provide qualitative research data to learn about and predict consumer behaviors and experiences in the customer journey.

Key Methodological Research Techniques

Experimentation:
Based on Kenda Cherry’s article about how Psychologists Use Experimental Methods to Study Human Behavior, experimental methods such as field and lab experiments (a controlled environment or conditions) help companies investigate and uncover how changes affect or influence dependent variables and understand cause and effect relationships with consumers by manipulating and controlling independent variables.  Experimentation methods help companies understand behavioral biases that sway outcomes in specific or target markets and consumer behaviors and reactions to different market aspects and conditions.   

Surveys or Interviews:
Conducting focus groups, surveys (phone, email, mail), and interviews (one-on-one or in-depth interviews) enable companies to obtain invaluable information, specific details about a customer’s perceptions, thoughts, expectations, desires, wants, and about a product or service. 

It also creates opportunities for consumers to connect with the brand, voice their opinions, and create a dialogue between the customer and brand.  Companies can learn precisely what customers want, what drives them towards the product or brand for product development and improve customer satisfaction and experiences.    

Observations:
Observation involves monitoring consumer behaviors and patterns in various situations such as shadowing and natural experiments.  It allows companies to compile information and behavioral data while observing consumers in a natural, not easily controlled environment evaluate how factors sway or influence consumers in their surroundings or environment.    

Key Insight

Understanding and predicting consumer behavior is a critical component in optimizing the customer shopping experience to effectively service clients’ nutritional needs in the government sector’s nutrition supplemental program.  Methodological research techniques such as interviews, service satisfaction, and feedback surveys, field experiments, and observations are essential to attaining deep insights about the clients’ experiences at various touchpoints of their journey, such as follow-up contact and consultations for issued and prescribed food benefits, and store shopping experiences in food redemptions and purchases. 

The information shared and collected from these methodological approaches and interactions with the clients or consumers provide data about the client’s behaviors, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, emotions, attitudes, and experiences about the customer service, program, breastfeeding, and lactation support, supplemental foods received, shopping experience, interactions, and the easiness and availability of program eligible and approved foods at various authorized food retailers. 

Moreover, observational methods such as a shop-along is a natural experiment strategy that offers the program the opportunity to focus on listening and observing the clients or customers during their shopping experience in a real-life environment to creatively gain insight and understand customer attitudes, behaviors, brand perception about products in its environment.  It helps identify and recognize barriers, solutions, and influences and how product placement, marketing displays, sales promotions, affects the customer’s purchase decision in the customer shopping journey to improve and expand the selections of eligible foods allowed for the supplemental nutrition program.  Furthermore, the data also enables food retailers to maximize their growth potential, improve customer satisfaction, and increase sales. 

Predicting and comprehending consumer trends provide valuable information that helps key programmatic managers, leaders, and decision-makers identify consumer behavior patterns and shopping and program service usage trends.  It helps them develop and improve strategies to increase and improve the utilization and allocation of resources, food redemptions, and client retention to meet client nutritional needs and enhance the community’s quality of life.

Staying abreast of consumer behaviors, recognizing and understanding the consumer’s value about a brand is vital for companies to survive in a competitive and ever-changing market.  It is the key to effectively position the brand above its competitors and offer consumers what they truly want and desire.

Did you enjoy this post? Learn about customer journeys, this post, and more! 

References:

Cherry, K. (2020, May 6). Psychologists Use Experimental Methods to Study Human

Behavior. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-experimental-method-2795175. 

Dykes, B. (2016, August 8). Actionable Insights: The Missing Link Between Data And

Business Value. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/brentdykes/2016/04/26/
actionable-insights-the-missing-link-between-data-and-business value/?sh=
353f9f4d51e5. 

Market Segmentation: Everything to Know in 2020 // Qualtrics. Qualtrics. (2020, October 14).

https://www.qualtrics.com/experience-management/brand/what-is-market-segmentation/. 

Mcleod, S. (1970, January 1). The Interview Research Method. The Interview Research

Method | Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/interviews.html#
group. 

Mcleod, S. (1970, January 1). The Interview Research Method. The Interview Research

Method | Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/ interviews.html#
unstructured. 

Mcleod, S. Qualitative vs Quantitative Research: Simply Psychology. Qualitative vs

Quantitative Research | Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/
qualitative-quantitative.html.    

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