Consumer Behavior

Understanding the way consumers think, act, feel and make decisions can be a great tool in marketing. Marketing strategies and campaigns can be improved or altered to effectively reach or influence the consumer, based on how research shows they think, feel, shop and so on.

Issues Marketing Should Consider
There are several consumer behavior issues that market researchers can look at in determining their market strategies. Some of them are:

· How consumers make the decision to buy one product over the other.

· How the shopping environment affects the decision to buy—lighting, music, display of product/ organization.

· How a consumer’s personal environment influences them—family, culture, ethnicity.

· How a consumer’s level of knowledge influences purchasing decisions.

· How brands impact a consumer’s opinion on certain products and the decision to buy.

· How consumers shop—if they go to the front or the back of the store, left or right of the store, whether items placed on shelves near the checkout entice them to buy.

A successful marketing strategy will take into consideration all of the factors that may possibly influence consumer choice.

Methods for Studying Consumer Behavior
Market research is essential in marketing to ensure that consumer behaviors are fully understood and not simply assumed. There are several ways to conduct market research to determine consumer behavior trends. Popular methods include:

· Surveys/ Questionnaires—Surveys are a great tool for gathering large amounts of information tailored specifically to your needs.

· Observation—Observation of consumers can also be extremely helpful, but sometimes controversial, as some say it invades privacy. However, watching a consumer shop can give great insights as to how they make decisions.

· Online Research—Reviewing online search information, such as which routes a consumer took to get to a specific page, can reveal valuable insight into the preferences of consumers and the way they seek information.

· Interviews—One-on-one interviews can be much more in-depth and provide detailed findings but are more costly and often biased.

· Focus Groups—Focus groups are particularly helpful in getting feedback prior to new product launches. However, focus groups only represent a small sample of society and may be biased.

Researching and understanding consumer behavior is crucial to creating a successful marketing strategy and to the overall success of a business. Those who take the time and effort to include consumer behavior studies in their marketing efforts should see the benefit in the long run.

If you are seeking the tools to become a successful marketing professional, and would like to network with similar professionals in the Tampa Bay Area, look no further than the American Marketing Association’s Tampa Bay chapter. Explore the benefits of becoming a member and join us today!

Sources:
Consumer Behavior: The Psychology of Marketing
Psychology of Consumer Behavior

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How Packaging Can Help Market and Sell Products
Creative Advertising Placements (And Why They Work!)

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