More than ever before, to be successful in launching or growing a business, success rests on the ability to understand consumer behavior, their needs, wants and beliefs. Customer behavior is changing almost daily as technology, advancing its influence over how consumers make their buying decisions. Fully understanding these shifts in consumer behaviors and beliefs will help you unlock fresh insights to drive your business forward. The traditional marketing and sales approach to creating “target audiences” of creating a profile based on gender, age, demographic, and geographic data alone is an approach that will cripple your ability to reach target audiences in an effective way.
Personal factors such as individual interests and opinions are influenced by demographic data such as age, gender, culture, profession and background, but psychological factors like perceptions and attitudes can play an even more important role in a consumer’s ability to process and comprehend information. Extensive social media interactions and personal relationships with family and friends is an increasingly significant influencer on customers purchasing decisions. Identifying and understanding the most critical factors and influences that affect your target audiences’ buying decision is essential to making a successful connection. How does your customer consume information and what sources do they get it from?
Just as technology has changed human behavior, entrepreneurs and business owners must adapt to the new approach to marketing and sales strategy. Consumers have unprecedented access to information from multiple and more mobile sources than ever before. The speed of change and the rapid introduction of newer technologies are impacting consumer behavior more quickly and some businesses are unable to adapt to the frenzied pace. Those who are too deliberate in recognizing and responding effectively, run the risk of being left behind in the marketplace. Brian Vellmure, in his article “How Technology Is Reshaping Human Behavior (And What You Should Do About It)” said, “As I look around, I see too many companies still wrestling with solving yesterday’s problems, woefully doing their best to survive, while the speed of technology renders their efforts irrelevant.”
Whether direct to consumer or B2B; online or brick and mortar; today’s consumers are better educated and technological savvy, and freely utilize multiple mobile devices to demand improved purchasing interactions with their product and service providers. Dave Parro, partner and vice president at Walker Sands, says, “The priority for retailers no longer lies in increasing the number of consumers who shop online, but rather improving their experience—whether it is online, in store or across different product categories,”
In order to respond to this rapid disruption to traditional purchasing processes, it is advantageous for businesses and entrepreneurs to gather important insights and perspectives by aligning with strategic partners who understand the evolving dynamics of consumer behavior – – not just in your industry – – but across industry. “The insights and data should drive your overarching strategy. This is critical to not only increasing awareness for your business or the product and services you provide, but also identifying those that are in the market for your products and services”, says Julie Gareleck, founder and CEO of Junction Creative Solutions. “This can significantly impact the length of the sales cycle and can reduce costs and time spent on securing these customers.”
Are you effectively reaching your target customers?