As the adage goes, the only constant is change, and such is the case with consumer behavior. Thus, tracking trends, using business analytics to predict where the next trend may be, and acting accordingly with your marketing is a recipe for success.

Consumer behavior is what marketing teams use in order to direct their efforts towards certain groups based on purchasing decisions regarding personal, societal, environmental, and other influences. Understanding the “why” regarding purchasing decisions allows for teams create campaigns that will pique the interests of the right consumers (more specifically, those willing to spend in a struggling economy).

There are many small things that affect consumer behavior, but most fall under one or more of these three key factors.

Societal Influence

Though many people claim to be above trends, that, in and of itself, is often a trend. With so much purchasing done online, it has never been easier to determine the demographics of consumers. Using Google analytics, and other similar means, marketing teams can determine the willingness of a given market to buy a given product without ever speaking to a person.

With social media being as popular as ever (Facebook in particular is used by 223 million people, from school-aged to elderly), being able to get immediate, unfiltered feedback on products is a click of a button away, as is a popular figure in society giving a product or service praise.

Culture shifts also affect consumer behavior, and when it comes to marketing, it can be a win-win strategy to support a popular cause and advertise that you are doing just that with every purchase of your product or service.

Personal Influence

Much less trend-related, personal influence plays a large role in consumer behavior as well. Age, for instance, has a huge affect on spending habits related to given items. And unlike societal trends, those buying factors based on age generally repeat themselves with each generation. Occupations and income are also major factors in purchasing decisions, and developing marketing campaigns based on the income of your target audience is also important.

Frequency of Spending

The final factor is the frequency in which consumers like to spend money on a given product or service. Cars, for instance, aren’t something that families purchase every day, so trendy advertising may not be as successful for cars as it would be for a new meal at a restaurant.

Again with a tip of the hat to analytics, it is easy to determine consumers’ spontaneity as well, allowing marketing teams to focus their advertising towards those people more likely to be drawn to something they will immediately purchase. These same analytics can also help you determine if the majority of your target audience is the type to compare products or buy based on a given advertising campaign. If it is determined that your audience tends to be like the former, a focus on product quality and value would be beneficial.

Staying Ahead

Business analytics allow marketing teams to get a really good idea on what is “coming next” as far as trends go. Keeping an eye on the three factors listed above, and researching accordingly, will give your team an advantage in marketing to consumers most likely to buy what you are selling.

About the Author

Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis.


Featured image via Unsplash.