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The 8 Laws of Consumer Behaviour That Will Change Your Marketing

The 8 Laws of Consumer Behaviour That Will Change Your Marketing

Consumers don't just buy products; they buy brands. And every day, we see stories about companies that were once huge names in their industry that are now entirely forgotten because they failed to change the way they did things.

It's no secret that consumer behaviour is changing at an incredible pace. From social media to mobile apps, the rules are constantly evolving.

There's much talk these days about customer experience. But what if it were possible to turn your customers into evangelists—and use them as your greatest marketing asset? 

Imagine if every one of your customers, prospects and fans shared your passion—and became passionate about your product, service, or idea. If you could do that, you could generate millions of dollars of leads and sales simply by providing an exceptional customer experience. 

But how do you create an experience that drives people wild with desire—an experience that makes people want to share it with everyone they know?

We live in a world that is defined by constant change. The pace of change has never been faster, which means that we must be even more nimble in our understanding of what is happening around us, and we must be able to adapt our businesses and products accordingly. But as a result, this also makes our jobs more complex and our lives more complicated.

1 – Know Your Audience

Find Your Target Audience

This isn't just about knowing your customers; it's about understanding who they are and what motivates them. You can accomplish this through focus groups, surveys, and interviews with consumers. 

Ask yourself what makes these people tick, their motivation, and what problems does this product solve? This is key because if you understand your audience, you can tailor your messages to get the message across to resonate with them.

Consumers need to be made aware of new products and services. People have used advertising and word-of-mouth to spread the word in the past. Still, those strategies have become less effective over time, mainly because consumers are adept at filtering out and ignoring information. The only way to effectively market to consumers is to take the time to understand their behaviours, motivations, and attitudes.

Emotions, not logic, drive consumers. When making purchasing decisions, our brains are more emotional than rational. We're always looking to protect ourselves, but we don't think things through very well. When presented with a product or service, consumers tend to focus on the positive rather than the negative. 

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Even when negative factors are presented, their impact on consumers is generally far smaller than positive aspects.

Consumer behaviour has been altered by:

a. Technology

Consumers have adapted to technology, and consumer behaviour has been altered because technology can speed up the way we live. Today's consumers don't go online to read a book; they visit a website to research a purchase they're about to make. They don't want to wait; they want to do it now.

As consumers become more accustomed to shopping online, technology has shifted the way they engage with brands. Technology makes it possible for them to find and interact with products more efficiently, increasing the chances of their purchase. 

But when consumers shop online, they expect the convenience of browsing at their own pace and receiving immediate gratification. Technology also provides consumers with instant access to the latest offers and price reductions, leading them to expect a sale at any moment.

b. Marketing

Marketers are good at influencing consumer behaviour. Research has shown that consumers are motivated to buy when exposed to an offer, advertisement, or another type of stimulus that promises some benefit. 

Consumers are also more likely to shop when they feel anxious or fearful of the potential consequences of not buying. In the past, marketers focused on the end goal of the purchase (i.e. getting the customer to buy). 

But today, many businesses' marketing strategies tend to be more about “getting in the door” and then continuing to provide value to the consumer in the form of special offers, discounts, rewards, or other types of value-based incentives.

The point of persuasion is to get the consumer to do something. The question is: What exactly does the consumer have to do? 

The answer: Buy the product or service, but it doesn't necessarily mean a big purchase. It's not all about the dollar. It's about what the consumer is willing to give up to be persuaded.

c. Advertising

Best Examples Of Billboard Advertising

Consumers are now much more likely than ever to act in ways they would have never imagined just a few years ago. As a result, advertisers have to adjust their tactics to keep up constantly. 

As far back as the 1930s, it was discovered that consumers would often respond to positive reinforcement. In other words, if someone gives us something nice, we'll usually respond favourably to it. 

That concept has been extended to include advertisements, and the same principles apply. Ads must be enticing, engaging, and relatable. They must be relevant and show that they're helpful to the consumer. 

To do this, advertisers will have to continue breaking the mould and changing their marketing strategies to reach their audience in the best way possible.

According to behavioural scientist Daniel Kahneman, when a prospect considers buying a product, they go through two cognitive processes to determine if a particular brand is worth pursuing. 

One process is called System 1, and the other is called System 2. When someone is in the shopping cart phase of a purchase, they are in System 1, a fast, automatic, and subconscious decision-making process. 

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The second stage, System 2, is a slower, more deliberate process usually driven by emotion and involves conscious decision-making.

d. Personal experience

Many people don't like change because it can be disruptive and challenging. For example, if you live in a town you've always lived in, it may be difficult to move, but it's not so hard if you know that you have a good job and will find something better once you get to your new location. 

When you move, it's easier to get up and start looking for a new job if you have no attachments to your previous job. But if you love your current job, it can be challenging to break the habit of looking for work there.

People are spending more time online than ever before, and yet there are still plenty of opportunities to get people to spend their time with you. There are many ways to influence people to do what you want them to do. 

The most important way to influence people is through personal experience. In other words, if you tell someone you're selling something that's been proven to work, they're more likely to purchase from you. 

And research shows that people tend to become loyal to products or brands they've personally experienced. So whether you're trying to convince someone to become your customer or get them to take action on a product or service you're already selling, keep an eye on how you can use personal experience to convince them.

2 – Understand the Psychology of Your Customers

Customer Psychology

People want to feel important, and they want to feel useful. If you can demonstrate to your customers how they will benefit from using your product or service, you're more likely to convince them to part with their hard-earned cash. 

When people are asked to do something for other people, they typically don't want to be the ones to do the deed. The most important question is: Who cares about this task the most?

It doesn't matter whether your customers are B2B or B2C, or even if they are human. The best marketers understand the psychology of their audience. They know what motivates people, drives them crazy, and makes them tick.

Asking questions that reveal your customers' motivations for buying can help you figure out how to approach your customers and build your products and services. The reason customers buy is that they want to solve a problem. 

What problem are you solving? What is it that makes your customers need your products? What makes your customers purchase your products over competitors'?

Consumers always act first, think later

When consumers shop, they usually make a purchase decision as soon as possible. Sometimes they can feel rushed and pressed into buying right away because there are items that need to be purchased, deadlines approaching, or simply because there's a feeling of scarcity. 

But whether it's urgent or not, most people don't make buying decisions in real-time. Instead, they think about their options, evaluate them, and decide.

You know those commercials for a product that say, “If you don't try it right now, you'll miss out!”? That's an urgency at work. 

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It's a great way to get people to buy something before realising what they want. In a recent survey of more than 2,500 consumers, it was found that when they are presented with options and are forced to make a decision quickly, they tend to make that choice more quickly and often make the wrong one. This is because they are too busy deciding to think about it. If they had time to mull things over, they might think differently about the purchase.

3 – Be Real

Be Real Marketing Quote

One of the more exciting things about the psychology of urgency is that it doesn't require that the product or service be better than the competition to work or that the competitor's price is too high. 

Just that there is a need, this is because most people understand the importance of being able to afford things they need. 

So even if the product isn't more attractive than the competition, and even if the price is higher, if you can prove to them that you are a credible solution for their needs, and if they believe they must act now to avoid losing out to the competition, then urgency will work.

In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr Robert Cialdini uses the concept of reciprocity or treating others as they expect to be treated. Dr Cialdini states that people don't care about what you have done for them; they care about what you can do for them now. 

So if your friend asks you to help them out, they expect you to help. If you're willing to help your friend now, they'll be willing to help you when you need it.

One of the most important points here is that the consumer must feel that the product or service is suitable. Marketing and selling should work as a team, with marketing telling consumers how great they are and selling offering products or services that are great for them to buy. You cannot assume consumer behaviour; it has to be built into the campaign.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • Must read book
  • It is made up of premium quality material.
  • Robert B. Cialdini (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Consumers have more information at their fingertips than ever before

The average person today has access to a tremendous amount of information. According to a study by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, there are now 2,500 sources of information available at any given moment. 

More people have access to news than ever before, and more people have access to shopping and travel options than ever before. 

The result? People are bombarded with information and have difficulty sorting it all out.

But with all of this information available, consumers are more knowledgeable than ever before yet feel overwhelmed by the number of choices. 

In this climate, it can be challenging to convince someone that what you're selling is the best option for them at this moment in time. So, rather than relying on hard sell tactics that only appeal to emotion, you should use the principles of psychology to influence your audience.

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4 – Be Human

Reebok Sports Marketing Example

If a brand's marketing strategy seems robotic, consumers may question whether the brand cares. A human element to any strategy will help avoid this problem, said Rieger. 

A simple approach like using a personal email address or phone number in your messaging or social media posts shows that the company is human. This will also allow the brand to be more transparent with consumers.

Marketing is one of those terms that people like to use in a blanket sense. There is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to marketing, but one common thread that runs through most of it is humanness. 

Whether you're working with retailers or brands, consumers are looking for someone who makes them feel like they are interacting with a human being, not an email or text. 

And this applies to brands on social media, too. People want to connect with the brand, not a faceless entity. They want to find out what the brand's personality is like. So, how can you make sure you're human?

Marketers must learn how to speak a consumer's language

How does this work? Most people don't even think about their decision-making process. They buy what they're told to buy, so marketers must find ways to get people to buy by speaking their language. This means familiar with their emotional, physical, social, and rational mindsets.

Today's consumers are more likely than ever to make purchases based on emotional responses. Consumers are less likely to rely solely on rational, logical reasoning to make their buying decisions. This is one reason why marketing to consumers has become increasingly difficult. 

To effectively target and appeal to this audience, marketers must learn how to communicate in the language of emotion. They need to understand what drives emotions, why people act the way they do, and how to tap into those emotions to get what you want from them.

People do not trust ads

People Dont Trust Ads

Advertising can be very persuasive when done correctly, but people tend to disregard ads as a whole. 

Advertisements are the equivalent of billboards. The first thing consumers notice is the bright colours and loud fonts. They may be tempted to read the text below the ad or take a closer look. Then they'll realise that the message is irrelevant to them and move along, often without even giving the ad a second glance.

Consumer behaviour is what is fascinating about human beings. Why do people buy so much more than they should? What makes us decide whether or not to buy something? 

These are all questions that are never truly answered but instead are just used to manipulate us into doing things we didn't otherwise want to do. There are no hard and fast answers to these questions because it depends entirely on the circumstances, but there are certain psychological principles that we can apply to make predictions.

5 – Treat Them Like Humans

There's a difference between humans and machines. If we treat customers like machines, we no longer do them any favours. If we treat them as human beings, we will better market our services and products. 

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Customers don't care about your website, but they care about the ease of getting what they want. Customers are susceptible to price, time, convenience, and trust. 

They hate wasting time, but they also hate being misled. They hate being sold to, but they also hate being cheated. So to attract customers, you need to build trust and respect.

According to Nielsen Norman Group, human beings consume information in small bites throughout the day. We process information very quickly and cannot take in large amounts of content at one time. 

Therefore, marketers must tailor their messaging to fit the way people consume information and not the other way around. This means that messages should be short, to the point, and personalised.

Marketing is moving away from traditional approaches to new paradigms

Digital Marketing Advertising Trends

To truly understand marketing, you need to understand its history. We've been doing the same marketing tactics for years, but technology enables marketers to think differently and more effectively. 

The shift from broadcast to personalisation, from offline to online, and from mass advertising to targeted advertising are just a few examples of how we market has changed. 

These days, we no longer rely on a large company to tell us what products we should use, what products we should buy, and how we should spend our money. For a marketing campaign to be successful, it must align with the goals and objectives of the company.

We've all seen them: billboards, TV commercials, magazine ads. As marketers, we can't forget our history. And, I'm sure we all feel confident that these approaches have done their jobs to some degree. 

But, they're just one component of an extensive marketing mix. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where all of our marketing dollars are being spent.

6 – Make It Easy For Them

Remember that making it too hard for your customers to purchase from you can hurt your conversions. On the other hand, making it too easy can also hinder conversion if your customer doesn't need or want what you're selling. 

Think of the opposite case. Imagine your customer needs a new computer right now, but all the computers in his store are old and worn out. He could buy something else. Not really. No, he's probably going to opt for something else. 

Similarly, if your customer needs a new car, but your showroom only has junk cars to choose from, it will probably take him longer to buy than if your showroom had a wide selection of quality cars on display.

When the customer knows he wants something and is confident that it's something he wants, he's already 90% of the way to becoming a buyer. And when it's easy for the customer to buy from you, he'll be more likely to buy from you. This happens because the customer doesn't need to have you sell him your product; he needs to buy it.

Marketers need to move away from one-size-fits-all marketing

“One size fits all” doesn't work for B2C marketing, and it doesn't work for B2B marketing, says Kano. The good news for marketers is that a new wave of marketing is emerging based on a foundation of psychology. 

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For example, marketing is based on people wanting to change their lives, wants to change the world, or want to start a business. In contrast, marketers who operate under the “one-size-fits-all” framework often try to sell things that aren't useful or relevant to the people they're trying to reach.

If you're looking for an example of how marketers need to move away from one-size-fits-all marketing, look no further than the “Fitness” section of Groupon. It wasn't until Groupon added a “Personal Fitness” section that consumers started taking advantage of the service for personal fitness products, including pilates classes.

People have a limited attention span

People Short Attention Span

If you read anything written by Malcolm Gladwell, chances are you know this about people. He wrote about it in Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, in which he talks about the human brain's limited attention span and the effect it has on our lives. 

But it turns out there's a lot more to the story. As it turns out, humans can only pay attention to about six things at a time. We can't focus on more than six things simultaneously. 

We have a finite amount of mental energy to invest in anything, so we can't process information as quickly as we might like. It's just how the human mind works. 

We can be paying attention to something, but our minds are still trying to process something else. So, unless we're actively choosing to put down whatever we're currently working on in favour of something else, we'll never actually be able to focus on more than six things at a time. That's not to say that we're unable to multitask. We can. We're just unable to multitask very well.

7 – Make It Fun

Another key to the success of a sales message is to keep your message lighthearted. Consumers are bombarded daily with marketing messages for everything from the latest fad diet to the latest gadget. 

Unless you announce the death of a significant company or some world event, your marketing messages should be lighthearted and humorous. That will ensure that consumers remember you and share your message with others.

According to research, people will spend more money if they feel something is at stake—whether a prize or a risk—than if the stakes are minimal. So if you're going to be selling a product or service, make sure the consumer feels there's a point to it. Think of how you can make the experience as fun as possible.

Consumers are more focused on the total experience than the sum of its parts

Brand Experience Human

We live in a world where consumers are more interested in the experience of buying than they are in the items being sold. 

We're bombarded by advertisements and marketing messages every day, but we're more likely to walk into a store with no intention of purchasing to look around. 

This is especially true with younger generations who want to experience everything from the comfort of their home. They don't care about a specific product but are more concerned about how they will get there, the total experience, and how much fun they will have on the journey.

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This is why it's essential to create a sense of urgency in online advertising. I'd rather have someone notice me once or twice daily if you ask me. 

It makes sense: the attention span is shorter. You see many ads popping up on mobile screens while someone's scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. But, it seems like many marketers forget the importance of this principle when creating the total experience for consumers.

8 – Create a Relationship

In consumer psychology, a specific persuasion technique called “building a relationship” is used when people don't want to buy something but are open to trying it out. 

This persuasion technique is effective because you get them to change their minds about you instead of changing their minds. In other words, you make them feel like they already know you, and therefore they trust you. You create a personal connection through social media or email that is more than just your product or service.

Over time, relationships are built by sharing your company's story and educating your audience on your brand. Consumers like to feel like they are part of a larger community. 

When you tell your story, the consumer understands that you are invested in their success and want them to succeed. If you're not doing this already, it's a good time to start.

Companies are no longer built on products; they're built on relationships

According to research done by CX Partners, 73% of shoppers say that product availability and price are the least important factors when deciding whether to purchase from a website. Instead, they're most interested in the company's reputation (63%) and brand (57%). 

So what does this mean for business owners? If you want people to buy from you, you need to build trust and credibility. The best way to do that is by building solid and meaningful relationships with your customers.

Product used to be king, and that's why we build our businesses around it. But product alone isn't enough anymore. 

Today, we build companies around people. We want to solve problems. We want to make lives better. We want to help our customers and do what they need. That's what matters. That's what people are interested in.


In the same way, you must take care of the people who buy from you; you need to also take care of those trying to sell to you. 

This is important because consumers are always looking for an incentive to buy from you, and when they find one, they tend to jump on it. And if they are feeling happy, they are likely to spend money. 

If you're serious about your company's success, you need to change your marketing strategy.

Last update on 2024-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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