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At first glance, it may seem easy enough to make a sale to a prospective customer. After all, you have something that they need or want, and you expect them to, therefore, make a purchase. You may think that you simply need to create a marketing campaign that shows off your product’s key features.

However, before you begin marketing for your business, you need to analyze the buying process for your specific target audience in greater detail. When you understand their specific motivation for considering your product and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly, you can expect great results.

The Buying Process

To build an effective marketing campaign, you need to highlight your product’s selling points and features. However, you also need to be aware of the consumer’s needs and desires. There are five stages of the decision-making process that most buyers will go through.

  • Problem Recognition: The consumer determines that he or she has a specific problem that your product could help them with.
  • Information Search: The consumer spends time learning as much as possible about your product to determine if it is an effective solution.
  • Evaluation of Alternatives: Many consumers will not make a hasty buying decision without comparing your product against at least a couple of the alternatives.
  • The Purchase: When the consumer makes a buying decision, he or she will usually act on it rather quickly. However, some will delay this step because they are waiting for a better price or are unsure about specific features or other factors related to your product.
  • Post-Purchase Behavior: Consumers typically will analyze the product after they have used it for at least a short period of time. By doing so, a decision about how effective the product is will be made.

Deciding to Buy

There are two main types of buying decisions: short-term and long-term decisions. Both of these decision-making strategies depend on what you’re selling. Learning more about them and adapting them to the product or service you’re offering can help you attract more customers.

Short-term Decisions

A short-term decision is usually associated with smaller and often cheaper items. These are either impulse purchases or routine purchases.

  • Impulse Purchase: Impulse purchases are usually for cheaper or smaller items, such as buying a candy bar at the checkout stand at the grocery store. Little or no thought is given to the purchase.

Even though impulse purchases mostly take place in store, you can tempt the customers to buy impulsively online, as well. For example, if you sell clothes, you can offer accessories that go well with the chosen outfit. The trick is to create a very straightforward and streamlined shopping experience. After all, if they have to jump through hoops to make the purchase, the urge to impulsively buy may be gone.

  • Routine Purchase: There are many products that consumers buy regularly without thinking about them. These may be essential items, such as toothpaste or toilet paper, or they could be their favorite foods. In many cases, these are products that the consumer has used in the past and has had great experiences with and they stay loyal to the brand.

However, if your product is new, you can’t rely on loyalty: you first need to attract your competition’s customer. In order to do that, you once again need to understand the target audience, so you can approach marketing in different ways. For example, you can ask customers to review your product online and share the positive experiences on your social media profiles. People are more likely to buy something that others have tested and liked. You can also offer coupons or discounts to encourage an initial purchase. Once a customer tries your product, they may decide to continue using it.

Long-Term Decisions

If you offer more expensive products, like electronics or cars, or if you’re in the real estate industry, you shouldn’t expect your customers to make quick decisions. They may spend weeks or even months analyzing the market and exploring alternatives before making a purchase.

Long-term decisions are usually based on products that could potentially impact a person’s budget or lifestyle. Part of the research process includes reading reviews, looking at consumer ratings and even asking friends for recommendations.

Some consumers need a financial incentive to get off the fence and to make a buying decision. For example, they may need a great discount for a new TV. On the other hand, real estate agents will have more success if they research the demographics of their target audience.

For instance, if you want to attract millennials, you should be aware that they may have limited budgets in comparison to older real estate buyers. The millennial generation may also prefer homes that have more modern features or finishes, electronic or automated features and more. Remember that, for them, the visual factor plays a great role in the decision-making process: the house you’re showing needs to be well-decorated, from the inside as well as the outside.

To Conclude…

As you can see, regardless of what you are selling, effective marketing is about more than just highlighting your products’ features and benefits. Consumer behavior should also be a focal point when crafting a new marketing campaign. When you understand consumer behavior, you can more effectively craft an excellent marketing campaign that produces amazing results.

About the Author:

Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88


 
 
 

 
 

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