The consumer behavior is a mystery to many marketers, and the challenge of many is to decipher it.
Knowing about consumer behavior is of utmost importance to any business that craves effective strategies.
It directly influences your way of doing business and your strategies for achieving your goals.
After all, it is the consumer who has the final say and without it, companies would not exist.
And it is not by magic that consumers come to this final word, it is influenced by several factors that reflect their behavior in the market.
For any self-respecting company, it is essential to understand how, when, where and why the consumer acts in certain ways in the market and even outside of it.
And that’s what we’ll talk about in this post.
You will learn below what consumer behavior is and the key factors that influence it.
What is consumer behavior?
Consumer behavior refers to the perceptions, actions and motivations that consumers have about the market that induce them to buy a product / service.
There are several studies that seek to define some patterns and steps of the consumer buying journey so that companies understand them and can apply their strategies based on consumer behavior.
The study maker aims to understand consumers to adapt to their criteria and be able to reach them more efficiently.
They are taken into consideration in the study from psychological to social factors, all based on analytical data and relevant information.
This is one way to understand the buying decision process and everything a consumer takes into consideration along the buying journey.
How important is it for companies?
With the rise of web 2.0, the interactive web , and hence digital marketing , the job market has never been the same.
Communication has become multilateral and consumers have taken a more active role in relation to companies.
All of this has completely changed the way consumers behave throughout the buying decision process.
This is due to the new media and the many digital platforms and tools that have emerged for marketing.
Consumers have become more demanding overall because they have so many possibilities and now have more control over what they want to see or not about advertising.
Understanding your behavior has become essential for companies that practice marketing.
But the concept is not new. Understanding consumer behavior in the marketing process has always been a challenge for companies.
By knowing the motivations of consumers, how and why they buy your products, it is possible to please them more easily and to know the right time to act and how to act.
It is no use making a marketing strategy for a product, for example, not knowing if consumers really were interested in it.
Or, serve ads to places where your audience does not attend and would not be impacted.
Having an information base is essential so that your marketing strategies are not shot in the dark and more assertive .
Before we talk about the factors influencing consumer behavior, it is important that you learn more about consumer evolution until you reach your current state.
Thus it is possible to understand the context, facilitating the understanding of consumer behavior .
Consumer developments: from 1.0 to 4.0
Consumer 4.0 is a new concept in the market that seeks to describe the main characteristics and behaviors of today’s consumers.
Consumer evolution can be divided, as can marketing evolution itself, into four stages.
It has evolved over the years due to many factors, from cultural and social to technological, economic and psychological.
One of these factors of greatest influence was the technological one. It permanently impacted the market and continues to impact.
Let’s talk a little more about each of these stages. Check it out below.
Consumer 1.0 : Consumers at this stage still didn’t care much about which companies and brands sell the products, but about the products / services themselves.
It all depended on the functionality of the product and whether it could facilitate survival in any way.
They should be practical and assist in everyday activities, without the need for other features, unless they attribute new features to them.
That is, the focus was on what the product really did in practice, on its functions.
It was not necessary for companies to segment the public, as their products met basic needs and focused on key functions for consumers to handle their daily lives more easily.
Consumer 2.0 : Consumers at this stage already had more possibilities at their disposal for more diversified products and services.
The new techniques and tools allowed for less costly processes to produce the products and, therefore, the competition of some grew a lot.
To be prominent in the market and increase sales, companies had to think about differentials for their products .
Consumers then started demanding more from companies and valued other product features such as design and durability .
Consumer 3.0 : This consumer is newer and has features close to what we see today.
The requirements at this stage go beyond the product itself and the material characteristics .
Consumers at this stage want to feel that they belong to something bigger, a cause when consuming.
Your feelings and emotions are determining factors in buying, and the differential is the brands that assign emotional values to their products and the brand itself.
Promoting the material characteristics of a product is not enough, it is necessary to identify it in a broader context that goes beyond the body and reaches the minds of consumers.
Consumer 4.0 : This consumer is considered a complement to 3.0, but with the added technological influence.
Consumers are now connected and use the digital environment for various daily activities that previously required more time.
Accustomed to this new reality, they demand, in addition to respect for their values, intimacy with companies and social responsibility, faster and more effective solutions.
They not only buy the product, but an incredible experience that only the integration between the physical and digital media can offer.
Let’s now highlight some key factors that can influence consumer behavior.
Factors that influence consumer behavior
Family, friends, habits, hobbies , in short, are just some of the factors that influence us in the purchase decision.
Let’s talk now about some aspects that encompass most of the factors influencing consumer behavior.
We separated them into five: social, cultural, demographic, psychological and technological aspects .
Stay with us to find out more!
Social aspects refer to the influence of patterns of society and social groups .
Our behavior as a consumer is greatly influenced by the social environment in which we operate.
When we have a well-established group of friends, we tend to follow the same preferences for clothing, games, and various other products and services.
This is because we receive recommendations and feel the need to identify with the group to be part of it.
In addition, the family is also a factor of great influence.
The opinions we have about other products or services are generally based on what our family thinks about them.
The family we consult with the most to learn more about a product and its effectiveness.
Another very strong influencing factor that has been growing a lot in recent years is the influencers .
That is, famous people who set standards and whom others want to look like.
This is especially true with the rise of social networks such as YouTube and Instagram, where influencers give their opinion freely about brands and serve as a reference in many cases.
Cultural aspects concern various factors that have influenced us since childhood.
Our values, beliefs, customs and habits are directly influenced by culture.
To understand the behavior of a particular consumer, it is important to know which subculture it belongs to and to understand it.
Some symbols we find beautiful may be offensive to other cultures. So this is one thing you should be very careful about.
One thing many marketers do to win subcultures is to represent them in their ads.
This helps in identifying with your brand and can increase your results.
Demographics are also essential for understanding consumer behavior.
Factors such as age, life cycle, economic conditions and occupation also define consumer behavior.
Younger people are generally more active in the market and tend to buy more products / services, for example.
The position you hold may limit some actions in the market due to salary.
Their economic conditions also greatly influence this aspect.
It is therefore important that you know your persona’s profile and know your limitations and preferences according to data.
The most subjective issues also come into play when we talk about consumer behavior.
Consumer psychology is very broad and involves many aspects.
The main ones are: motivation, perception, personality, lifestyle and attitudes .
What motivates us to buy something? Social status, taste, entertainment, finally, varies from person to person.
Is your audience often more logical, emotional, innovative, adventurous? There are several personalities that a person can have. You must identify which one best matches your general audience.
We have already talked a bit about the technological influences when introducing consumer 4.0.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this aspect now.
With the growth of social networks and other online platforms, the way we interact with other brands has completely changed.
It is now possible to simply give a negative opinion about a company on sites like Reclame Aqui and have a significant impact on the market.
Purchases, comparisons and surveys are facilitated by digital media and streamline the entire pre and post sales process of consumers.
All of this makes people demand more from marketers who, if they don’t provide a good experience, easily lose a customer due to the many alternatives available in the market.
It is essential to understand not only the needs and wants of consumers, but how they manifest themselves in their behavior, so that you can deliver the best and have great results for your business.
Purchase Decision Process
The process through which a consumer goes through the purchase decision can be divided into 4 steps.
It is important that you are present at each of these steps to guide a potential customer and make them a customer.
The steps are: recognition, research, comparison and own purchase decision .
First, the consumer recognizes some problem they have based on their needs and wants .
You need to encourage this recognition for the consumer to do something about it.
There are several ways to do this. The content marketing is one of the strategies that consider this aspect and seeks to be present throughout the decision process.
After recognizing your problem, the consumer seeks more information on how to best solve it.
That is, he does a search , which can be on the internet, with family, friends and various other means.
After gathering the necessary information, the consumer organizes it and compares the options offered in the market, to know what would be the best alternative to solve your problem.
Finally, the consumer comes to the buying decision , which can be either impulse or planned – it depends on the consumer profile situation.
It can be reaffirmed that consumer behavior is complex and involves several aspects that must be analyzed.
Successful companies understand this behavior and make their strategies based on it.
This way you can have effective and complete strategies based on solid data.