Consumer Psychology: Getting inside of your Customer’s Minds

Consumer Psychology

Ever wonder why you bought this magazine? Why did you spend eight Dollars even if you are not really satisfied after reading it? You didn’t even think about buying something to read before you came into this supermarket. So why did you make this buying decision?

These questions are analysed and answered by every successful company out there. As a business person, you know that it is important for marketers all over the world to try to understand your buying behaviour in order to influence it. However, most of the time you do not actively perceive these efforts and are taken in by them.

Probably your company is also using consumer psychology for marketing, so you are familiar with some parts of it. Yet, it is a fast-changing business field. Especially in the age of digitalization, marketers need to thoroughly study the psychology of online consumers as well as offline consumers.

So if you are interested in the current practices and future developments of consumer psychology, you need to read this article.

Consumer psychology as a basis for any marketing activity

Consumer psychology – also known as consumer behaviour – is the study of why people buy products or services. It is mostly practiced by marketing departments or specialized agencies, which are well educated in this type of psychology.

The business field put focus on several questions: Where do customers buy our products? When and how do they buy it? And most importantly:

Why do they buy it?

Maybe you are missing the question of who buys the product. Buyer personas are of course the basis for every further marketing analysis, but it is rather seen as part of target group exploration instead of consumer psychology.

Question Mark, Survey

Being aware of the answers to all these questions, marketers can better adjust their marketing campaigns so that they can ensure higher conversion rates. If executives understand better how to approach their target group, marketing activities can be conducted more focused and will therefore need fewer resources for higher outcomes.

How do consumer psychologists get their information?

Primary research is the most important term in consumer psychology. Consultants and employees get their information from customers and target groups themselves. Primary research includes field research, desk research, online/offline surveys, observation, experiments and many other sources.

Customers do not always perceive research methods. Most of the time, unconscious observations are more valid than those that are perceived by customers because people are likely to act differently when they feel monitored.

This behaviour is called the Hawthorne effect. People may be motivated to please the experimenter or researcher, at least if it does not conflict with any other motive. But in order to fully understand customers’ psychology, researchers need to find out what consumers even don’t recognize themselves.

Moreover, in times of digitalization, the best way to observe online customers is by using Google Analytics. This powerful tool can track virtually every click a customer does. Moreover, customer reviews and keyword research can give consumer psychologists deeper insights into the customer’s wants and needs.

Neuromarketing – the modern concept of consumer psychology

Neuromarketing is a relatively new concept and connects consumer behaviour with neuroscience by applying medical methods from neuroscience in the field of marketing. Instead of replacing consumer psychology, it is rather an addition to it with the goal to better understand brain activity when it comes to consumer behaviour.

Neuromarketing is currently used in six major fields: Branding, product design and innovation, advertising and commercial effectiveness, entertainment effectiveness, online experiences and decision making.

An experiment for online experiments for example recently measured advertising effectiveness in Travel 2.0 websites through eye-tracking technology. They found out that ads with a simple interface may earn more user attention than others. This outcome can perfectly be used by website marketers who design those ads. They are better off designing an ad with a simple interface.

Another example in the field of commercial effectiveness: We all know that video content is on the rise. Nevertheless, a neuromarketing study showed that audio content may have the potential to create stronger connections with consumers, even if their stated preference is video content. The experiment showed that test persons’ brains reacted stronger and more emotional on audio than on video content.

However, test persons told that video content had more impact. Consequently, people even don’t know themselves what is going on in their brains.

Neuromarketing can help consumer psychologists dig deeper into customers’ minds. Thanks to the newest medical technology, marketers can even better assess buying behaviour and adapt their marketing strategy accordingly.

So what do you think about consumer psychology? Is it developing in the right direction? Or would you say neuromarketing is a violation of privacy? Maybe it is a digital trend that will drive your business success in 2020 and beyond. We are highly interested in your opinions and would love to discuss this topic at the next Global Female Leaders summit.

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