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How understanding consumer behaviour can help you drive digital growth

Nick Phillips
Nick Phillips
Digital Strategist
5 minutes to read
How understanding consumer behaviour can help you drive digital growth

Consumer behaviour is an analysis of how consumers make decisions about what to buy, where to buy it, and how to do so. For brands, it’s all about getting in their minds and understanding what makes consumers tick, click and convert.

From the cognitive consumer journey to decision-making heuristics, in this blog, we’ll explore the symbiotic relationship between consumer behaviour and digital marketing, and offer actionable insights to help your brand stand out online.

The cognitive consumer journey

Attention and Perception

In today's digital world, consumers are constantly bombarded with information. In fact, the average person sees up to 10,000 adverts every day. When your audience is exposed to all of that noise on a daily basis, how can your brand cut through?

It starts with putting yourself in your audience’s digital shoes. What motivates them? What are their triggers? Who are they influenced by? What platforms do they use? How do they interact with your brand and others?

Use this knowledge to shape your comms; create compelling copy, use attention-grabbing visuals, and serve it to your audience in a format they like, on the platforms they use. And remember, continuously A/B test the creative; it’ll help you determine what brings the best results and why, so you can get more bang for your buck!

Memory and Recognition

Did you know, 88% of online customers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience?

Yet, at Enjoy, we’ve seen a huge disparity between the budget brands spend on marketing activity intended to bring traffic to a website, versus the investment in the overall digital experience itself.

Your website is your digital shop window to the world, and to make your brand memorable, you need to offer a memorable experience to go with it.

Creating a simple and seamless digital experience; making your website or app easy-to-use; creating useful content; personalising it and ensuring a never-ending customer experience — these are some of the many ways to build a memorable digital experience and keep customers coming back.

Emotional Influences on Decision-Making

Emotional Resonance in Marketing

Consumer decisions are profoundly influenced by emotions. In fact, research suggests that the emotional area of the brain can process sensory information 20% faster than the cognitive area.

Crafting emotionally charged marketing campaigns can allow you to connect with your audience on a deeper level and accelerate the decision-making phase.

The art of storytelling can be especially powerful here, helping you captivate attention and create emotional connections with your audience. With 92% of consumers wanting to see ads that feel like a story, more and more, we’re seeing brands — from Cadburys to Dove — successfully employ storytelling across their digital channel mix. If you’re not doing this already, why not give it a go?

The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

‘The Fear of Missing Out’ was abbreviated to ‘FOMO’ in the early noughties, and with 69% of millennials reported to experience the FOMO, many brands are leaning into this dynamic to drive greater engagement online.

You can leverage FOMO by creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity in campaigns — whether that’s through offering limited-time discounts, brand activations, or simply showing stock availability on your website, if you’re not tapping into FOMO, then you may be the one missing out!

Social Influences on Consumer Behavior

The Bandwagon Effect

While social proofing relies on showcasing endorsements, testimonials, reviews and more to build trust in a product or service, the bandwagon effect capitalises on the tendency of people to follow the flock.

There are several ways your business can trigger the bandwagon effect, from influencer collaborations to loyalty programmes and user-generated-content. But ultimately it comes down to visibility; the more shoppers see your brand, the easier it will be for them to recognise it and therefore, the more popular they will perceive it. As the perception of popularity increases, the bandwagon effect strengthens, leading to a snowball in sales.

Decision-Making Heuristics

Cognitive Biases in Marketing

Consumers are susceptible to a range of cognitive biases that impact their decision-making processes. Take anchoring bias for example. Our first reference point often becomes an "anchor" when making decisions. And because we give more weight to this initial information than to later information, our final decision may not be as rational or beneficial as it could be.

But how does this link in with your marketing efforts? One common approach is to present the original prices for a product or service on a website alongside discounted ones. This can influence perceptions of value and nudge purchasing decisions in your favour.

As marketers, it’s key we learn about our audience, how they think and what their biases are, so that we can marry out marketing with their behaviour. And there are so many ways to do this, from developing personas and customer surveys to social listening, A/B testing and more.

Personalisation and Customisation

The Power of Personalisation

Did you know, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide personalised offers and recommendations? This stat is testament to the power of personalisation in the digital space.

But ultimately it all comes down to relevancy. One of the reasons Google has become the leading search engine provider is because their algorithms prioritise relevance, meaning users are more likely to find the information they’re looking for, more quickly.

In short, if your brand continually aligns its messaging with the needs of your audience, you’ll build more engagement, trust, and in turn, a healthier bottom-line.

And, at a time where consumers have higher expectations than ever before when it comes to brand interactions online — personalisation offers a great opportunity for your business to stand out from the online crowd.

The top takeaway

Understanding consumer behaviour is key for marketers seeking to create impactful and resonant campaigns.

By dissecting the cognitive journey, and learning about the emotional influences, social factors, and decision-making heuristics of your audience, you’ll glean additional insights to help you shape your strategy for success.

In a digital landscape that’s always changing, this consumer-centric approach should remain the constant; making sure your marketing is always primed around their behaviours, wants and needs.

Let’s Enjoy your business

Enjoy is an award-winning digital experience and performance agency. And it’s our mission to transform and grow brands digitally, ethically and sustainably, and to forever challenge expectations about what digital can deliver.

At Enjoy, we don’t put our faith in guesswork. Instead, we put insight behind every action; our team of digital strategists use the 4 C’s framework (Category, Consumer, Culture, Context) to help define your business, audience and marketplace in unprecedented detail, so that together, we can deliver game-changing growth.

Looking to shape your digital strategy? Get in touch today!

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