Understanding Consumer Behavior

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Consumers are powerfully influenced by their emotions and environmental cues, as well as by the differences in options that are presented to them. By becoming more aware of these biases, we can develop a better pattern of thinking and more effective marketing.1

Consumer behavior refers to the study of what causes individuals and organizations to purchase certain products and support certain brands. This area of study focuses primarily on behavior, motivations, and psychology.2 Understanding different consumer behavior can be a powerful tool.

In marketing, understanding these factors that influence consumer behavior provides us with a more complete view into the mind of the customer. As you learn more about what influences decisions for your particular target segment, product category, brand, and competitive set, you can use these influencing factors to your advantage. 

What you say to customers, the words you use, the people who say them, and the images they evoke, these things can link back to that web of influencing factors at work in a purchaser’s mind.3 Great marketing uses these connections powerfully and effectively to win over the hearts and minds of customers. We’ve broken down these influencing factors into four sets to help further understand what dictates consumer behavior. 

Situational Factors

These are the factors pertaining to the consumer’s level of involvement in a buying task and the market offerings that are available. Situational factors influencing customers are external factors usually outside of the control of marketers, manufacturers, and, sometimes even retailers. 

In general, the situation affects how consumers encounter and interact with a product, informing their opinion at that moment in time. Just like the pricing, advertising, quality, and reputation of any given product, situational factors can hold sway over purchase behavior.4

Personal Factors

Personal factors are individual characteristics and traits such as age, life stage, economic situation, and personality. Personal factors include audience demographics, such as age, culture, profession, age, and background, and play major roles in forming consumers’ interests and opinions.

The audience demographic marker of economic status can be a strong influencer in consumer decisions.3 Not surprisingly, people in different income brackets buy different types of products, shop in very different ways, and look for different qualities.

Many designer clothing shops, for example, aim their marketing at higher-income shoppers.3 It’s important to take personal factors into account when planning marketing for your practice so you are reaching the right audience. 

Psychological Factors

The different factors related to your consumer’s motivation, learning, socialization, attitudes, and beliefs are all psychological factors. The way a person responds to a marketing campaign depends largely on their own personal perceptions, attitudes, and general view of life.

As you learn more about what influences decisions for your particular target segment, product category, brand, and competitive set, you can use these influencing factors to your advantage.

𝗦𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘀
Social factors pertain to the influence of culture, social class, family, and reference groups. A person’s social groups affect how they shop. Their income, education level, and social class influence their 𝗯𝘂𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗯𝗲𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗿𝘀. It is worth noting that for marketing in any location it is essential to develop a strong understanding of the local culture and its accompanying beliefs, values, and customs.
Without an understanding of the social factor of culture, marketers are not really even speaking the right language to the consumers they want to target. Even if the words, grammar, and pronunciation are correct, the meaning will be off.³

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Once you understand these influencing factors behind consumer behavior, you can apply this knowledge in a way that improves your marketing’s effectiveness and results. Want help understanding consumer behavior and how to improve your marketing for your hearing practice? Request a consultation with the experts at Beeman today!

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Sources: 1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201712/10-factors-influence-your-purchase-decisions 2. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10151-how-to-influence-consumer-decisions.html 3. https://biz.libretexts.org/Courses/Sacramento_City_College/ENTR_356%3A_Bootstrap_Marketing_for_Entrepreneurs/03%3A_Chapter_3/3.04%3A_Factors_Influencing_Consumer_Decisions#:~:text=Many%20different%20factors%20can%20influence,%2C%20motivations%2C%20and%20economic%20status 4. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/theories-situational-factors-influence-customers-78765.html