Brands that go about their marketing strategies without precise consumer behavior intel are driving their car on three wheels. With the availability of today’s social media tools, there’s no reason not to know your audience intimately.
That’s not to say brands are operating their marketing departments with zero consumer intel; however, many are using inadequate consumer behavior data and hoping for the best. That doesn’t work if you want to compete with the top brands in your industry.
To make your marketing efforts score direct hits with your audience, your marketing plan should examine consumer behavior using advanced social listening tools. Not only that, but your tools should also deliver precise and actionable results from your consumer intelligence so you can create poignant messaging that resonates.
We’ll explore what that looks like here with a focus on:
- The importance of understanding consumer behavior
- Analyzing consumer behavior
- Using consumer behavior intel in your marketing plan
If you’re clinging on to any remnants of the way consumers used to act, it’s high time you let that go. Consumer behavior isn’t done shifting – and never will be – as these stats suggest:
- So far during the pandemic, nearly one-fifth of the US population has adopted a new pet. 24% of them were already pet owners.
- 43% of consumers shop while lying in bed, while another 20% admit to shopping in the bathroom.
- Brand loyalty has been dealt another blow due to the pandemic as 36% of consumers have tried a new brand in place of their usual purchase, and 73% intend to add new brands into their shopping routine.
Let’s pop the hood and look at why you should continually remap your consumer behavior understanding.
Understanding Consumer Behavior
We’re not out of the woods with this pandemic, apparently, and consumer behavior has constantly shifted throughout. Keeping tabs on how consumers are reacting is critical since what worked last month with your messaging is in danger of falling flat this month in light of new information.
Who knows? This could be the story of doing business for the foreseeable future. While we all hope that it’s not, it’s our job as marketers to read the room and provide prompt solutions.
Consumer behavior is changing daily with the influx of new information. Consumers got comfortable for a minute with the vaccine rollout, and masks started to disappear. Now, the Delta variant is causing consumers to rethink their behavior yet again.
As marketers, we can either curse the sky or adjust our messaging to meet our consumers where they are. Actually, the sooner you adapt to changing along with consumer behavior, the better. Why is that? Because while your competitors are stomping their feet, you can adjust your message and stay on the forefront of change. After all, marketing is all about speaking to the times we live in. And you can be the best at it.
And if you get knee-deep in social listening with your consumers, you’ll quickly see they are airing their needs and wants, which is valuable to know regardless. But if you read between the lines, you’ll see that fundamentally, they’re looking for solutions. That’s where you come in with products and service ideas (and marketing direction, if you’re an agency) informed by a consumer analysis that focuses on consistent discovery through monitoring real-time audience conversations.
Consumers are airing their frustrations; and, on an individual basis, lack the ability to get brands’ attention. And that’s where you can swoop in on the back of your social listening tools to understand the conversation and adjust your marketing messaging to meet consumer need.
Yeah, that sounds cheesy, perhaps, but if you beat your competitors to the punch – a dollar is a dollar. You win – and so do your customers.
Targeting Consumer Behavior Through Analysis
So, how do you engage with consumers and begin to shift the narrative within your brand or marketing department? Yes, it can be a challenging course of action, especially when your colleagues have settled into a comfortable routine.
However, an actionable social media analysis not only gets the ball rolling in the right direction but also covers your back with historical data to monitor your insights into the future and support your decision-making. And this helps you maintain relevancy as conversations shift, so your messaging is always timely.
For example, here’s a look at how Robinhood’s social media discussion changed almost overnight back in late January. Consumer opinion can shift on a dime.
Let’s pretend an onion represents your audience. While your marketing plan may currently shy away from cutting into your audience, understanding the strata of consumer behavior within allows you to build your marketing strategy with confidence – and variety. The spice of life.
As consumer behavior shifts, that means using a social media analysis to update your understanding of authors, demographics, domains, language, geo locations, and sentiment drivers, etc. Doing so allows you to stay on top of the conversational building blocks within your space.
So, let’s say your brand provides pet products. Not only would you want to use a social media analysis to uncover emerging trends, but you’d also want to continually monitor consumer behavior to spot changes that you can address with your marketing message.
For instance, here’s a word cloud of the consumer behaviors being expressed on social media about new pets over the past month. Knowing how consumers are ramping up adoption, this type of data allows you to understand pain points consumers are undergoing that you can address and beat the competition.
Consumer Behavior Intel & Your Marketing Plan
No matter what marketing endeavor your brand is involved in, a social media analysis keeps you informed about how your target audience is reacting. It also gives you a crucial understanding of the context that is stimulating their decision-making.
To carry on with the market interested in pets, breaking your market research down to reflect the needs and wants of your specific audience is well within your grasp with the right social listening tools.
From there, you can create messaging that gets directly to the point. For instance, our social media analysis shows growing concern over returning pets to shelters as people go back to work. If that’s an area relevant to your audience, you can adjust your messaging to shine a light on the narrative.
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When you’ve isolated your custom audience, you can get right into their specific needs and wants, unencumbered by extraneous data from consumers you want to exclude from your marketing. That’s what separates great marketing from the drone consumers are accustomed to.
For example, we created a dashboard to better understand millennial pet owners’ interests and professions.
Though this is one way of slicing your data to target a portion of your market, it shows us where we can drill down with our marketing and push our “world’s best doggy biscuits” or find pinpoint hashtags that are making the rounds.
And it doesn’t matter whether we’re targeting your email list, influencer marketing, or social media – the type of intel on consumer behavior we gain from a targeted social media analysis allows us to focus on the consumers whose behavior most aligns with our message – and vice versa.
That being the case, we’re not throwing seeds out onto infertile ground but planting them diligently where conditions are most conducive to growth.
Another reason that using a social listening analysis to uncover consumer behavior is beneficial to your marketing efforts is that it allows you to better personalize your marketing message. Consumers are growing increasingly receptive to personalized marketing, and this is another way in which you position your brand and make your consumers feel “seen.”
And what that means is you’re positioning your marketing plan to reach your audience interested in anime, comics, and movies or the educators, homemakers, and social service workers most likely to engage with your brand.
Overall, your marketing message should be built on continual analysis of consumer behavior, or you’re bound to miss the mark as attitudes shift. Reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how consumer behavior analysis can put your marketing game on the cutting edge!