As its name, consumer behavior research is an investigation comprehensively about consumers and their behavior. This research is essential, particularly to how they will reach when receiving various messages.
Marketers should understand how consumers respond, make purchasing decisions, and use their products. By collecting consumer behavior data, it helps them to target better their efforts in creating effective marketing programs.
Information on consumer behavior is vital for the success of marketing strategies. Why? There are at least three reasons:
- Competitive pressure is increasing, especially in the modern digital era.
- The market continues to grow and change
- Consumer’s needs are continually evolving and increasingly specific.
If businesses want to deliver the best value proposition, they must know about their customers in terms of their needs and behavior. Such pieces of information become a valuable input in designing a product, marketing, and production strategies.
How we do consumer behavior research?
There are several options for marketers to gather information about consumer behavior. Marketers usually combine the following two broader methods:
Quantitative research, by using experiments, surveys, and observation techniques. Data are descriptive, empirical, and if taken randomly, we can generalize the findings to a larger population.
Qualitative research, by using in-depth interviews, focus groups, and projection techniques. Data are more subjective and debatable. We cannot generalize the findings to the broader population. Typically, marketers use this technique to launch new promotions.
How to measure
There are, at least, five ways to measure consumer behavior:
- Self-statement. Here, researchers ask consumers directly about their beliefs or feelings about an object, for example, a product.
- Observations that is by monitoring the actions and behavior of consumers.
- Indirect technique. Researchers do not ask directly about certain behaviors but as other related questions. From the data they get, researchers will try to infer consumer behavior. Typically, researchers use this technique to investigate some information, including attitudes, perceptions, preferences, brand image, loyalty, satisfaction, and involvement. Several methods that can researchers use are multi-attribute techniques, association tests, complete sentence tests, storytelling tests.
- Performance of objective tasks. This method assumes that a person will remember facts that support his attitude towards an object.
- Psychological reactions. It requires laboratory experiments to measure the mental conditions of individuals. Some indicators used to measure consumer psychology are nerve pressure, heart rate, body waves, and others. This method is often expensive because of the unavailability of tools. Also, marketers often find it challenging to involve respondents in the research.