Understand Your Customer

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1442 , Published on 02 January 2014

Do you know who your customers are, what do they want, and why they will buy from you?

Think again, if you do not understand your consumer, you are wasting your time and money in sourcing or producing any product or solution and aiming to sell to those whom you do not understand. To make your product sale it is very important to understand your customer. You understand your customer by its behavior.

Image Courtesy: Grant Cochrane, freedigitalphotos.net

Consumer behavior is the set of actions which a consumer takes during the buying cycle of any product. The way consumer gathers and consumes the information, tries the product, purchases and consumes; all these actions are derived from the behavior of the consumer.

The behavior of the consumer is derived by various factors and the behavior of one consumer would be different from another, behavior of one community would be different from another, and behavior of one country, consumers would be different from others. Personal beliefs, cultural values, upbringing, product knowledge, usage knowledge, individual knowledge, personality, reference group influence and there are various other factors, which can define how a consumer behaves in a specific situation.

Consumer research is a part of market research. This can be done by various ways like by observations, analyzing customer buying data, closed group interviews etc. Understanding the consumer behavior in a specific situation is the study of consumer behavior research and this is done on a regular basis. It is done to ensure to keep up the pace with the ever changing needs of the consumer and change of circumstances around the consumer which affects the behavior of consumers.

This research includes the study of what the consumer buys, when do they buy, with whom they buy, how much do they buy, how often do they buy and the most important is to understand “why do they buy”. Studying consumer behavior is about understanding the psychology of the consumer. It is critical to understand, what is the factor behind a specific behavior of the consumer.

This product positioning is totally based on the consumer research. Until it is not known what the customer wants, where they look for product information, from where they prefer to buy and how much they would be ready to pay a product. Having knowledge of the consumer preferences is the key to successful positioning.

In the marketing orientation, we tend to understand what the customer wants. This process of understanding is consumer behavior research. In today’s competitive world every marketer is fighting for their share of the pie. This has changed the traditional 4P’s concept to 4C’s. The product has changed to customer solution, Price to the overall cost of buying and consuming the product, Place to convenience, and finally the promotion has changed in communication.

Those who are keeping the pace with the changing customer and changing the way businesses are done are getting the bigger share of the pie.

This article has been authored by Nishant Manchanda from IIM Indore


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