How much of your consumer marketing strategy is being left to chance? In this session for retail marketing leaders, our experts share how to back up your targeting and conversion tactics with a robust understanding of audience behaviour.

With technological advancements, shifts in buying preferences, and an increasing need for personalisation - changes in consumer habits are here to stay, but which are worth tracking?

In our latest workshop, ‘Investing in your Customers – Understanding Buying Behaviours in Retail’, our experts shared how audience behaviour has changed in retail, the challenges brands are facing in engaging their audience, and the different tools, projects, and tactics available for getting to grips with your customers.

Our experts:

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In this Article:

  • The changing nature of consumer behaviour and buying decisions
  • Investing in audience research – the options available for your resource
  • Real-life examples of brands leveraging their consumer behaviour data
  • Key takeaways and considerations when seeking external support


The changing nature of consumer behaviour and buying decisions

Consumer behaviour has witnessed a major shift over the past few years, with a change in values, attitudes, and overall purchasing decisions.

This includes a 67% increase in customers’ demand for brands to offer a personalised experience, a rising use of social media during the consideration stage, and a surge in environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical reasoning before brand engagement.

Learn How to Improve your Customer Journeys for Better Conversion

From a psychological perspective, Sue argues, “the real drive behind consumer behaviour is our underlying desire for simplicity, whether we acknowledge that or not.”

She adds, “nowadays, we’re absolutely overwhelmed with choice on a daily basis, with new brands coming out, new technologies and new ways to do things – we’re just drowning in those options, and so our desire is driven by shortcuts to help us make those decisions.”

Sue shares three ways retail businesses can help narrow down the choice available to consumers, from a meta trend perspective:

Personalisation and Customisation

“We don’t get up in any morning without receiving an email that advertises an item of clothing we should buy or a restaurant we should visit based on our purchase history, and that’s exactly what we want as consumers.

The more we can do as brands to make those decisions easier for customers, the better.”

Sue Benson, Founder & Managing Director at The Behaviours Agency on Consumer Behaviour

Sustainability and Ethical Consumption

“Consumers look for brands that represent them and their values, that’s why a sustainable agenda should be on every marketeer’s playbook. It enables consumers to navigate different brands.

But also, it’s now stopping consumers from buying, which is a growing trend, as we have the emergence of the rent economy and reuse or recycle economy.”

Read TBA’s recent report on the Top Trends Driving Consumer Behaviour

Social Commerce

“The rising social commerce, influencer, and de-influencer world is fundamentally based on one of the founding principles of behavioural sciencesocial norms.

We have a desire and motivation to conform, and those social platforms allow us to do that, they give us the reassurance and representation that we’re looking for. Therefore, they will continue to grow because they enable consumers to choose in a successful and safe way.”

Quick Read: Boosting your Strategy with Comms, UX, and Research

Investing in audience research – the options available for your resource

The importance of gaining a stronger understanding of your audience has inevitably heightened, but with limited budget and resource along with ever-evolving consumer preferences, finding the right approach for your audience research project can often prove to be difficult.

Our experts share a few of the routes available for both small to larger business looking to gain a better audience understanding:


Real-life examples of brands leveraging their consumer behaviour data

The power of focus groups

Eleanor says, “we’ve worked with a client in the past, who were successfully reaching their core target audience, yet there was a lack of understanding around the other audiences they could be reaching.

So, we set about conducting focus groups to gain a greater understanding of why people weren't buying from them and then promoting our client’s new offerings to pique their interest.

From this we found that, the messaging needs to change, but equally, we needed to be showing up in the places where these audiences were, so it was very much a change in the messaging strategy as well as a change in the type of media strategy.”

Article by CreativeRace: ‘Behavioural Nudges’ to use in your Marketing

Putting customer data to use

Rob highlights, “when planning the first TV ad for a high-end fitted furniture client of ours, we did a lot of research behind who their customers were through the existing customer records they had.

This allowed us to think of ways of making the content of the TV ad more relatable to their target audience, and more specifically who should be doing the voiceover for the ad – Is it male or female? Is it middle-aged? Is it accent neutral? Is it regionally targeted?

The data gave us a profile of the kind of person that they needed to appeal to in terms of the typical consumer that books an appointment and results in a sale – we then matched the voice to the profile of that person.”

View our Round-up: 5 Ways to Get More from your Marketing Data

Key takeaways and considerations when seeking external support

Eleanor advises, “no question is a silly question – if you want to start an audience research project, but you're not entirely sure where to begin, it's about reaching out and asking those questions in the first place.

Also, making sure that you are starting that journey with an open mind, because it might be that the traditional methods that tend to cost more, could be something that we could do on a smaller scale, but still gets you the right information at the right time.”

Discover 5 Tangible Ways to Build Customer Experience into your Strategy

Sue says, “in terms of agency-client partnerships, agencies bring incredible value, regardless of which agency it is, we come with an area of expertise and different category perspectives.”

As a final key takeaway, Rob adds, “what are you doing with your data? whether that is behavioural data, whether that's audience profile data, or sales data – we’ve got no shortage of it.

But are you just measuring your marketing performance or are you taking some actionable insights to see whether it's time to do one of those behavioural research pieces.”

If you're investing in your consumer marketing strategy this year, make sure you're getting the most from your time. GO! offer cost-free agency recommendations, pitch management, and more - get in touch to get started.

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