Assessing customer behaviour is about learning how individuals, groups, or organizations choose, use and recommend products, services and experiences. It is also about understanding the decision-making processes of buyers (to meet their needs and wants), both individually and in groups. It blends elements from psychology, sociology, social anthropology, marketing and economics, and individual demographics (e.g. gender, age and geographical location) and behavioural variables to further understand customers’ needs and wants, and how emotions affect buying behaviour – before and after the sale.
Effective marketing is knowing relevant information about the customer. But exactly who is the customer?
For example, regarding the Les Paul Temptation image on this page – for a B2C retailer (business-to-consumer), the customer could be a male, 50+ year old session jazz musician with enough money for a 2nd or 3rd guitar, and requiring high performance and a unique sound. He might initially window-shop before either coming into a store or visiting an online website to explore a potential purchase decision. Or, he might have been active in a computer user group focused on the local music scene, where a special promotion was offered by the retail establishment, to come visit, and view their collection of Les Paul Guitars (appropriately named “Temptation”). As marketers gain insight about customers, the marketing company can choose to emphasize various attributes to drive changes in the buying process leading to a sale.
The purpose of this learning pathway is to help you to assess customer behaviour in the context of a marketing strategy. You will learn to:
- Analyse customer behaviour and the difference between needs and wants
- Describe the customer decision-making process
- Consider and explain the commonalities and differences of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing