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IT’S YOUR BUSINESS: Understanding human behaviour gives insight in creating strategies

What’s your marketing strategy? ADOBE STOCK IMAGE


Special to the Record

In marketing today the consumer is the number one priority.

As a result, all marketing decisions should be based on your analysis of your customers’ behaviour. You need to understand why they behave in certain ways to your product or service category.

Now that we are almost through this pandemic, consumers are going to move towards more traditional behaviour that was somewhat put on hold as they grappled with the changes forced on everyone during these trying times.

While health and safety will remain important, consumers will gravitate to satisfying social needs such as family, friendship, self-esteem and self-actualization or the realization of one’s full potential.

These concepts are nothing new as they have been around for decades. Psychologist Abraham Maslow probably defined these needs best when he created his hierarchy of needs to explain human motivation. He divided them into five categories… physiological needs such as food and shelter, safety and security, love and belonging and as mentioned above self-actualization which according to him is the pinnacle of a person’s quest for fulfillment.

It is these traits of human behaviour that should be taken into consideration when planning any kind of marketing strategy or communication. These are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as there are other traits that revolve around the decision making process such as perception.

According to some studies, there are three different perceptual processes: selective attention, selective distortion and selective retention. In selective retention people pay attention to those things which are of interest only to them. On the other hand, selective distortion focuses on information that falls in line with their beliefs. We see this today in algorithms that are designed to provide digital users with info based on their interests in searches for information.

The third, selective retention is when consumers remember only information that would be useful to them and forget anything else that is not relevant.

Other aspects that come into play is the knowledge of who is making the ultimate buying decision and who is it that may be influencing that decision. In many cases it is these influencers who play a major role in the decision-making process as is evidenced by the sheer number of them who have proliferated on the internet over the past few years.

Then of course there are the beliefs and attitudes an individual may have towards a certain product or service. These are the things that need to be understood when developing a brand image that will appeal to those special interests.

The bottom line is that human behaviour has not changed for generations. Understanding how it relates to your customers is the key to developing marketing strategies that will bring you success.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email