Market research can assist behavioral predictions

SEPTEMBER 9, 2011 – Doing your homework before diving into an advertising campaign may be a primary factor in the level of success you see for your efforts. Conducting market research and analyzing customers’ purchasing decisions can inform a company as it works to design a new promotional strategy or considers new goods to add to its product line.

According to BtoB magazine, companies can use data they already have, such as a customer database, to achieve new knowledge for the sales teams. Behavior marketing can help companies navigate the “multiple decision-makers at multiple levels within an organization,” and give them a better understanding of what consumers want and need, the news source reports.

“Web behaviors can be a signal for a personal role,” Ruth P. Stevens, president of eMarketing Strategy, told the news source. “Everyone is talking about behavioral indicators, and they’re starting to be used as lead-qualifying characteristics; but it’s harder than it looks.”

One aspect of this is relying less on an executive’s title and focusing more on what they do within the company, as well as their behavior online and their past purchasing decisions. From there, salespeople can start “business-to-person” marketing and offer the goods or services that are most relevant to an individual client, according to the magazine.

Technology has also made leaps and bounds when it comes to tracking consumers’ behaviors. Laurie Sullivan, writing for MediaPost, notes that some companies can now incorporate a television viewer’s “location, channel surfing activity and more” when deciding what ads to air. She points to software from MStar and Channel Island, which sends profile information to network operators.

As Business Insider reports, organizations are also tapping smartphones to get more insight into consumer behavior. Contributor Michael Griffin writes that marketers may soon be able to combine data on offline purchasing decisions with online marketing, thanks in large part to near field communication and mobile payment initiatives. This could open a vast amount of data that was previously unattainable for market researchers and advertisers, Griffin says, citing a Forrester Research study that suggests internet marketing has in some way influenced almost $1 trillion of retail sales that occur in physical stores.

He said that if this is true, the internet is five times more valuable than marketers give it credit for.

“The challenge is that there has not been a way to track the transitions between online and offline,” Griffin says. “Tactics like offering customers coupons online that can only be redeemed in stores provide some directionally useful tracking data but are not accurate.”