One important part of marketing is understanding what or who are influencing your customers.
Especially when it comes to buying decisions.
The reason it is important is it can affect your marketing strategy regarding how you are going to grow your business.
There can be many influencing factors and I will forgo the obvious ones of friends, peers, family and their influence with regards to referrals.
Here are five factors that can affect your customers’ buying behaviour:
When customers are making buying decisions they look at what your business offers as well as your competitors.
If they have a real problem increasingly they will look at businesses that are specialists.
The reason why is they perceive a specialist company will have greater knowledge and expertise. And the products or services will be better than from companies that are generalists. The interesting thing is customers know they will pay a premium and are happy to do so.
This is especially important when you face tough competition and want more customers for your business.
I call them external because they are the ones that you have no say in, but can directly affect buying decisions.
An example is when governments bring down budgets.
If there are tax increases then these can mean your customers may not have the money to spend that they did before. It has nothing to do with you or your business.
Keeping track of the key market trends that affect your business can help in this area.
Today customers are seeking simplicity when buying products or services. The reason why is lack of time and stress. They have many things going on in their lives and too many choices when buying.
This causes them stress.
If you can simplify their choices for them they will reward you. This may be what you offer, your pricing options, service delivery etc. What you will find if you can simplify then you will find your business will reduce time and costs and get more customers.
The influence of opinion leaders has been around for a long time. And now opinion leaders from other countries can now have an influence on your customers in your country.
One point to note is be sure to identify opinion leaders who are relevant to your market and customers and why they are relevant.
A common mistake is automatically thinking the opinion leaders who influence you are also influencers of your customers.
They may not be and this can lead to you making the wrong marketing decisions if you automatically assume they do.
As more customers’ buy products or services online and people review or talk about products or services, what is written or viewed or heard can influence your customers’ decisions.
Even if they ultimately purchase offline.
This can occur on social networking sites, comparison shopping sites and reviews for example. With online you do need to know which particular factors are the most important as again what influences you may not be important to your customers.
These are just four factors that could influence your customers’ buying behaviour. What others can you add to the list?
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