Innovation is all about creating products and services that make your company more competitive in the marketplace. Those actions typically include generating ideas, creating prototypes, building the business case, and getting alignment to launch. Marketers must develop a strategy to know where to focus their resources. They must segment, target, and position the offering. Finally, they have to execute their plan by developing a coordinated set of marketing tactics including what products and services to offer, pricing, distribution approaches, and marketing communications.
There’s a lot at stake. If you get it wrong, you might be wasting a lot of money that could have been spent on other things. Even worse, you could lose valuable revenues and the profits that go along with those revenues. Long term, you might start losing customer loyalty. As you can see, you've got to get this right, right from the start.
One very important way to sharpen the focus of your marketing initiatives is to apply the principles and concepts of consumer behavior – how people think, decide, and act when buying things. When you embrace consumer behavior, you’re putting the customer at the center of all your marketing activities.
Here’s an example. Consumers often buy products and services that help shape the image they have of themselves. If you understand that phenomena and develop your programs to help the customer associate your product with their self-image, you'll be more successful.
The study of consumer behavior doesn’t apply to just individual consumers like you and me. In business-to-business industries, companies buy products too. If you’re in a B2B company, you’ll need well-thought out marketing programs to reach through to these more difficult clients.
Organizations are made up of people, and guess what? The concepts of consumer behavior apply to them too. Understanding consumer behavior will sharpen your B2B marketing campaigns and make them more effective.
Think of marketing as entire spectrum of activities and decisions. It starts with strategies on how to acquire and retain customers, followed by segmenting, targeting, and positioning your offering, and then implementing the right products, at the right price, through the right channels, and promoted with the right marketing message. You can improve what you do at every point along this spectrum by applying the principles of consumer behavior.
The best marketers are those that have the customer’s interest at heart when creating new products and services, and a solid understanding of consumer behavior can help you just that.