Are emotions and behaviour the key to customer understanding?


Wednesday April 3, 2019 - Posted by:

When it comes to creating customer profiles to understand what’s important to their target audience and what they want from brands, no longer do businesses rely purely on basic demographic data: age, location, marital status, income, and so on.

Are emotions and behaviour the key to customer understanding?

These dimensions can’t provide a sufficiently detailed picture of your audience and won’t help you truly appreciate what motivates and matters to them as consumers.

As Todd Yellin, vice-president of product innovation at Netflix, has said: “Geography, age and gender? We put that in the garbage heap. Where you live is not that important.”

It’s now more important than ever for companies to augment their fundamental demographics with an emphasis on customer behaviour, interests and emotions.

Truly understanding your customers
Concentrating on people’s tastes, behaviours and emotions could give your business a valuable advantage when it comes to engaging with customers and earning brand loyalty.

According to research by Salesforce, 84 per cent of consumers say being treated as an individual, not a number, is very important to winning their business. Understanding how people use products and services (70 per cent) and delivering tailored engagement based on past interactions (59 per cent) are also significant.

Furthermore, 76 per cent of people feel it’s now easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, underlining how hard individual companies have to work to retain their customers.

So if behavioural targeting and reflecting people’s interests and emotions are now key goals for modern brands, how exactly do you go about achieving them?

One option is social listening, which allows you to track trends and themes on social media. Finding out what users are talking about, analysing the volume of messages with specific hashtags, and monitoring customer feedback will strengthen your customer understanding and improve your wider social media marketing efforts.

It’s also important to demonstrate in your marketing that you appreciate the emotional element of buying decisions. Customers want to feel that brands understand their motivations and will strive to satisfy them.

Emotional engagement
Now more than ever, people are looking for emotional connections with brands. They feel much greater loyalty to businesses that go above and beyond to know what their customers want and achieve true personalisation.

This is emphasised by the success of “customer-obsessed companies” like Ritz-Carlton, Amazon, Netflix and Disney.

If your business wants to succeed by concentrating on your customer’s tastes, interests and emotions, then make this a central part of your marketing plans. As one expert has advised: “Stop marketing your product; start marketing emotion… The next time you design an ad, ask people how it made them feel.”

Of course, it’s difficult to achieve these emotional connections and build truly meaningful relationships with consumers if you are not communicating with them and using language in the right way.

In your arsenal of marketing tools, words are your most powerful weapon to demonstrate that you understand your customers, you know what’s important to them and you are committed to delivering it.

The power of language is particularly evident in sectors such as fashion and travel, where buying decisions are hugely influenced by emotion. People look for clothes that make them feel strong and confident, and holiday experiences that satisfy their need for escape, relaxation or adventure.

Your marketing content should be designed to reflect these emotional dimensions, even when you are communicating in various languages and dialects. By investing in expert translation and localisation, you can ensure that your core messaging and brand tone of voice are not lost.

Understanding customer journeys
Connecting with customers on an emotional, personal level is clearly a key priority for many businesses.

Just as important, however, is gathering the data required to build up a clear picture of the user journeys that lead to conversions and sales. What are the most common routes people take from basic awareness of your brand to buying from you?

Attribution modelling can help you achieve this understanding by mapping out the various online and offline touchpoints that appear on the typical customer journey, from awareness all the way to purchase and, ideally, brand loyalty.

It’s not an exact science, with various models to choose from, and many businesses admitting they have room for improvement in their attribution knowledge.

However, if you are able to find an attribution model that works for your company, the data you gain could prove invaluable. You will have clear information on the channels and touchpoints that deliver the best results in terms of sales and conversions.

Combined with an emotional understanding and nuanced profiles of your target audience, these insights can help your brand deliver a truly personalised, data-driven customer experience.

If you want to find out more about how Locaria can help your business achieve its customer engagement and relationship goals, contact us today.

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