Online marketing has many obvious advantages: it can quickly reach customers; it is cheaper and its outcomes are measurable. It can be customized according to users’ preferences. Although there are disadvantages, competition is one of the biggest ones as the online platforms have prompted it significantly. As a result, companies need to work out thoroughly planned strategies.
Consumer Purchasing Behavior
To create and incorporate effective strategies, they should focus on several topics. One of the most significant is customer behavior and decision-making process, which consists of several steps: problem realization, search for information, comparing alternatives, purchase, evaluation of the purchase.
Problem realization revolves around human needs, which are the fundamental reasons for the decision-making process. This so-called “problem” arises when customers can not satisfy their basic needs. According to Maslow’s pyramid, there are five human needs, and they have hierarchical nature. The lower-level demands need to be inevitably satisfied as they are natural biological ones. To recognize and meet higher-level needs, one must fulfill the needs below them.
Marketing Research, Collecting Information, And Evaluating Results
Information research is the second step in the decision-making process, as before making a purchase, customers wish to get information about products they are going to buy. To purchase something, one must have involvement. This implies the level of meaning and relevance a consumer sees in a product or purchase. Involvement is also considered as the desire to pay attention to a particular product or service. For example, if you are going to buy a house, you will spend more time gathering information about available alternatives than buying groceries. This means you will have higher involvement in the first case and lower in the second one.
The next step is alternative evaluation, and it is crucial to indicate that consumers have individual mindsets toward products that influence their behavior. These mindsets represent summaries and objective views on certain products. Accordingly, consumers evaluate based on their attitudes, whether to purchase something or not. Variables, such as comfort, engagement, price, and more, influence them. However, in addition to these rational factors, non-rational, emotional states influence their decisions.
The Role Of Branding And Consumer Value In The Decision-making Process
According to the general definition, a brand is a design, name, image, or any other trait that depicts a seller’s productive identity and differentiates it from other suppliers. Nowadays, extensive information is available on the internet, so customers are flooded with it daily. As a result, they work out habits to trust particular data types and make their decisions according to them.
The main objective of successful branding is to guide customers in the marketplace as they provide detailed information in summarized forms.
Another subjective influencer of a decision making-process is consumer value which refers to the balance of the benefits and expenses. These expenses include financial values, spent time, and effort.
Examples To Elaborate
To give you a simple example, let’s imagine you want to increase the traffic your website gets to establish your brand or raise awareness. Creating hype around your brand can be done via social media sites such as Facebook. Registering on the website is one thing. What you need next is to look for platforms that allow you to buy Facebook likes and similar types of engagements your website gets. This is pretty much it.
After reviewing alternatives, consumers decide when and where they are going to buy. The last step of the process is purchase evaluation. At this stage, a company needs to receive and analyze information about consumer satisfaction with the purchase and try to answer the question – will or will not the customer become loyal. The data is used to define which strategies and channels are worth investing in in the long term. However, it is not simple to understand which advertising strategy was the determinant of the final purchase.
The Role Of Research
Market research is a valuable tool for getting such information about strategic success and production demands. For example, some companies have questionnaires on their social media profiles or send them by email. These questionnaires include questions like “how did you learn from our company?” And some other businesses, such as online shopping websites, give their customers small rewards for leaving reviews for purchased products.
This kind of online-based research has several advantages: low cost, quick access, time convenience, and disadvantages like limited respondent accessibility as some populations may not have internet access, ignorance from the respondent’s side, and lack of clarification.
To sum things up, more and more brands try to achieve their goals by covering most of their strategic segment. Promotion and advertising are resource-consuming, relatively long-term processes. And advertising is indeed easier on online platforms and social media. Still, a high level of competition might not give a chance to newly established companies that have a hard time positioning on the market and reaching audiences, especially on the global level.
So they and more experienced brands that search for new opportunities create demand for assistance. To receive some help, these companies usually address individuals or other businesses. One of them is social Greg, a promotional website that offers increased social media following in a short amount of time. It has completed about six million orders around the globe and offers safe boosting services to maintain credibility.