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An Introduction To Behavioural Marketing

3 min read
May 26, 2016

One of the key ways your brand can better understand consumer behaviour is through the adoption of behavioural targeting.

Hurree. The Essential Guide to Market Segmentation. Let's Go! 

So what is behavioural marketing?

Behavioural marketing is a relatively new process that uses consumer behaviour to shape marketing strategy.

The context of behavioural marketing

All to often the consumer is misunderstood, their emotions, interests and behaviours can all somewhat be misinterpreted when interacting with a brands touch points. Most marketers would also presume that the consumer’s behaviour is linear, and that it fits uniformly within a demographic it is so presumed to conform to. More so it is believed that all individuals being marketed to within a campaign will respond to the same messaging, the same graphics and the same stimulus at each point. However, the fact is we are all unique, well somewhat…and this ideology simply won't work. 

In the world of campaign planning, marketers will sit and discuss a new product perhaps briefly outlining a demographic that they believe the consumer will fall into. However this is not the case. As previously stated, consumers are unique and so is their behaviour. What will appeal to one person, wouldn’t to the next. But even going beyond this within a demographic approach, the consumer may even have a multitude of different attitudes and behaviours that ultimately shapes their purchase decision. Yes we know demographic targeting is nothing new, but think beyond this and think data driven personalisation.

Take for example, millennials. As a millennial myself I'm very different from others. I like premium brands for core products i.e Barbour coats and Fossil leather goods. I also enjoy small independent brands with meaning and a story, such as Herschel bags and Warby Parker sunglasses. A marketer might view my behaviour as complicated because I fall within such a broad spectrum of behaviours and interests compared to my peers. Therefore many forms of advertising presented to me online/offline will simply not influence me into purchase intent and will be ignored.

Behavioural marketing, while currently misunderstood, is easily identifiable and is becoming easier for marketers to digest and take action on. The technology for behaviour based marketing surrounds us, and is perhaps under unitised given its largely used for online based applications. Many companies use data to help shape the consumer journey but never transfer it further than their own websites.

Behavioural marketing in relation to the content

When we discuss behavioural targeting what we refer to is the process of segmentation based on consumer behaviours. One of the key benefits of behavioural targeting is its ability to organise consumers based on variables related to their behaviours. This can include visits, clicks, past purchases and categories they prefer. Behavioural targeting is much more personalised as it’s based on past behaviour and previous interactions with the brand. It means your business can leverage its ability to group the consumer by providing communication that is of actual interest not a generic message. It’s been proven that behavioural targeting is particularly effective in influencing millennials into purchase intent because of its hyper personalised abilities compared to traditional targeting methods.

More so, behavioural targeting has become ever more prevalent in omni-channel marketing strategies. While pay per click, banners and other hosted ads are still the norm, the ever decreasing cost of behavioural targeting and its ability to generate significantly greater ROI for brands have yielded greater usage patterns in wider marketing strategies.

Behavioural targeting can also be integrated with other marketing channels to enhance the marketers armoury. When coupled with social channels, consumers can be blanketed into brand awareness and purchase intent. For example, Instagram recently rolled out dynamic ads, this means this ever growing social network now has the ability to present messaging that consumers actually want to see based on past behaviour. This could further be enhanced with geofencing initiatives, to bring the applications of behavioural targeting into the real world. 

Hurree. The Essential Guide to Market Segmentation. Let's Go!

Geofencing & Behavioural Targeting

To enhance behavioural targeting efforts and engage more consumers in the locality of a physical store, the brand could use a geofence. What we mean is using the consumers device as a trigger to relay messaging to their phone when they enter a virtual perimeter around the venue, store or location.

But how does behavioural targeting fit into this?

Well, geofencing itself as a messaging tool is rather static, much like a billboard. However, through integrating behavioural elements to the mix the brand could tailor the messaging based on a consumers’ past habits, and, more importantly, browsing habits online. Think of it more as a billboard telling you in detail, in a conversational dialogue about a product you’re keen to buy. Or a friend highlighting the benefits of a product that you’re warm to. Going beyond this there are elements to this approach which can further the abilities of the brand to create purchase intent. In a recent study by the journal of consumer research it was found that social labels, and that of implied social labels conveyed via behavioural ads, had a considerable impact on purchase intent.

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