Utilizing a Scientific Approach to Knowing Our Audience
Marketing can often be conceptualized as applied Economics or applied Psychology, or some combination of both. As marketers, the goal is to connect our products to our target audiences. Reaching back to Economics, the birthplace of the Marketing discipline, and other scientific disciplines, is about understanding Consumer Behavior so we can utilize a scientific approach to knowing our audiences.
A Scientific Approach
We can view Consumer Behavior as the convergence of several different disciplines that more intricately study the thoughts, feelings, and actions of our target audiences. Consumer Behavior looks to the studies of Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, and Economics, among others, to develop an understanding of consumers grounded in scientific research.
With this foundation in scientific methodology, we as marketers can dimmish any reliance on gut feelings or instincts to make major marketing decisions. All in all, researching the science behind our consumers allows us to minimize uncertainty and maximize value.
Getting to Know Our Consumer
Using a science-based approach to marketing drives effective and efficient decision making across a business’s various consumer touchpoints. From marketing communications to branding, to pricing and distribution, this approach allows us to drive results.
Understanding our target audiences’ thoughts, feelings, and action enables us to design communications that match the methods, voice, and message that our consumers want to hear and see.
In the past, we’ve discussed how we can look at communication with target audiences as a negotiation by fostering mutual understanding and tapping into societal context. The study of Consumer Behavior allows us to tweak our communications so that they meet consumers where they are, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
We’ve discussed how businesses don’t really own their brands, their consumers do. Studying our consumers’ preferences allows us to design brands, from personality to appearance, that consumers want to own.
The Miami Marlins kept this in mind during their 2018 Our Colores rebrand. The Marlins knew the existing brand had terrible equity within their home market, so they redesigned their brand to be more evocative of Miami’s most iconic themes and colors, hoping to give their fans something they want to own.
Pricing & Distribution
This scientific approach to making marketing decisions can also be applied to more direct business levers. Understanding consumers’ consumption habits are essential to effective positioning, both literally in terms of physical distribution and figuratively in terms of relative pricing.
This goes beyond the traditional, however. In the case of the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver and his team have made the conscious to encourage the posting of game highlights across social media platforms because they are in-tune with their target audiences’ media consumption habits.
A Better Way of Marketing
Ultimately, the study of Consumer Behavior makes us all better marketers. By understanding more about our audiences’ thoughts, feelings, and actions, we can make better marketing decisions, backed by science. In an increasingly competitive economy, robust mapping of consumer personas and journeys can make a critical difference in positioning your brand or product as a winner.