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Marketing Articles: Customer Behavior

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  • Hey, Pop! We Can Do This!
    According to Kara Trivunovic and Andrew Osterday, most mom-and-pop businesses can't do much with email marketing advice that concentrates on sophisticated topics like multivariate testing, dynamic content development and data integration. For those who need entry-level advice, they created a 10-point Do-It-Yourself Primer that includes handy tips in plain English. ... more
  • What's the 'Return on Sound'? Build Long-Term Emotional Equity by Applying Sound Strategically
    by Noel Franus
    What's your Return On Sound? Budgets may be tight and long-term planning may feel out of reach, but a few simple principles can help lay the groundwork for long-term brand value for "sonic identity." Music and sound create significant long-term brand power. That effect comes by design, and it starts ... more
  • A Lesson from Sears: Creating Relevance in Email Marketing
    by Stephanie Miller
    Sears performed a courageous email-marketing act in mid-December. Like every retailer, Sears was surely eager for additional sales and revenue as the worst holiday season in memory reached a crescendo and the sale window started to close. Despite that pressure, the Sears team had the discipline to hit the pause button on ... more
  • Don't Look Phishy
    You know you're on the up-and-up, and that your email messages contain legitimate offers for actual products or services. Unfortunately, though, you're often sharing inbox space with fraudulent messages that claim to come from popular retailers and banks. Those emails are, in fact, nothing more than phishing scams designed to ... more
  • Brand 'Em, and Let 'Em Roam Free
    We are exposed to people interacting with their favorite brands every day—for instance, commuters drinking bottled water. Might these glimpses of others using common brands influence our own brand choices? This new research says yes. These researchers asked consumers to focus on the faces of people in a "study" of ... more
  • That's Too Fwd:
    When he saw a reputable marketer praising the use of Fwd: in the subject line of an original email, Matt Hill decided to explain why he disagrees. "[E]ven selectively this is a bad idea," he says at the Email Karma blog, noting that spammers often use this device to trick ... more
  • The Chart to the Rescue
    When gas prices spiraled toward the stratosphere, car-rental companies saw a distinct change in their customers' reservations strategies. Chris Payne, Dollar Thrifty's senior manager of corporate communications, offered this explanation in an article on Direct magazine's Web site: "There are road warriors who like to get the best deal they ... more
  • Enough, Already!
    In a post at the ExactTarget blog, Nate Romance recounts a visit with his tech-savvy mother, a woman who makes frequent online purchases through sites like Craigslist and Amazon. While scanning her email, she became annoyed with a particular message. "If they send me one more stupid email this week," ... more
  • Get Your Goat
    In a video post at the Church of the Customer Blog, Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell use the example of a goat-milk carton (that's right: a goat-milk carton!) to underscore the importance of listening to your customers. "One thing you have to know about goat's milk," explains Huba," is that ... more
  • Just Call It the YouHouse
    Barack Obama wowed the nation with his social media savvy when he won the bid for President on November 4—but he surprised us again when he didn't stop there. Just weeks after scoring the title of POTUS (President of the United States, for those who didn't take poli sci in ... more
  • I Make the Decisions Around Here
    Oh, the dreaded negative customer review: shoppers love to read it, and marketers live in fear of it. Marketing teams across the land have been trying to develop strategies for dealing with this new reality. Well, take heart: a recent Forrester Research report called "Myths and Truths About Online Consumer ... more
  •  So You Wanna Be a Swan?
    "We're duped into believing that the pretty, the pristine, and the perfect get all the perks, all the breaks, all the glory," says Vicki Kunkel in her book Instant Appeal. In many cases, she argues, the opposite is actually true. Obvious imperfections have their benefits—whether in your personal or corporate ... more
  • Bring Deliverability and Design Together to Maximize Email Marketing Success
    by Neil Anuskiewicz
    Getting your permission-based email marketing emails into the inbox and ensuring that your email design is just right are closely related. Here is some useful information on the nexus between the two as well as on doing both well. more
  • The Art of Courtship
    Some email marketing practices should always be avoided. "There are a hundred ways to skulk around, to collect email addresses, to write clever privacy policies or to argue about whether opt-out ('you can always unsubscribe!') is a valid way to build a brand," says Seth Godin at his eponymous blog. ... more
  • Monkey See, Monkey Choose
    Social scientists have long been intrigued by the human tendency to mimic the behavior of others. Research has shown that people automatically mimic other people's posture, mannerisms and facial expressions as they interact. But does mimicry translate to product preferences as well? These researchers say yes. Consumers were invited to ... more
  • A Tale of Two Emails
    In a post at the Emma blog, Jim Hitch tells the story of two emails he received within 20 minutes of each other. "They're similar at first glance," he says. "Almost identical, really. Both are very image-heavy, both came from brand-name clothing retailers, both include simple calls to action, both ... more
  • Love the MIME
    In a wide-ranging video interview with BNET, strategist RJ Talyor of ExactTarget discusses a range of email marketing issues, and provides insight on the best way to handle messages sent to subscribers, whether they're reading email at their desk or on the go. Says Talyor, "You need to develop an ... more
  • Mobile Marketing Mavens, Oh My!
    Ah, the mobile phone: we know it well as consumers, and as such are in a perfect position to approach it from a direct marketer's POV. Here are a few ground rules for truly covetable mobile marketing: Bait your line. A useful iPhone app could do you right, as could ... more
  • Make Extensions Work for You
    Brand extensions are a popular promotional tactic with marketers. It just feels safe to promote a new product by piggy-backing it with a proven winner. But what type of extension ads work best? Here's an interesting study that might help with your next promo. Researchers ran three experiments to test ... more
  • Know How to Hold 'Em
    "It probably comes as no surprise," say Kara Trivunovic and Andrew Osterday in an article at MarketingProfs, "[that] the process of acquiring new customers comes with one of the higher price tags of any of your marketing initiatives." This places a high priority on the cultivation of customer loyalty—and, therefore, ... more
  • Too Much of a Good Thing
    A prospective customer does a search for a product your company carries, and your brand appears in the number one, three, five and seven spots. Terrific, right? Not necessarily. As Shari Thurow, author of the forthcoming book When Search Meets Web Usability, wrote in a recent blog, finding the same content delivered ... more
  • Who Wants Seconds?
    "One of the little secrets in email marketing is that it's not the same people opening your emails each time," says Mark Brownlow in a post at Email Marketing Reports. "Even if your open rate stays relatively constant, a closer look reveals that it's (usually) different people opening each time." ... more
  • Stood Up at the Altar
    Because your customers will abandon online purchases if they encounter a tedious checkout process, it's critical to make your e-commerce functionality simple and efficient. In a post at the Conversation Marketing blog, Ian Lurie offers recommendations like these: Never make a customer log in before ... more
  • Bear Market? Change Your Tune!
    Last year, Google and MediaVest reported on a brainwave-tracking study about banner ads. According to the ad giants, banner ads rated a 6.3 in effectiveness—which was said to be a "very encouraging score." But combined with overlays, the effectiveness of banner ads increases to 6.6. This is because users find ... more
  • I'm Ignorant. I'm Blissful. Shut Up.
    Ah, chocolate. Who doesn't love it? Short of an ice cream cone, nothing produces an instant state of bliss better than a good chunk of the sweet stuff. Now, a new research study presents chocolate as a product that can virtually sell itself—better than any marketer can, anyway. These researchers ... more

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