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Marketing Articles: Customer Behavior

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  • Ditch the Pitch
    According to Justin Hitt, B2B sales teams routinely get it wrong when seeking new customers. "The problem is, not every sales person knows who makes a good client," he explains. Among the common errors he sees: Chasing too many prospects. "Successful sales people focus on highly qualified prospects most likely to ... more
  • Twitter for Timeliness
    "What are you doing?" Twitter asks. What an existential question! But from the company's roots as a slightly nosy oddity in 2006, users have responded in unexpected, and quite interesting, ways. Much of the conversation remains mundane ("high on coffee"). But it's also a handy place to:  share experiences (Newcomers Adjust, ... more
  • Cut the Hype. (Some).
    As demonstrated in past issues, consumers often make choices based on their feelings. We also know that their decisions about what to buy may be based on how they think a given product will make them feel. Simple formula: promote it with a positive hype, and they'll love it. Right? Not so fast. Now ... more
  • Are Your Customers Happy?
    Get behind the wheel of any luxury car today, and you'll face a dashboard and console packed with buttons that run elaborate climate control, stereo and navigation systems. On paper all these options sound great—in practice, though, attempting to operate increasingly complicated electronics might leave many drivers frustrated and annoyed, ... more
  • Target Jim and Mary
    Research has uncovered quite an interesting effect that guides customer brand choices. They call it the "name letter branding effect." The NLB effect shows that customers are more likely to choose a brand name that has the same letters as their first name than they are other, equally attractive, brands. ... more
  • When Less is More
    You've crossed all your marketing t's and dotted all your best practices i's with a relevant, enticing offer sent only to subscribers who opted in to your campaigns. You're anxious to see how well the offer performs, but then you learn a major ISP has blocked your IP address because ... more
  • Time to Get Engaged
    In a post at the Neuromarketing blog, Roger Dooley discusses the book Sway, by Ori and Rom Brafman, and explains a key takeaway from their study of unorthodox demographic segments: That investing your time in customer engagement is one of the best investments you can make. These "customers" might not sound ... more
  • Help Me Out, Here.
    Customers often want advice when making decisions—particularly if they involve an emotional element. So, they seek the opinions of friends, colleagues, and marketers. Now research is showing that they also may seek a more personal connection with a salesperson when facing an emotional decision. This researcher says that sales professionals ... more
  • Give to Receive
    "There's still something to be said for a free sample of a product," says Mike Essex, who has made a sport of seeing how many he can receive in return for promising an online review at his blog. While the premise of his activities fall outside the marketing mainstream, his ... more
  • Whoa! You're Scaring Me.
    Careful how you say that! When introducing a new product whose usage may involve a slight risk, research is showing that a positive message is paramount. Many new products carry some degree of risk. For example, most new drugs are risky, as they involve potential short- or long-term side-effects. Or ... more
  • Every Blue Ocean Will Eventually Turn Red; Create an Unfair Advantage Instead
    by Dan Herman
    The vast red and blue oceans of the marketing world tsunamied into our awareness and vocabulary a few years ago, when two professors, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, claimed that competition can be rendered irrelevant. Their book, Blue Ocean Strategy, heralded the news to marketing managers and CEOs all over ... more
  • Has Your Telephone Become Your Sales Prevention System?
    by Todd Miechiels
    Is your company guilty of throwing dollars at campaigns to increase Web traffic, only to turn around and squander sales opportunities due to poor telephone and email handling? Make sure that your telephone system isn't preventing prospects from reaching out and touching someone at your company. As soon as you finish ... more
  • Direct-to-Consumer PR Reflects Power of Do-It-Yourself
    by Gail Martin
    With the rise of search engines, Wi-Fi, and a Do-It-Yourself mindset, today's consumers are more empowered than ever before. They not only believe that they're entitled to information but also have unprecedented access to information on a global scale. An increasing number of consumers turn first to the Internet when they ... more
  • Have You Considered an ... Open Relationship?
    Before you sign up for exclusive sponsorships, Rohit Bhargava suggests taking a hard look at what you really get out of the deal. Because if your sponsorship makes it difficult for people to get what they really want, the entire thing could blow up in your face. Take the case ... more
  • Oh, Behave.
    It's knowing where prospects are—and how they behave—that's paying off for today's New Media marketers. Their advertising dollars are in hot pursuit of a fragmented audience that now receives thousands of channels of programming over TV, Internet, radio and mobile device. … Enter good ol' Behavioral Targeting. This tried-and-true direct marketing practice ... more
  • Make Nice
    When General Motors first launched its Saturn division in 1990, the main attraction for many customers wasn't a line-up of fairly mundane economy cars wrapped in unusual polymer body panels. Rather, Saturn was nice. Its dealerships offered a low-pressure, no-haggle transaction, went out of their way to be friendly during ... more
  • I Remember You
    As we mentioned last week, customers like to be woo'ed and won. Here's another way to look at it, with memory and immediacy each playing a part. This bit of research shows that, chances are, your customers are making their buying choices in two main ways: They make memory-based choices ... more
  • Phone It In
    You might scoff if someone were to suggest that phone support was obsolete, but Sarah Hatter of 37signals makes the argument that you no longer need an 800 number. "We get requests every day from people who don't think email support will cut it and demand a phone number to ... more
  • You Woo Me, But Can You Win Me?
    The attributes and benefits of your brand can vary in how tangible they are to consumers. And that can affect buying decisions. A product's intangible attributes are abstract—like quality, prestige, sentiment—and can't be experienced directly. For example, a new wine's ads can speak of romance; its label can evoke a ... more
  • Dumb It Up, People
    You've just used the restroom at Disneyland, and are approaching the sinks when you have a slight moment of anxiety. What exactly are you supposed to do with the faucet and the soap? Fortunately, there's a small placard, sponsored by a paper-towel manufacturer, that explains how to apply soap, rinse ... more
  • Time to Yelp!
    Following its 2005 debut, Yelp became the Zagat for a new school of tastemakers. "Yelpers" review everything—bars, boutiques, dot-coms, universities—with humor, anecdotes and flair. Yelp boasted 3.3 million users in March. For marketers targeting young adults, it's got major sex appeal: Yelp reviews are trusted by spendy twenty-somethings, and many ... more
  • So Many Paths to My Heart
    More than 50 years of consumer research suggests that when dealing with product types that consumers really care about, there are at least 5 ways marketers can encourage customers to develop favorable attitudes toward their specific products. Whether you appeal to their imaginations, their values, their feelings, their analytical minds, ... more
  • Case Study: The Attraction Advantage—How Mexican Mangos Ripened Sales 13% in Four Months
    by Jenny Schade
    It's a marketer's dream. Customers are so passionate about your product they actually crave it. In fact, outside of the US, your product is the number-one consumed fruit. However, here's where the dream hits reality. You're in the US, where two-thirds of US consumers have never tasted a mango. You've been ... more
  • We're Still Married to the Past
    "It is a sociological fact that when times are tough, people turn to the past—to what they know—for comfort," writes Patrick Byers in a post at the Responsible Marketing blog. "So, it should come as no surprise that recent advertising is taking us away from the present and into our ... more
  • Does It Come in a, You Know, Box?
    In post at the Neuromarketing blog, Roger Dooley says, "U.S. consumers have been conditioned to believe that proper wine comes in a 750ml glass bottle with a natural cork. Artificial corks and screw cap closures are suspect, to say the least. And box wines are traditionally suited only for penniless ... more

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