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Marketing Articles: Customer Behavior

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  • 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
  • You Lookin' at Me?
    We know that consumers' choices in retail stores are affected by what they see on the shelves or racks. But now come reports that their choices are also affected by how they are seen themselves. In other words, shoppers behave differently in the presence of other people. We all know ... more
  • Hello? Is There Anybody Out There?
    There's almost nothing more frustrating than receiving a business email that says, "Please do not reply to this message as replies to this email address are not read," but offers no other options for those who want to respond. "If it's important enough for you to send to me," says Seth ... more
  • I'm Rubber, You're Glue
    Imagine you're Alissa Bayer—owner of the upscale milk + honey day spa in Austin, Texas—and a client has directed you to the Church of the Customer Blog, where a post by Jackie Huba takes your business to task for selling gift certificates with a $1.50 "handling fee." You scan through ... more
  • What You Can Learn From Starbucks' Mistakes
    Comedians used to make jokes about cities with a Starbucks on every corner. It seemed ridiculous at first, but we've gotten so used to their ubiquity that the closure of 600 stores came as a surprise to many customers. And in a post at Harvard Business Online, John Quelch argues ... more
  • Who Says You're So Hot?
    Marketers may try to distinguish their products from those of their competitors by engaging in comparative advertising. (X Detergent cleans 25% more loads than the leading brand!) But be careful when you pull out those comparisons: make sure you don't denigrate your competitor. Research is showing that consumers become quite sensitive ... more
  • How to Avoid TMI in Email: When Less Is More
    by Josh Nason
    It starts simply. You're setting up fields for your email signup form and instead of grabbing just the basics for information, you start to wander: What if I got all the information I want up front? So then it begins: name, address, home number, work number, mobile number, bag phone ... more
  • Incentives: 5 Cardinal Rules, 10 Great Ideas
    by Kristin Zhivago
    When the economy gets tight, customers can take forever to reach a buying decision. So, managers think up incentives that will encourage the customer to buy. Whatever lure you use should inspire the prospective customer to edge a little closer to a purchase, which is sometimes easier said than done. more
  • Video Games: Not Just for Kids
    Anyone who has witnessed a Wii bowling tournament at a senior center knows it: video games are not just for kids anymore. They are big business. And they are early indicators of tomorrow's interactive media products and services. When the first big video game success, Pong, was invented 35 years ... more

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