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The Urgency of Understanding Consumer Behavior and Psychology in Marketing

People make many choices throughout the day, but don’t see them as major decisions. Things such as what they should wear or where they should eat that day may seem insignificant to most people. But for marketers, these decisions are the difference between converting a customer and failing to do so.

All of these decisions are actually buying decisions, and all of us make them daily without even realizing it sometimes. The process behind making these decisions lies behind consumer behavior and psychology.

If you want to be a good marketer, you need to understand consumer behavior and psychology and how they affect your business.

What Is Consumer Behavior?

The definition of consumer behavior is the study of individuals and organizations to try and understand how they choose and use products and services. It’s based on psychology, but also motivations and behaviors.

There are three factors responsible for modeling consumer behavior:

  • Personal factors. These factors are influenced by customer demographics such as gender, age, profession, culture, and so on. They show a person’s interest and opinions.
  • Psychological factors. Every consumer will have a different reaction to a marketing campaign based on their attitudes and perceptions. Some things that play a part in deciding psychological factors are how well a consumer comprehends information, their attitude, and how they perceive their needs.
  • Social factors. These are peer groups such as family and friends but also social media social factors. Other social factors include education level, social class, and income.

Why Is Understanding Consumer Psychology Important?

Now that you know what consumer behavior is, let’s take a look at consumer psychology and why it’s so important to understand it.

Good marketers use psychology principles to attract and engage consumers. They know that for their marketing campaign to be successful, they need to understand their customers’ wants and needs.

The marketing industry is putting most of its focus on consumer-based marketing by using insight from their customer research data that helps them understand what customers want. It’s not about creating flashy campaigns anymore, it’s about understanding your customers through psychological principles.

For example, through customer psychology, we understand that customers aren’t motivated by gain as much as they’re motivated by a fear of missing out (FOMO). You can leverage this in your marketing by using urgency and exclusivity to show customers they only have a limited chance to purchase something.

Ways to Understand Consumer Psychology

Finally, let’s go through some of the most popular methods companies use to understand consumer psychology.

Customer surveys and market research

Sending out surveys and doing market research will give you an opportunity to ask questions and get consistent customer feedback that will help you understand your audience better and even get surprising insights. 

If you want to better understand who your customers are, take a look at our customer profile form template. Using this web form will help you create better surveys as you’ll be able to customize various elements.

Analytics data

Take a look at the analytics data of your website and you’ll be able to see customer demographics and customer behavior. Using popular analytics tools like HotJar and Google Analytics will help you understand what exactly your customers are interested in.

Customer interviews

Sitting down one-on-one with customers will allow you to ask about specific experiences and go in-depth with follow-up questions. Interviews are more personal than surveys and they allow you to clear up any confusion and understand customer needs better. 

Follow our article on how to run effective customer interviews if you want to use interviews in your feedback strategy.


Neuromarketing is based on neuroscience, which is the study of the development and structure of the human nervous system. Neuromarketing includes developing marketing materials that will evoke certain neurological reactions and trigger emotional responses that lead to purchasing decisions.

Understanding user intent in SEO

If you understand why your target customers search for specific terms in Google or other search engines and what drives those searches, you will also understand what can make them purchase certain products and services.

To get a better grasp of search intent, we recommend reading Ahrefs’ extensive guide on search intent in search engine optimization.

Building a buyer persona

To truly understand customer insight, you need to develop buyer personas and understand consumers’ needs, goals, and objections.

A buyer persona is a representation of the ideal buyer you believe has an interest in your business or product. Through a well-developed buyer persona, you’ll know what kind of marketing is the most relevant for the people you want to reach.

Pro Tip: Use a marketing research questionnaire to build your buyer personas. Our survey maker allows you to create the questionnaires you need and track responses in real-time via graphs and customizable charts.

Social analytics

Social media channels are a powerful tool that you can use to harness information related to your customers’ interests. You can see what they like, comment on, what type of content gets the most engagement on your pages, and what type of people follow you.


Marketing isn’t what it used to be a decade ago. To truly harness the power of marketing across all marketing channels, you should have a strong understanding of consumer psychology. If you know what your customers want and need, it’ll be easy to give it to them and meet their needs.

And don’t forget to collect data here and there. Build a data management strategy with the help of an advanced form builder.


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