Beth Comstock, Vice-chair of GE, once said “...good marketing essentials are the same. We are all emotional beings looking for relevance, context and connection.”
It will be hard to find a more succinct reasoning for the importance of understanding behavioural marketing.
What is behavioural marketing?
Simply put, behavioural marketing is serving targeted advertisements or content to consumers based on their past actions, preferences and behaviour patterns. The idea, of course, is that if the content or the ads are more relevant to the user, there is higher chance of conversion. Sounds simple? In theory yes but in practice it gets much more complicated.
A clear understanding of customer behaviour can only come from a multi-disciplinary approach. The marketer must be willing to understand not just audience psychology and user behaviour but also must be able to figure out the technicalities of constructing user profiles and conducting audience research.
User profiles are constructed using a variety of tools including website analytics, search and browsing histories, IP addresses, cookies, app data etc. Once this data is obtained and analysed, advertisements and content are targeted accordingly. Behavioural marketing, thus is a lot of effort. But experts believe in this case the effort often pays off.
Examples of behavioural marketing
For instance if a consumer often visits apparel websites, targeted ads can offer him specific discounts, coupons and offers related to the kind of clothing he is looking for. This can be done in a variety of ways such as email marketing, retargeting and even product suggestions in the websites he visits. These strategies can be used as a stand-alone ploy or combined with other marketing plans for a greater effect.
Behavioural marketing strategies
Now that we understand its importance, let us examine some ways in which behavioural marketing can be put into practice.
- Get the data right: The right data is crucial for behavioural marketing to succeed. If you don't know your audience and where their interests and preferences lie, your targeting will be irrelevant and perhaps even off-putting. Data can be obtained from a variety of sources and tools including Google Analytics and other programs like Mouseflow, Clicktale and others that track your users' movements on your website.
- Define your target: When it comes to targeted content, goal setting is as important as knowing your audience. When defining goals, make sure you have analysed the main purpose of your targeting. Are you doing it to increase your traffic? Do you want to attract new customers? Are you trying to increase your brand value? Clearly understanding these factors will help you create customer segments, measure and track expectations and conversions.
- Track your customers: There are many tools available online that can help you find people whose interests are related to your business. With these tools, you can track these users' interests, preferences and habits. Another way of understanding customer behaviour is to follow them on social media. Of course, it is also advisable to do detailed backroom tracking with the help of tracking codes.
Benefits of behavioural marketing
The benefits of behavioural marketing are many, the foremost being:
- Efficiency: Tailored messages have higher chance of positive response and also ensure your adspend is judicious.
- Relevancy: Digital marketing is all about being relevant to the user and if your content can understand what is useful and relevant for your user, then there is nothing like it.
- Access to data: As part of your behavioural marketing strategy, you get to access a huge amount of audience data consistently -- data which can be used to great advantage to improve other aspects of your business.