Understanding the why behind consumer purchases

As marketers, we have access to data and insights on consumer behavior, brand interactions and ultimately their choice to purchase from a brand. But one question often remains elusive: Why didn’t they make the purchase? To help answer this, marketers need to peel back the data layers to understand consumer behavior, including knowing when it’s important to reach out to consumers directly to get the answers they need.

In order to answer the why, you need to ask consumers directly before you attempt to answer the question or challenge at stake. Primary research is a strategy that many marketers leverage to help answer why consumers may or may not be purchasing from their brand. Primary research allows marketers the opportunity to gather direct feedback on copy, creative, offer, brand consideration set and understand the key drivers of purchase – what is really important to consumers, before executing a campaign. Market research enables marketers to make decisions based on facts versus conjecture and personal bias. The outcome is data that can then be used to improve the relevance and performance of marketing campaigns as well as the overall customer experience.

Today, marketers are leveraging solutions like Epsilon’s primary research expertise plus the TargetSource® database, a comprehensive data set of self-reported household and consumer data, to gain deeper insight into consumer behavior. For example, one client recently leveraged this expertise to improve their go-to-market strategy. A study was fielded to gather responses from 400+ consumers to understand product acceptance, message relevance and importance, offer feedback and store placement considerations. The result? A key finding was consumers were not able to locate the product at the store because it was not placed in the ideal product section. As a result, the brand was able to work with the retail outlets to re-negotiate product location throughout the stores.

In a different example, another brand recently leveraged this data set to help understand why one group of consumers never switched to their brand, despite numerous and different marketing efforts. A study was fielded to gather 600+ responses from consumers to understand key consumer needs, barriers to change and feelings about their current brand. The results? The key learning was that while consumers may not have been happy with their current brand, the effort and time required to switch was such a hassle, they preferred to do nothing. As a result, messaging and creative was developed to help address this pain point. The messaging focused on how switching can be made easier and the benefits consumers would receive as a result of the effort.

Data tells a story about your existing customers but sometimes marketers need to ask consumers directly to truly understand the why behind their transactions. So, start thinking about how you can leverage market research to enhance the success of your marketing programs with deeper insight into the behavior of current and potential customers.