Marketing Principles - 2.4.1 Buying Behaviour

So far, we have explored the concepts of customer segmentation, and examined some of the methods that marketers use to group different customer together for marketing efficiency and effectiveness.

We have also discussed the ways in which organisations select the right target segments, evaluating their commercial attraction.

2.4.1 Buying Behaviour


One of the most powerful tools in segmenting markets is to cluster customer based on their specific behaviours. This is referred to as psychographic segmentation.

Here’s an example….. .Young adults (aged 18 to 30 years), wanting to go on a summer holiday.

One person might seek fun, excitement and entertainment. Let’s call them the ‘Fun Seekers’
Another might seek peace and tranquillity, culture or simply relaxation. Let’s call them the ‘Peace Seekers’

So, two different brands positioned to the consumer in two very different ways, so that they have maximum appeal to the target customer segment.

So, let’s explore how customer behaviours influence a brand’s segmentation, targeting and positioning strategy







Buying behaviour

Marketers need to understand the needs, wants and fear of the customer/consumer and to try to interact with them at each stage of the purchase journey.

With many business and consumer decisions, there will be more than one person involved in making or influencing the purchase decision.

So, marketers need to know:
1. Who is involved in the process
2. How they go about making the purchase decision
3. What they use as their choice criteria
4. Where they prefer to buy
5. When they prefer to buy

Let’s look first at the normal stages that customers and consumers go through as they make their purchase decision.

At its most basic level, we go through a five-stage process such as the one you can see here:

This used to be known as the sales funnel, but marketers have since realised that this process is not a straight line and a logical progression through the five stages.

Consumers and customers are unpredictable and we might skip some stages and repeat others.
So, today we see this as more of dynamic model that identifies the important moments in purchase behaviour and indicates how we can influence them.


The other important difference is the emphasis that marketers now place on post-purchase behaviour. For example, there are a great many benefits to creating loyal advocates, who use social media to positively review and critique the brands and products they buy.

And, of course, today we need to recognise that this is an integrated process that is likely to involve both online and off-line channels.

So this is reflected in the dynamic consumer journey illustrated above, which shows seven stages, together with the key Moments-of-Truth.

These ‘moments of truth’ are the crucial decision stages in the buying process; the points at which a customer will make a final choice. So marketers seek to influence them at precisely the point where that decision is made:

First developed by Procter & Gamble and later adapted to by Google, this model is now widely adopted by marketers in all industries and sectors, and describes the moments when the consumer/customer is most likely to come in to contact with the brand:

Stimulus: This is the point of recognition of a need and want

ZMOT: This is the Zero Moment of Truth when consumers/customer start to search for the solutions to satisfy their need/want

FMOT: This is the First Moment of Truth when the customer/consumer first comes in to contact with the product/service and the opinion they form

SMOT: This is the Second Moment of Truth when consumer/customer actually experience the brand/product

Click the Learn More button to read about the Moments of Truth in the consumer journey