Attract More Customers: Using Buyer Behavior to Drive Your Marketing

I saw a t-shirt recently that said “I’m going to Target.  See you in $150!” and I could totally relate.

What is it that makes us walk into stores like Target and Costco and drop the Benjamins with abandon?

People buy…stuff…for a variety of reasons.  There are rational reasons and emotional reasons.  In fact, psychologists have defined a whole host of drivers that cause us to pull out our wallets.

Marketers and advertisers have honed their visual and written messaging to play on those drivers and engage buyers practically and emotionally so that we are compelled to make those purchases.  From language to colors, the aisles of big box stores are ripe for impulse purchases that feel oh so right in the moment.

How do we, as small business owners, get some of THAT?

Just like the big box stores and their products, we can learn use visual and written content to show our audiences that our products and services are the answer to their emotional and rational needs. And we can use those buyer motives to drive conversions and increase our own revenue.

For emotional purchasing decisions, a need isn’t necessarily present.  The need is created by external influences and the decision to buy is based on impulse.  Emotional buyer motivations are highly personal:

  • Love/sentiment
  • Envy
  • Pride
  • Entertainment
  • Vanity

Rational purchases occur when a clear and present need exists, and are generally researched and carefully thought out. Rational buyer motivations are based on objective criteria:

  • Profit
  • Security
  • Utility
  • Caution
  • Health

What motivation or need does your product or service fulfill for your client?  (Here’s a hint: it probably fulfills more than one.)

Whether a decision is emotional or rational, consumers go through five steps in deciding to make a purchase. When you understand your ideal client – their emotional and rational drivers, along with their pain points, values, and goals for purchasing your product or service – you can create messaging that addresses their motivations. You can also identify which channels and tools are best for communicating that message:

Consumer Decision-Making Process

  1. Need recognition: provide messaging and content that causes your audience to say “yes, I have that (emotional or rational) problem!” (channels: social, newsletter, networking)
  2. Search for information: create content that illustrates the options you provide to solve that problem and how those answer your audience’s unique emotional and rational motivations. (channels: social, website, blog, video)
  3. Evaluation of Alternatives: show your audience how your product or service compares to other options on the market. What makes you different and better? How does your solution answer their motivating behaviors? (channels: freebies, webinars, sales page)
  4. Purchase decision: outline your solution and the benefits, deliverables, and pricing of your offer. Tell your client how to engage with you. Reinforce the ways in which your product or service addresses their emotional and rational motivations – what will the end result be? (channels: demonstrations, discovery calls, testimonials)
  5. Post-purchase evaluation: deliver on your value promise to reassure your client they’ve made the right decision. (channels: onboarding, customer service, email)

Many of my clients come to me because they don’t know how to create content and messaging that compels their client to action.  Understanding how your product or service fits into a client’s behavior, and then providing the right information at the right time in the buyer journey, will usher them through your sales process and right into that sweet spot – conversion.


Need help with your messaging strategy or sales funnel?  Call me and let’s create a compelling content strategy for your business!