Since the barriers to entry for certain markets are lower than ever, it’s as hard as it’s ever been to stand out against the competition. Creating a product and message that breaks through the noise is unlikely to happen by mistake; success is achieved through research and focused application. Understanding your target market’s buying habits is crucial to helping you determine how to produce, package, and market your Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
Thankfully, the art of identifying a target market is as old as business itself. Moreover, it’s fully possible to paint an accurate picture of your audience’s buying habits and give your product the very best chance of success.
After answering the three questions we’ll explore in this article, you should feel intimately connected with your potential buyers, which will help you discover how to resonate with them. But before that, let’s quickly explore why identifying buying habits is so important.
Why Identifying Buying Habits is Vital for the Success of Your MVP
Buying habits are the normal shopping behaviors and decision processes of consumers. This psychographics plays an important role by rounding out your ideal buyer persona (which would otherwise consist of flat demographic data). Without understanding someone’s decision process when buying your product, you’ll struggle to resonate with them and win their patronage.
Let’s discover the questions you can ask to help you hone in on the buying habits of your target market!
3 Questions to Help You Identify Buying Habits in Your MVP’s Target Market
As this topic covers everything from motivational to influential factors, you’ll need to ask what shapes buyer decisions from a number of angles. The following three questions will help you create a crystal clear picture of your audience’s buying habits.
1. What Is the Motivation Behind a Purchase?
Knowing somebody’s motivation will help you strike the right balance in your positioning.
Rolex watches have long been recognized as a symbol of status and success, which provides a clear motive for purchase. The company plays on this fact in many of its advertising campaigns:
Finding out the priorities of the buyer will show you where to invest your resources. If the buyer cares about cheap but decent products, you might find ways to improve the ‘feel’ of your product while maintaining a low price point. If they want a rich and luxurious status item, you can go the whole nine yards – and still mark up the price point after that.
In order to discover buyer motivations, you’ll need to dive in and find out what your target market cares most about.
Types of motives to consider when running your investigation are:
- Functional: How does the product improve somebody’s life?
- Aesthetic-emotional: What appeal does it have to the buyer’s emotions?
- Social: What does owning the product signal to others?
- Situational: How does the sales environment impact the decision to purchase?
- Curiosity: Does the product trigger a desire to know more when somebody sees it?
When you get to the root of these questions, you’ll begin to see what aspect might drive the most sales. Once you understand this, you can tap into the market by appealing to these motivations in your presentation and messaging.
The simplest way to find out what drives your audience is to run a survey. First, come up with questions relevant to your MVP that touch on the above motivation points. Once you’re ready, there are various ways you can market your survey. If you have the budget, you might opt to hire a market research agency. Alternatively, you can create an online form and send it to your subscribers, as well as run social media ads to spread the word.
2. What Factors Are Most Influential?
There are many factors that influence consumer choices, but arguably two that rule the roost.
At a base level, there is the company itself and its general marketing, including how trustworthy they are perceived to be. The top three trust-builders in marketing are:
- Word-of-mouth advertising
- A branded website
- Genuine online reviews
Finding a way to put these in place is important, no matter who your target market is. However, as you get to know your ideal buyer better, you’ll find there are at least a few unique topics that influence their decisions.
For example, have you created a strong message about the ethics and values of your company? 55% of global consumers prefer to patronize companies who take a strong stance on social responsibility. If your audience falls into that statistic, details like this might make a difference in their decision process.
Secondly, you’ll want to examine the actual buying experience.
The top factor driving more than half of purchasing decisions is product quality. That means that unless you know your audience is looking at price first, you should err on the side of quality.
Meanwhile, a staggering 81% of consumers reported that their friends’ social media posts played a direct role in their purchasing decisions. This backs up the power of word of mouth marketing! You can build influence this by making it easy to share and talk about your products online.
Once in a store, the feature 81% of buyers care about most is competitive pricing. It’s important to realize that you don’t necessarily have to be the cheapest product, but you can aim to be the best value for money.
It’s worth considering that your customer may also be swayed by momentary factors such as hunger, the time of day, and how uncomplicated it is to choose your product. If your point of retail is in a cafe, for example, knowing how those factors change their decision-making process could be important!
3. How Do Changing Factors in Society Affect Decisions?
Cultural factors, societal norms, and any major changes within our environment can impact buying habits.
These factors sometimes display as stereotypes, resulting in a negative impact on marketing efforts. However, when used correctly, cultural factors and societal norms are helpful to predict changes and adjust to modern times.
One of the most obvious recent disruptive changes has been the rise of smartphones. As a result, among other mobile-specific strategies, Quick Response (QR) codes are now an integral part of many ad campaigns:
Another huge change we’ve seen is the invention and increasing power of social media, as well as its role in business. The rapid pace of technology and the way it enables us to grow and connect has many societal implications. One of the most important may be that younger generations are used to looking at a bigger picture with more information; they have a lot of practice filtering out huge amounts of unnecessary data on a regular basis.
How will that impact someone’s decision to buy your product? You can only begin to answer that question by researching the implications of cultural factors for your situation. Keep an eye on what norms are changing, so you can create a strategy based on buying habits that will be around for the long term.
Competing in an increasingly crowded market can seem impossible. Identifying the buying habits of your target audience may be the key that unlocks your success. Once you know the sweet spot for their purchasing decisions, you should be able to cut through the noise and reach them.
In this article, we brought you three questions to help:
- What is the motivation behind a purchase?
- What factors are most influential?
- How do changing factors in society affect decisions?
What other questions do you have about identifying buying habits and using them to your advantage? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credits: Lee Campbell