Woman holding her credit card thinking of buying products based on a sale using behavioral marketing

Behavioral-Based Marketing Strategies and Why They Matter

5 useful examples of behavioral marketing and effective ideas on how to implement it in business: 

As marketers, it’s important to research target markets, discover trends and build campaigns based on that data. However, some trends are innate to human nature, not just a specific segment of the market or a specific trend of the season.

One approach that takes human nature into consideration is known as behavioral marketing. While behavioral marketing uses data, its value comes from building a carefully defined profile of what motivates target consumers and then tailoring marketing messages accordingly.

By understanding and incorporating behavioral and psychological principles in their marketing initiatives, marketers can harness universal needs, values and likely actions.

Here are some strategies and tactics that tap into known customer behaviors.

1. Loyalty Strategy.

Customer loyalty is essential to any business. In fact, the average mid-sized B2B company earns 30% of its revenue from existing customers. Companies that engage regularly with their customers build relationships based on value and trust.

A solid loyalty strategy keeps product and service sellers top of mind as solution providers with current clients.

Tactics to accomplish this strategy include:

  • Produce a consistent newsletter with meaningful and relevant content
  • Create customer-centric content and social media that keeps customers engaged
  • Offer loyalty programs or gamification approaches that encourage customers to “level up” through repeated purchases
  • Foster open and consistent communication with buyers.

2. “Surprise and Delight” Strategy.

Similar to a loyalty based strategy, the “surprise and delight” approach creates a special customer service experience to keep customers interested and engaged.

By feeding off universal buying motivations such as satisfaction of emotion, pride of ownership, excitement and delight, customers are more likely to become advocates of the seller’s brand, products and services.

Tactics include:

  • Offer exclusive offers and rewards
  • Present personal gifts and personalized notes to celebrate milestones or important dates
  • Extend perks that promote brand value
  • Create social media engagement by monitoring, reacting to, responding to and sharing customer-created content
  • Gather information on positive customer experiences to craft testimonials, reviews and case studies that showcase success.

3. Scarcity Strategy.

When something is less accessible, it creates a perception of having increased value.

Whether it’s an item that sold out quickly, a highly exclusive event or a service provided by a professional in high demand, scarcity and fear of loss (losing out) increase desire and lead to action.

Tactics include:

  • Present limited-time offers and promotions
  • Employ exclusive customer experiences and events with experiential value
  • Include calls to action on promotions that encourage an immediate next step.

4. “Groupthink” Strategy.

Groupthink” is a psychological phenomenon that involves decision making based on the desire to fit in with a group.

Oftentimes, this can be considered a “cognitive bias” (or systematic error in thinking) where the idea of fitting in with a group trumps personal values.

However, known groups, alliances and institutions as a whole often have shared values and goals.

By representing or appealing to relatable groups, marketers can help prospects feel affiliated and connected.

Tactics include:

  • Create and engage with digital groups through social media, forums and webinars
  • Publish articles in industry journals and trade magazines read by target audiences
  • Participate in events, conferences and trade shows to interact with known groups
  • Engage in strategic partnerships with other companies and influencers to develop brand advocates that identify with your market.

5. “Nudge” Strategy.

A “nudge” in marketing is defined as positive reinforcement or indirect suggestion that makes it easier for individuals to make decisions in their best interest.

This strategy relies on clever placement and timing that feed off a prospect’s momentum. This is particularly effective in conjunction with other products, services or events related to your firm.

Tactics include:

  • Place call-to-action buttons that encourage prospects to request a quote, get in contact or discover more in strategic locations
  • Advertise on platforms with related products or services
  • Incorporate links to or suggestions for alternative content, products or services in case needs weren’t immediately addressed
  • Use “default options” or pre-determined courses of action based on the actions of other users.

Why behavioral marketing matters

Every purchase is a decision. Consumer choices can be influenced by continually changing factors such as location, experience and time.

Fortunately, technology proves data-based insights into customer behavior, interests, preferences and habits. However, some trends are true to the human experience as a whole.

By recognizing the concepts behind behavioral marketing, marketers can better understand why prospects and customers make the decisions they do.

When integrated with data, careful analysis and strategic planning, savvy marketers are more likely to deliver highly targeted messages that leverage psychological insights, thereby converting prospects into lifelong customers.

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