How understanding the consumer decision-making process brings precision to your marketing campaigns

For brands and retailers in 2021, trying to use marketing communications to cut through noise and gain consumer attention is more challenging than ever. According to recent figures, consumers are exposed to over 5000 brand messages a day.  The pandemic has brought with it a shift in purchasing behaviour with online purchasing surging to new heights. This has led to new factors playing a part in the consumer decision-making process.

To first understand how consumer decisions works, let’s take a look at the human brain. Consumer attention is finite – biologically our natural system 1 cognitive processes help us simplify, prioritise and make sense of what we are looking at; well before our system 2 top-down processes allow us to respond emotionally to what we see.  In essence, it’s the biological processes used by the brain that determines whether we will digest what is in front of us. It therefore makes sense to understand the system 1 gateway effect, because if we can unlock this then we have a significantly improved potential to engage.  All consumers, ingest and process content using a “universal’ biological formula to help us make sense of what we are looking at.  The formula includes light/dark, texture, contrast/edges, patterns/perspective, shape/clustering and colour.  By understanding this formula, brands and retailers can design content which takes in to account these criteria.  

Attention is driven by many factors, to understand one has to imagine an axis between the consumer and the brand as a horizontal line; at the consumer end of the axis factors influencing attention include what the consumer is doing and thinking about, what’s competing for their attention. A central area on the axis will include the context in which they are finding the brand content, its relevance and of course at the brand end of the axis we should find inspirational and intuitive creative personalised and relevant to the consumer. 

If you want to maximise your chances of a successful engagement with consumers, check out these 4 factors:  

  1. Context

Select your consumer channel mix with care and try to avoid wasteful spray and pray broadcast techniques. Thinking about where and what your consumers are doing in this channel will also help to ensure relevancy.

Optimise the creative assets you own to align them with how the brain is deciphering content and you can create really effective high-performance content.  Ensure content is relevant and that you are actually delivering your communications hierarchy the way you think you are.  Tools like Dragonfly AI, which enable us to predict human visual response to creative content are hugely valuable as they help us to iterate design and ensure it is ‘human ready” before it is published. 

2. Personalisation

Customers expect a certain degree of personalisation in many of their purchase decisions and with the growing possibilities of AI, marketers can offer hyper-personalised campaigns, which tap into the demographical, psychographic and behavioural insight we have collected through big data.

Personalised marketing has been proven to benefit from a number of things including:

  • A boost in social media engagement
  • Increase in lead generation and conversions
  • Strengthening of customer loyalty and brand affinity
  • Increase of brand awareness

4. Consumer evaluation

We are lucky in our domestic markets to have a vast range of choices when it comes to products and services.  With that in mind, you can expect the consumer to scope the options and compare what attributes they find on qualitative and quantitative measures, such as speed of delivery, price and ease of use, versus value for money and quality.  This evaluation stage will inevitably lead to the consumer taking a position on their affinity to a brand.  Often shaped by other commitments the brand has made with increasing emphasis on things like CSR and environmental commitments.  This all adds up to shaping the consumer’s attitude towards the brand and ultimately their support and loyalty to a brand.

5. Customer reviews

Increasingly reviews and ratings from other consumer peers, also known as word of mouth endorsements, are a very powerful part of the brand experience.  Particularly given social media has pervaded pretty much every dimension. There are of course other drivers which we simply can’t anticipate in the consumers world such as life changing events or a change of job.  One thing is for sure it’s a lot easier for a consumer to give voice to their experiences of a brand or product both positive and negative on market platforms, websites, social media and in peer networks and this is becoming increasingly significant for brands.

Consumer attention comes at an ever-increasing price, and with over 200 million items of content published every 60 seconds, there’s more demand for attention than ever before. Brands and retailers need to be smart and adopt a consumer centric approach if they want to compete for attention in today’s saturated market.

Want to understand how Dragonfly AI can help support improve your share of attention? Get in touch with us or book a demo.


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