Understanding How People Make Purchase Decisions

Understanding How People Make Purchase Decisions

Understanding The Buying Process

Emotion plays a big part in our daily lives. For marketers, sometimes emotion can impact marketing strategy. Marketing teams are always trying to get inside the head of the consumer and understand what drives their decision-making process. In reality the accurate way to understand the buying process is by removing emotional barriers and looking at consumer actions. Let’s take a look at a practical approach to “looking under the hood” of how people make purchase decisions.

To jump start our conversation, take a moment and watch our latest edition of the MRX on Understanding How People Buy.

Conjoint analysis

To further explain Jeff Ewald’s point in the video, let’s make sure we understand what Conjoint Analysis is. At a high level, Conjoint Analysis is the process of identifying the weight of an individual element by assessing the choices people make. What makes Conjoint Analysis so powerful is that the respondents in the exercise are presented with real-life purchase decisions. They’re not asked to rate the importance of an element directly. It’s been shown that doing so (directly rating individual elements) doesn’t accurately illustrate the weight of the element on its own. In a Conjoint Analysis exercise, respondents are given a strategically calculated combination of elements as one-single offer.

Let’s dive a little deeper into Jeff analogy. Picture yourself online trying to book a flight using a site like Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. After you type in the details of your trip you’re presented with a series of options (departure time, arrival time, airline, comfort, number of stops, etc). At this point you do what most people do, you make a choice. Internally you weighed the different elements and made internal trade-offs on which elements were most important to your trip.

By assessing the choices people make over time, these travel sites can begin to understand the element(s) driving purchase behavior. Awesome right?

In the end you’re left with a statistically reliable understanding of how people buy (with no emotional barriers). Conjoint Analysis tools are very flexible and can be used to solve a variety of marketing problems. In what ways have you used conjoint analysis? Let us know if the comments.

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