Behavioral marketing is an inbound marketing technique that focuses on the behavior of website visitors. These behaviors include: number of visits to your site, time spent on website pages, clicked links, types of words that are clicked on, downloads, and forms completed. Buying behavior can be noted and acted upon leading to greater sales velocity and reduction in missed opportunities.
The Psychology of Behavioral Marketing
How Can Every Lead Be My Ideal Lead?
You know exactly the kind of business that could benefit from your product or service. You know what industry they are in, how many employees they have, and what part of the world they reside in. But you can know more with a behavioral marketing strategy.
After narrowing down the kind of lead that is ideal for your company, new technology offers the opportunity to identify intent to purchase. For example: a company that is piloting new software that replaces an older version may pay extra attention to website visitors that linger on a page addressing the problems of the older software. Would your ideal client download a white paper or PowerPoint presentation about a certain topic? Would they stay on a page for a few minutes, reading everything carefully? Would they keep revisiting your site, or open every piece of email you send? Perhaps copying content from your site on the features and benefits of the newest release of your product or updated service. These actions provide important clues to your prospects’ intent to make a purchase now or in the near future.
Why Is Behavior Important in B2B Marketing?
When marketing to businesses, you are still marketing to a person. This person has good days and bad, might have a boss that is never satisfied, a mother-in-law who will never approve, and fleeting fantasies of changing careers or even lifestyles. And what do these people behind the computer want from you? A solution to a specific business problem!
People continue to browse your website, download documents, and complete forms for more information on topics that interest them. This is exactly what they have always done. The difference is that using behavioral marketing, interest and their real intent is identified. You only need to know what you’re looking for to discern between disinterested visitors and your next customer. By knowing how they got to your site, pages visited, forms completed, content downloaded, repeat visits to your site, you can start to discern their level of interest. But how do we know that people that visit your site are showing their true intent? The answer lies in their psychology.
Psychologically, people tend to behave differently when they are being watched. Several studies point to increased generosity and cooperation when there are even subtle cues that they are being observed.
A number of these experiments placed pictures of eyes in environments where people gathered, and found that even the most elusive notion of being watched was enough to change a behavior (Haley & Fessler, 2005; Ernest-Jones, Nettle, & Bateson, 2011; Bateson, Nettle, & Roberts, 2006). These studies focused on specific kinds of social behaviors, but there are countless ways being watched may change the way one behaves. Think about how your speech, posture, and attention changes when you are being observed. On the other hand, think about how you may behave when you are alone and no one is watching.
When no one is looking, what do you do differently? You may sing in the shower, watch reality TV shows, or eat unhealthy amounts of ice cream. And you do this because, without judgment, it is what you truly want in that moment. In a 2003 article about the psychological benefits of solitude, psychologists Christopher Long and James Averill note that when a person is alone, he or she is away from the needs and opinions of other people and may then cater to only themselves. This leads to a kind of autonomy to choose what type of pursuits to partake in and a diminished feeling of self-consciousness about the choices one makes.
A particularly evocative quote from the article states, ”Solitude reduces the need for impression management without imposing a pattern of behavior to which one feels pressured to conform” (Long & Averill, 2003, p.17).
In addition to the kind of freedom one feels when alone, the internet provides a perceived feeling of anonymity that allows people to express themselves in ways that they might be unable to without feeling anonymous. A study about personality types and expression on the internet found that some people are better able to express their true selves and real personal identities only when they are on the internet and are anonymous (Tasun & Lajuen, 2009).
Now translate this to when a prospect is on your website. The pages they linger on, the links they find intriguing and click, and the documents they download are pretty accurate indicators of interest. Most likely they are not browsing your website with someone watching and therefore influencing their behavior on your site. The more they do these things on certain pages, the more interest they have. And therefore, the more likely their behaviors reflect actual interest.
When you skillfully use behavioral data about the companies that visit your site, you are essentially benefiting from the positive effects of those people browsing in solitude and while feeling fairly anonymous. Consider a marketing automation tool that integrates with Dynamics CRM like Core Motives, Click Dimensions, or LeadFormix from Nurture Marketing to identify buying behavior and to act upon it before your competitors do.
–Eric Rabinowitz, Nurture Marketing a member of The Alliance for Channel Success
See Eric at WPC – #WPC13 – Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 – 4:00-5:00 PM – 50 Marketing Tips in 50 Minutes
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