The reason that consumers may purchase your product or services really boils down to 4 different factors. These include cultural factors, social factors, psychological motivations and personal motivations. If you think hard enough, every purchase you have ever made has come from one or a combination of these factors. Now lets take a deeper look into each of these factors and how they may relate to inbound marketing.
The culture around you is a huge influence on your purchasing decisions. We have all grown up creating our own ideologies, perceptions, preferences and values from the culture around us. From this we have formed an idea of what is acceptable and what is not. This is known as a cultural norm which may better be described as an understood way of acting or behaving prescribed by the society as a whole. One of the best examples of cultural factors that influence buying habits is taking a look around the world at what other cultures are buying to eat compared to ours. It is much different. Even the utensils they may eat with (ex. Chopstix vs. Forks).
So how do cultural factors influence inbound marketing? Well the obvious one is some cultures don’t rely on the internet heavily or even at all. Trying to sell something to Grandma via the internet isn’t going to fly as well as it would with a millennial. The older population not only has a low understanding of the internet, but they often don’t trust it. Also your website needs to speak the language of your culture. Not just the actual culture you reside in, but more importantly the culture created around your industry. Each industry has its own language, so when creating copy for a site you need to make sure you are speaking their language. When you speak in their terms, it builds trust which goes a long way when trying to sell a product.
Humans are innately social. So social in fact that interaction with one another personally just wasn’t enough; we decided we needed Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. The groups that you belong to will influence your purchasing decisions. It could be your friends, family or maybe your social status. Depending on the current social role you are playing, it will influence the way you purchase. For example, a business owner who is also a father will play two different roles when going out and purchasing something; If you are out to eat with a colleague, he may decide to purchase a beer instead of their regular soda they usually purchase while eating with their family.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. These social networks are influencing how you purchase products or services. You hear your friends and families attitude towards a certain product and it creates an attitude within yourself.
Everyone has heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which states our needs are arranged in a hierarchy from most pressing to least. This could be your need for food, water, shelter, etc. Once a basic physiological need is fulfilled, you move to the next on your list. When making a large purchase, humans want to be as informed as possible, so make sure your site is fulfilling all the needs of your consumers. Is it answering all the tough questions? Is it giving all the information about price? If it does, your audience will become educated enough to satisfy their first need and hopefully push them to the next step of purchasing. Learning will alter a person’s behavior, so make sure you are giving your audience the type of information that will influence them in a positive way towards your product or service. This information will help form their beliefs, attitudes and perception, which all play a factor in their final decision.
The personal characteristics of each consumer will play a factor as to what they purchase (gender, age, occupation, lifestyle, personality, etc). I assume you know how these affect buying decisions, but if not I will give a few examples: Women don’t buy men’s clothes, you don’t wear the same type of clothes today as you did when you were 12, etc. Keep these personal factors in mind when designing your site to cater to each segment’s preference. Obviously if your audience is men, I wouldn’t recommend you design your site with pink as the main color scheme. You may want to start thinking of your site as segments and decide which audiences are more likely to reach that segment on your site. Then cater those pages to those specific audiences. This idea is similar to current advertising strategies found on television, which is why you see more beer commercials on sports channels while you will see more household item commercials during day-time soap operas.
Persuading your Audience to Purchase Your Product
Influencing your audience’s purchasing decision can be very difficult, but possible. Keeping these 4 factors (cultural factors, social factors, psychological motivations and personal factors) in mind while creating your online presence will increase your chances of making a sale. Creating a buyer persona with most of these factors defined will help you design a strategy to target your ideal audience.