The simple premise behind behavioral marketing is that by acquiring precise data from each of our prospects we can then target them individually, in a more precise way than if we’d went about it en masse with the usual one-size-fits-all marketing message.
There are two subsets to this premise. One, in order to do this we need to acquire data that describes as much of the customer journey
as possible. Two, unless we can properly interpret the data we capture we’ll be unable to align our marketing with the intent of our prospects.
Misalignment of purpose, in the digital age, is the proverbial cardinal sin. It loses businesses customers and it damages their reputation (look what happened to United
Aligning values with purpose requires effort. At a business level that effort is expressed through open and honest communication that makes every stakeholder and employee feel valued and listened to and every customer feel that they matter.
What we are seeing here is convergence
During most of the 20th century marketing required spending enough time, energy or cash (or all three at times) to divert the attention of as broad an audience as possible and funnel them to the point of sale. It was messy, lossy and impersonal. It was also necessary in order to achieve the economies of scale necessary to make commerce economically viable.
As the Model-T example of marketing indicates
this led to strict standardization and a relative unification of markets in order to reduce the threshold costs associated with trade.
The natural progression of this is the commodification of goods and services
experienced in our days. Commodification, may further reduce prices and transport the creation of goods and services to low-cost labor markets; but it also erases differentiation
and creates new tensions between governments and large corporations, national and global markets and even such sources of personal identity as language, culture and ethnicity.
When it comes to marketing this now creates an interesting paradox. To avoid the ever deepening spiral to the bottom where goods are sold solely on the logic of their price point, marketing uses branding to generate a sense of perceived value. Perceived value requires a deep connection between a brand and its audience in what is called the intersubjective space
of a shared ‘mythology’ which identifies the brand with its consumers and vice versa.
Successful branding is the transition of a ‘creation myth’ into real-world values. A pathway not dissimilar to the one that transforms sensations and feelings to abstract thoughts and ideas that lead to decisions and choices which are expressed in concrete actions
It is this Axons-to-Actions route that behavioral marketing can most influence by interjecting, at the most opportune moment, information that helps either direct, shape or trigger a particular decision and affect a desirable outcome.
There’s a lot to take on-board here, so here’s a good starting point: consider how your business defines and then projects its identity and what impact that has on its audience.