Big Data Analytics and Customer Behavior

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 20:36 -- admin

Did you know that measuring actual customer behavior instead of behavioral intent can dramatically increase your marketing effectiveness?

If you're trying to understand your customers' behaviors, probably the last people you should ask are your customers.

A traditional marketing approach for predicting consumer behavior is to elicit behavioral intention instead of actual behavior.
While this is nice to know, you should be more interested in whether your customers recommended our products to their friends, if their friends bought something from your company as a result, and if their friends had a good experience dealing with your company.

In order to get all this information, you should focus on big data rather than your customers. When it comes to understanding and predicting consumer behavior, your big data analytics reports will have better answers than your customers. That's for sure.

The underpinnings for the behavioral intention approach come from an expectancy-value model known as the Theory of Reasoned Action (TORA). In this model, behavior is a function of behavioral intent, which is in turn affected by attitudes and subjective norms. The idea is to affect behavior by adjusting proposed levers that affect attitudes and/or subjective norms. The classic measurement system for this model is behavioral intention - not actual behavior -- chiefly because it has traditionally been the easiest information to collect. Collecting data on actual consumer behavior has typically been unfeasible and impractical - until now.

The emergence of the Internet, e-commerce, and social media has radically altered the landscape of available consumer behavior data, and that's a fact.
Cash registers and Point-of-Sale systems are being replaced by e-commerce sites that record every move consumers make - even when they don't buy something. Casual telephone conversations with friends or girlfriends about recent purchases are being replaced by tweets or social network statuses that can be scanned and analyzed by anyone who follows those Twitter or other social network feeds. All of this wonderful data on actual consumer behavior and experiences is there to be measured and analyzed, but that's not such a simple task. At first, you must embrace the new way of thinking that customers can tell you what they think, while your big data team can tell you what those customers actually do.

If you still don't have your own big data solution - CERAiT Big Data Predictive Analytics Lab is the right place to start with!

The basic strategy with big data and social media analytics is to measure and analyze actual behavior of your customers. There's nothing wrong with TORA or measuring behavioral intention for that matter, though the key performance indicator (KPI) centers on actual behavior.

If your organization sell products online, you should have a big data team or solution which should look for digital behaviors that are conducive to your strategic objectives. So, when you want to build a loyal customer base, you should look for digital behaviors. The best of all is that this is something what can be measured directly from the operational data (e.g., web logs). That's why there is no need to ask customers if they love your products, because this can be seen in their digital behavior.

Big data analytics can also help you in understanding the conversation that's happening around your customers' experiences with social media analytics. This is also really important to be know and be aware of. This is similar to surveying for behavioral intention, but it's more authentic.

So we come to the conclusion, which we should remember. Marketing strategy today requires 21st century thinking. This is kind of thinking which must include big data analytics. Behavioral intention is an outdated proxy that's superfluous now that actual behavior can be measured. It's for sure that measuring actual behavior instead of behavioral intent will dramatically increase your marketing effectiveness. You should take some time today to take a look at what CERAiT Big Data Predictive Analytics Lab can offer you.





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