What is Behavior, Anyway?

Behavior is a new buzzword these days.

Brands spent years segmenting their audience by demographics. All marketers who have been at it more than a year or two know the story: This is Sally. Sally shops three times a week. She has two and a half children.

Then, at some point, demographics began to get messy. Sally got divorced and was a single mom. Sally had to budget differently and shopped less frequently. Meanwhile, her friend Joan was off to Europe, and came back with the habit of daily shopping for fresh vegetables. And, on the other side of town, Fred was a single guy just learning to cook.

The standard demographics didn’t fit into nice categories anymore.

Then along came device “behavior.” This adds to the demographic picture with a realistic view of where and when people are shopping—not reported by them, but observed through their mobile interactions.

We’ve been following behavior long before device behavior became a thing. We did it—and still do—through our own software that, with human inputs, measures what people are reporting, how they feel, what they care about, and why it matters to them. Our software enables us to measure shifts over time—so, for example, when we began to see pandemic behavior that was similar to behavior we observed in the Great Recession, we could look back in time and see just how similar they really are.

We could see the nuances in today’s behavior—the way a consumer is now acting in response to a need. That need—which right now may be triggered by fear, isolation, or health concerns, is what triggers an action response.

Influence triggers  need; need triggers response; together they equal behavior. We identify the behavior AND what influenced it so that  you can develop a message for the front end of the equation, where you can influence future behavior.

Here are our beliefs as we come out of the pandemic:

  • We believe that behavior is an indicator of the next move.
  • We believe that behavior is made up of any number of influences, and that by tracking those influences we understand why people act/buy the way they do.
  • We believe that behavior indicates the needs—that you are driven by a need, and that is lived out in how you behave.
  • We believe that, while others track how many times you go someplace, and draw assumptions that you will continue to  go there, we track where you actually go, and compare it to other places you go, and analyze it to see what you are actually trying to find.
  • We believe in observed behavior—what we see or hear—because it shows us both voluntary/conscious behavior and involuntary/unconscious behavior.

So, behavior may be a new buzzword. However, we have spent 15 years gathering information based on consumer behavior and relevancy, compiling it into a system that, when leveraged, can help build ideas and messaging that influences an outcome.

It’s time has come. Post-Pandemic needs are all about behavior, not traditional demographics.

Thanks for listening. I just had to get that off my chest.