All Purchase Decisions Are Made By People

According to a paper by Gavin Finn, president & CEO of Kaon Interactive, posted by Chief Marketer, B2C and B2B marketers must look at both the macro and micro forces that are shaping the behavior of their audiences, along with the increasingly rapid pace of technological change.

To understand how to drive interesting and exciting discoveries and innovations in almost every personal, business, and public policy arena, the paper identifies primary sentiments of populations in many markets.


When the status quo is being challenged, individuals and companies develop a heightened sense of awareness of how things are (or might be) changing, and they are less able to feel confident in their plans. This translates into hesitancy to embark upon long-term strategic initiatives, or even to change in small ways, says the report. 

Risk Aversion.

As a result of the dual forces of rapid change and uncertainty in the future, individuals and businesses become highly risk averse. This means that they are more likely to do nothing than to try something new. Each decision is weighed not in terms of the possible benefits, but in terms of the risk of failure.


When people are unhappy with the way things are going in their immediate environments, though this response may appear to be contradictory to the feelings of uncertainty and risk aversion says the report, there is a consistency in the prevalence of erratic consumer and business buying behavior.

While some might see these prevailing sentiments in a negative light, says the report, these forces can inform impactful strategies for successful acquisition and retention this year and beyond. The paper continues with some suggested ways that marketers can leverage this knowledge and deliver superior results:

  • There is so much noise and clutter in both B2B and B2C marketing, that getting people’s attention and developing any kind of interest has become exponentially more difficult. As businesses and consumers feel unsettled about the future, they especially appreciate when brands deliver on their promises, resulting in a combination of increased loyalty and a deeper sense of confidence in their buying decisions.
  • In order to reduce the perception of risk in a purchase decision, marketers should build a continuous dialogue with their customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey. This is a different approach to “marketing communications” in the sense that the customer is just as involved in the communications process as the marketer. The result is true customer engagement, which increases confidence, proven by behavioral psychology to be much more effective at knowledge transfer and delivers long-term customers who make better buying decisions.
  • When markets are uncertain, and buyers are risk averse, decisions to purchase are most often made for only those solutions that are necessary and urgent. Identifying a customer need is no longer sufficient, understanding “why” is important to address now. The more the marketer focuses on helping customers arrive at outcome-based conclusions themselves, the more successful they will be.
  • While data science and analytics has become an essential element of every modern marketing arsenal, all purchase decisions are made by people, says the report. Even in business purchases, the individual decision-makers are subject to the same strengths and weaknesses as consumers.

Neuroscientists have proven that every decision has an element of emotion to it, even when business decision-makers believe that they are being entirely analytical. In fact, many behavioral scientists believe that the primary decision drivers are mainly emotional.

Addressing the emotional state of the decision-makers (addressing their sentiments of uncertainty and dissatisfaction) can yield significantly better results than focusing on quantitative benefits of solutions, concludes the paper.

For additional information from Kaon Interactive, please visit here.

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