Using Behavioral Modeling to Engage Customers Throughout the Decision-Making Process


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Presented at Integrated Marketing Week 2014
Richard Warnaka, manager of UX, Cabela's
Shane Johnston, lead experience planner, EffectiveUI

As retailers look to understand their customers, they often turn to tools like market segmentation and personas to better understand the different types of user groups within their target market. But this approach often overlooks the different stages a consumer goes through in making purchasing decisions.

Behavioral Modeling seeks to construct a universal representation of behavior: information is collected on the context, social structure, previous experience and emotion of a behavior.

This session explores why this approach was invaluable for Cabela’s, where – working together with EffectiveUI – the company uncovered the different stages its customers went through as they shopped. By understanding these various phases of decision-making, the company identified some new opportunities to provide meaningful engagement during the process to help guide customers’ decisions.

During the session, we will cover:
• How to conduct effective behavioral research
• Turning behavioral models into actionable design
• Key lessons learned throughout the process

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  • Segmentation is inherently biased to the organization. It’s a method of dividing your customers by criteria relevant to business objectives. This is great for understanding a market. But it fails to identify opportunity that may lie outside of those narrowly defined boundaries.
    Personas do not adapt well to a changing customer landscape
    They often focus on making the persona ‘more real’ rather than eliciting need by including details that are superficial and ‘made-up’
    Lastly, they require a high level of organizational buy in to be useful. These other three are
  • So
  • Heuristics are essentially rules of thumb. They’ve either been learned or are hard coded by evolutionary process. Heuristics represent the adaptive nature of decision making in an environment with incomplete information. Good judgements do not require complex cognition.
    Example: Gerd Gegizinger – Recognition Heuristic
    San Antonio vs San Diego
    University of Chicago – 2/3
    Max Plank – 100%
  • This is sort of a traditional flavor of conversion funnel, something cabela’s relied heavily on internally. It’s fairly linear in nature. We start wide, with some sort of marketing lead, and follow the customer through to purchase.
    But this is an incomplete story. The start takes an organizational centric view, as the originator of communication. And concludes with Purchase. It implies nothing about how post purchase behaviors influence
  • Using the same funnel metaphor, we Illustrated that shopping, as a condition, does not end at the point of purchase. There are a host of post-purchase behavior
  • Using Behavioral Modeling to Engage Customers Throughout the Decision-Making Process

    1. 1. Behavioral Modeling: Engaging Customers Throughout the Decision-Making Process Rich Warnaka Shane Johnston @IM_WEEK #IMWeek
    2. 2. INTRODUCTIONS Shane Johnston Lead Researcher Effective UI Rich Warnaka UX Manager Cabela’s
    3. 3. OVERVIEW 1 Background and Context 2 Why Behavior? 3 Behavioral Modeling in Practice
    4. 4. CABELA’S Founded in 1961 Cabela’s is the world’s largest direct marketer of hunting, fishing, camping, and related outdoor merchandise.
    5. 5. CABELA’S : Context Growth of the direct online channel. Total Revenue = $3.6 billion Direct Sales through and = $1 billion (%27.7) Multi-channel experience. 55 Retail Stores throughout North America. Data rich – helps explain what happens. Cabela’s CLUB = 1.7 million card holders Little understanding of why it happens.
    6. 6. CABELA’S : Intelligence Gaps The Persona Problem Market Segment Centric Stagnant Artifacts Fluff Factor - Conjecture Requires Organizational Buy-In Behavioral Flexible Factual Intuitive
    7. 7. BEHAVIOR & INSIGHT Humans are not (completely) rational actors.
    8. 8. BEHAVIOR & INSIGHT Behavioral Determinants Heuristics Either learned or hard-coded ‘rules of thumb’. Previous Experience Tacit knowledge gained through practical experience. Emotional Affect The valence, responsiveness to stimuli, and motivational intensity. Context The environmental and situational conditions.
    9. 9. BEHAVIOR & INSIGHT Behavioral Modeling A strategic framework for identifying behavioral commonality across customer segments.
    10. 10. IN PRACTICE Modeling Objectives 1 Model common behavioral patterns for a given condition (shopping). 2 Map behavioral determinants and customer touchpoints against the model. 3 Identify gaps in the customer experience.
    11. 11. IN PRACTICE The Current Model
    12. 12. IN PRACTICE Behavioral Model Shopping
    13. 13. IN PRACTICE Components Patterns Identifiable regularity in customer behavior. Thresholds The point at which a small change in conditions transitions a person to another stage or model in the shopping/hunting lifecycle. Contexts The environmental and situational conditions (including social structures). Touchpoints Points of interaction with the company/brand. Roles Patterns of behavior across the model.
    14. 14. IN PRACTICE Key Learnings 1 Shopping is not a linear process. 2 Design experiences that support our customer’s behaviors. 3 Segmentation alone provides a one dimensional view of customers. 4 We should recognize that there are different roles throughout the process.
    15. 15. IN PRACTICE Paradigm Shift The customer does not live for your company, your company lives for the customer.
    16. 16. IN PRACTICE Use within Cabela’s Foundational for more traditional types of research, analysis, and strategic efforts: 1Journey Mapping of specific experiences. 2Focus for ethnographic and contextual inquiry research efforts. 3Provides filter for priorities and site architecture.
    17. 17. CONCLUSION Thanks!