Why Do People Buy?

Seth Godin, one of the most important digital marketing gurus and academics, once said that “people do not buy goods & services. They buy relations, stories & magic”.

Well if you are really into academic research – and you need to prove your point against a bunch of other people – this may be right. But in real life, this doesn’t work.

Have you ever asked yourself why people buy the products or services they do? Why would they buy your products or services? I guess you did but in this short article, we will provide you the six main reasons why people buy.

Identity. This is what Godin has in mind mainly. Your identity is really important in the buying process. People create bonds of affection to someone before they buy and this is actually one of the most powerful reasons why they end up buying.

Logic. People also buy stuff because they need it. There is an underlying desire or need. This is the most straight forward reason why people end up buying. Rationally we have needs and wants and the way we satisfy them is through the buying process. Price differentiation plays a major role here.

Credibility. People may also buy stuff because you have credibility. Consumers perceive you as someone who really understands what goes on. Credibility here in the sense of building a sense of authority. Intellectual authority. You have credibility – and you show this to your customers.

Trust. Another important element that makes people buy from you is the idea that they can trust you. And this goes deeper than just feeling you are credible. Trust involves looking at you and your brand from a comparative perspective. They can see you have worked in a particular field and from the case-studies you presented or from other relevant work, the consumer understands that you are a good fit.

Recommendation. People also buy stuff because someone recommends your product or service.

Urgency. The sense of urgency also makes people buy things. And here we go back to the more materialistic side of the buyer’s journey. Similar to rationality based on pure logic “I buy stuff because I need”, urgency provides a different material layer to this element, “I buy things now because tomorrow price will be different”. You can inject urgency into your offers through a number of different ways.

So there you go, the six main reasons why people buy. Imagine the implications this can have for the management of your digital marketing platforms. For example, why do you think that having a really well-developed facebook banner is important for a business page? Wouldn’t it be because you have to brand yourself and create a sense of identity?

Knowing these fundamental truths is really pivotal to digital marketing success. They can be applied to all digital marketing tools.