Discovering What Motivates Consumers

Published April 22, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


On Monday we looked at how marketing strategists define their market. Today we dive a little deeper to discover what motivates consumers. Leaders that distinguish the difference between attitude and values are more likely to develop a brand that will experience long lasting success as well as build solid relationships and a loyal customer following. In their book, Integrated Advertising, Promotion and Marketing Communications, Baack and Clow (2012) explain that attitudes also reflect individual values and that these perceived values and attitudes are key roles that influence consumer decisions. For example, typically, educated consumers incorporate two strategies in the decision making process that can influence their feeling or attitude: (a) the gathering of information and (b) the evaluation of alternate choices (Baack & Clow, 2012). This means, that motivation plays a key role in swaying their attitude in the decision making process. This element determines the amount of enthusiasm they engage to support their needs and wants.

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Additionally, lower costs and higher benefits are factors that can influence consumer emotions and attitudes. These are a few components that help shape consumer feelings toward making decisions and remaining loyal. This means it is in the company’s best interest to develop strategies that provide consumers with substantial information about their products and services as well as a reason why they offer the best choices over any alternatives. These are factors that can help communicate a positive company image to consumers. This in turn affects their attitude and ultimately makes the company more valuable to them.


In her webinar, Marketing What Matters, the second strategic practice Dr. Meggin McIntosh (2015) suggests is for leaders to discern what motivates their target audience. In other words, once a firm establishes who their best customers are and who their most valuable prospects are, the next step is figuring out what they want. One way to achieve this is to answer questions like: Do they want to make a difference? Do they want to create or do something that matters? Do they want to produce something that wastes less time?


To answer questions like these marketing managers can engage in conversations or by face-to-face discussions with consumers. This is one of the best ways to find out what motivates the people they are trying to reach. Other strategies may include focus groups, surveys, networking through social media outlets, interviewing past clients to find out what they thought, or for the ones that left, why they did so. Also effective are reading books, articles online or in magazines to pick up what is trending as well as developing research and development teams to help with the production of effective campaigns. These are all samples of effective strategies that are used to help marketing managers discover what motivates their audience so they can devise campaigns that will help people care more about their brands and what the firm is promoting.

That’s it for this today. On Friday we will examine Dr. McIntosh’s third strategic marketing practice that was developed to help managers determine a brand’s message. Until then … stay organized!


“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha


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Dr. Meggin McIntosh, P. (2015). Marketing what maters. Marketing What Matters (p. 21). Reno: Meggin McIntosh, PhD.

Morgan, J. (2012). Brand against the machine: How to build your brand, cut through the marketing noise, and stand out from the competition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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