Friday, October 16, 2015

Words to Motivate You?

Research featured in Harvard Business Review claims that these ten phrases are highly motivating for your customers. When traveling a few years ago to another country, I hit a marketplace and was inundated with cries of "Cheaper than WalMart!" "99% off" and, my favorite, "I was just waiting for you to come so I could open my shop!" Did they motivate me to buy from them? No.

People have different motivational dimensions: utilitarian, theoretical, social, aesthetic, traditional and individualistic. Obviously, utilitarians want to get something from the effort, usually money. Theoreticals want to gain some new truth. Socials like to see others succeed in what they do (ultimate team players). Aesthetics like form (beauty) and harmony. Traditionally motivated behaviors strive for unity and order while individualistics are seeking power. You know people in with these types of motivations. So how do the top ten motivational themes stack up?

"Stand out from the crowd": could be aesthetic or individualistic--probably not traditional or social

"Have confidence in the future": theoretical, maybe traditional if you're promoting steadfastness in your product or service

"Enjoy a sense of well-being": social, aesthetics, traditional maybe

"Feel a sense of freedom": individualistic (yes!), theoretical maybe

"Feel a sense of thrill": individualistic, aesthetic

"Feel a sense of belonging": social, aesthetic maybe, traditional--definitely not utilitarian or individualistic

"Protect the environment": social, aesthetic

"Feel secure": utilitarian

"Succeed in life": utilitarian, individualistic

Granted, some of the marketing messages along these lines might work with a majority of people. Because we have some of these motivational attitudes all the time; others we might have in certain situations. We are indifferent to some prods on these dimensions.

All this definitely points out that we can't craft a single message to get potential customers en masse to buy from us, or motivate our entire organization to adopt some necessary change.

Notice how none of the themes would help those who have a strong Theoretical value.

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