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How to motivate customers (Part I)

When it comes to implementing a marketing strategy to sell a product or service, it is important to understand the motivations of both existing and potential customers. In a previous article, we had examined the ways in which leaders can motivate their employees; it is only fitting that we now also look at the ways in which customers can be motivated.

In order to look at how to position your products or services to new or current customers, we must look at the major driving forces behind customer motivation. In Part 1 of this series of articles, we will look at the first aspect of customer motivation: the personal relevance of the product/service to the customer.

For the product to be personally relevant to the customer, it must be involving or important enough for the customer to be willing to think about the issue and to ask themselves: "Do I really need to buy Product X from Company A?" If the consumer determines that the product or service is in fact highly relevant to them, organizations can expect an increase in the consumer's intention of purchasing the product or service. A product is more likely to be considered a hit if the organization employs a marketing strategy which focuses on: a) how the product addresses an existing problem faced by consumers; or b) increasing the awareness of new or potential problems which consumers might encounter if they choose not to buy the product.

Understanding the personal relevance of a product goes a long way in helping to predict the actual purchase intentions of a consumer, however, it is worth noting that these intentions may still differ from actual consumer purchase behaviours. Nevertheless, organizations must first determine the motivational factors behind consumer purchase decisions in order to construct an effective marketing strategy.

Measuring the personal relevance of a product is best achieved by presenting consumers with survey questions which ask them to rate their perceived importance of buying or using a product or service from your company on a rated scale. The measurement of a consumer's perception of product importance has been a successful method of linking the satisfaction of the consumer's experience (with either your brand or your organization) to their actual purchase intentions.

In Part 2, this discussion will continue by looking at the next factor in customer motivation: the customer's unique set of values and beliefs.

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