Do you know the science of why? – Part 2

While intrapsychic motivations emerge from our internal lives, instrumental motivations are primarily focused on the real world. How do these motivations shape buying behavior? Well, it’s all about outcomes.

Instrumentally motivated consumers want to buy the product that is most efficient and most effective. In other words, these are the types of people who conduct painstaking online research before they decide to buy anything.

These customers will be irritated if you waste their time with a product that doesn’t do what it says on the box – and you don’t want to be subject to their wrath! They’ll make you pay for false advertising, either with damaging online reviews or dramatic in-store outbursts.

What these consumers appreciate is when marketers explain precisely how their product will help achieve the outcome they want. Ad campaigns that are characterized by honesty, authenticity and simplicity are the winners in this regard.

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign has managed to achieve this, but with a twist. This landmark piece of marketing was unlike anything else before it in the beauty industry.

Rather than implying unreasonable promises to women, like the power of a lipstick to make you look like Kirsten Dunst, Dove made it clear that the women in its ads didn’t need to look like actresses. Why? Because these women were already much more beautiful than they ever realized.

For one, there’s the empowerment-oriented consumer. They care about achievement, improvement and success, and as a result they won’t buy unless they’re sure a product will help them perform well. It’s the marketer’s job to make these consumers feel like they’re on the right track.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as using encouraging slogans. Phrases like “We can do it” or “Unlock your potential” will make the customer feel excited about learning new things and improving her range of skills with the aid of your product. This will make her more likely to buy.

There’s also another type of consumer that gets excited about possibilities for improvement, but this type has slightly different needs and wants. Engagement-oriented consumers are thrilled by the freshest innovations and the race to obtain the most advanced product before everyone else.

Marketers can attract engagement-oriented consumers by stimulating their senses, and that’s exactly why marketing for tech products puts new sounds, sensations and experiences on show. It’s not just a multisensory experience that engagement-oriented consumers are drawn to, but an experience that they can say they were part of. Taglines like “Don’t miss the moment!” play on these consumers’ desire to live in the present.

In contrast, achievement-oriented consumers aren’t so easy to entice. These consumers are competitive, and don’t want products that merely entertain them; they want to be challenged.

Marketers should approach these consumers more subtly. Messages such as “Let the results speak for themselves” or “Because you’ve earned it” suggest that even these discerning consumers can feel proud to own your product.

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