Consumer motivation and the implication on marketing Introduction: The main purpose of marketing is to create value for customers so as to help the company to be success. Therefore, it is very important for marketers to understand its customers, especially on what motivate customers’ consumption behaviors so as to establish good marketing strategies. In this report, it aims at analysis consumer motivations. Firstly, it will start with the description the term of consumers’ needs as well as discuss different types if needs that consumers have as well as analysis the Maslow’s needs hierarchy and its implications.
This is important for understanding customers’ motivation since it is the basic demand of customers that promote their motivations. Secondly, it will mainly look at and understand the process of goal setting by consumers and then it will describe the process of the motivations which was embarked by unfulfilled needs and throughout the way of tension generation, driving, consumer behavior and goal generation.
Thirdly, It will look at the motivation strength and Directions, which is mainly about the result of the motivation that create certain level of influence on consumers which induce them to create a certain strength of feeling to fulfilled such unfulfilled needs as well as the effect of the external factors which produce a influence that direct consumers to make decisions. Then, the motivation conflicts will be introduced which includes three main types that are the approach –approach conflict, the approach-avoidance conflict as well as the avoidance-avoidance conflict and it will further discuss the implications on making market strategies.
Finally, consumers involvement will be discuss, this is the consumers’ response to their process of motivations and it can be helpful for marketers to evaluation the marketing performance on the influence of consumers’ motivation. 1. Consumers’ needs The term of consumers’ needs is similar to the term of demand and want, which is mainly about a process or way that can satisfy each individual customers which have their unique history, learning experiences as well as their culture environment (Agrawal, 1989). It is different from consumers’ otivations, since the need is the intrinsic demand based on the nature or the experience and background of consumers, such as the need of food and drink as well as the need of entertainment. The need cannot be created by marketers; however, they can affect the purchasing behavior of customers through their influence on the motivating processes. The need can be seen as the precondition of the motivation progress, since the process of generate consumers’ motivation is depending on if they have such need as well as if such need is realized. Generally, the needs can be classified as three types.
The first one is the innate needs, which arise from the nature of human being For example; people need food, drink, air and shelter. These needs are necessary to maintain their lives and therefore, they are also termed as the biogenic needs. The second type of need is named as the psychogenic needs, which is relevant to the desire to be involved in the society and become a member of a culture. For example, the need of power, statuses as well as affiliation are subject to this category. The third one is called as the utilitarian or hedonic needs. This utilitarian need is a need for a tangible attributes of products as well as its durability.
For example, consumers would like to buy a fuel economy car rather than a car which consume too much petrol. While the hedonic needs are subjective and experimental. For example, certain customers would like to consume milk of one particular brand rather than any others as they believe it is the best brand milk with high quality even through the price is higher and the products is of high homogeneous. One of the most important theories on needs is the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory, which is important for guiding marketers understanding the needs of different people and thus setting strategies to better influence their motivations.
In Maslow’s theory, it formulated a hierarchy of needs and in each level, the specific needs was clarified. The bottom level of need in the hierarchy is the physiological needs, which is the most proponent of all the other needs, since, if these need cannot been met, the human body would simply cannot continue to function. Examples of such needs are the need of air, water and food which is requirement for survive and the need of clothing and shelter which is requirement of protections. The next level of needs is termed as the safety needs, which is about to satisfy the feeling of security by people.
This includes the requirement of personal security, financial security, health and well-being as well as the Safety net against accidents or illness and their adverse impacts. The upper level of need is termed as social need. It can be described as the requirement of human to satisfy their feeling a sense of belongings and acceptance, which include the needs of friendship, intimacy as well as family. The second highest level of need is self-esteem, which is the need by human being to be respected and accepted by others.
Generally, there are two types of esteem needs; the first one is the need for respect of others, such as the need for status, recognition, frame, prestige and attention. The other one is the need for self-respect, such as the need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence and freedom (Maslow, 1954). The needs at the peak of the hierarchy are self-actualization. It is described as a ‘desire as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming’ (Maslow, 1954).
Which illustrate the desire for a person to have its own value is realized in the society. The implication of Maslow’s needs hierarchy is magnitude for marketers. Firstly, it stated that human’s need can be ranked and classified as different level and without the satisfaction of the lower level of needs; it would not create motivations for people to fulfill the needs ranked on higher level. Therefore, marketers should adopt strategies approaching to motivations which should specifies certain types of product benefits people might be searching for, which is depending on the level of needs they are searching for. . Motivation process and goal setting process The term of motivation refers to the processes that cause ‘people to behave as they do’ (Runyon and Steward, 1987). Generally, it arises when the consumer realized that his or her need was not satisfied or he or she recognized a need that has never been recognized before. The process of motivation begins at the state of tension which result in the unfulfilled needs or when new needs were activated. During this stage, consumers would try to find some ways to reduce or eliminate such tension.
After the needs were recognized and the tensions were generated, consumers will come into the process of goals setting. This process can be described as transferring the intangible feeling of demand and desire to the specific, measureable, attainable and realistic subjects (Runyon and Steward, 1987). For example, the lacking of water in the body of consumer would create a tension which is an undesirable feeling of thirsty, then the goal of consumer would be eliminate the bad feeling due to lack of water.
Another example is that you feel short of confidence when you working in a position which needs high degree of some specific knowledge, this undesirable tension of short of confidence might induce you to find some way of gaining knowledge and make yourself more confident. After the goal was setting, consumers will formulating a goal intension, such as buying a bottle of juice or water or a decision on take participate in part time study in universities.
Then an action planning is needed to specify the approach of achieving the goal, this is a more detail projects for each consumer, such as what kind of drinks and which brand should be chosen or when, which university should you take participate in and how long should it be enough to improve the knowledge. Then consumers need to make an action initiation and the process of control so as to attain the goal (Shail and Antoine, 2006). The implication on the understanding of the goal setting process on motivation is that this can be affected by various factors.
An individual consumer would select certain goals rather than others based on factors such as his or her personal experiences, Physical capacity, the academic and culture background as well as the accessibility in the physical and social environment. Also, these factors can be further divided into two types. The first one is the intrinsic factor, which comes from the inside of the consumers themselves, such as the feeling of fitter, stronger and healthier as well as being capable of doing things that they never try before.
While the extrinsically factors are those factor outside the consumers themselves. For example, people who are doing routine exercises for the sake of lose weight, gaining muscle or just looking better, even though they might not enjoy the process of exercise itself. Therefore, when considering consumer motivations, it is mainly the extrinsic factors that marketer need to make consideration and investigation so as to generate relevant marketing strategies which can drive consumers to matching their goals with the products that produced by the company.
Further, it should also be noted that the process of goal setting by consumers are not purely based on motivations, rather, it also based on rationality. The rationality means consumers would select goals based on the overall objective criteria to satisfy their needs, those criteria include the size, price or the weight. For example, when a consumer decides to buy a bag of flour, he will just choose the home-brand bag produced by the supermarket itself which is simply because this is the cheapest one. Also, customers’ selecting of certain goals is based on emotional motives which are quire subjective.
For example, when certain consumers decides to buy a bag of flour, they would buy some particular brand no matter what the price is and how similar this products to the bag flour on other brands. This implicated that not all goals or not all customers can be motivated, since they also selecting goals based on rationality. therefore, when setting marketing strategies, it is important to understanding the customers’ behavior as well as what kinds of goal setting process would be more rely on motivating factors.
For example, when a company producing a products which is mainly selected under rationality, the company should pay more attention on factors such as the price, size as well as it utilities. While when producing a products which is mainly selected under motivation, the company should invest more on the appearance of the products, the loyalty of the brand as well as advertizing. 3. Motivation strength and directions The motivation strength is used to evaluate the degree or power of the motivation on the process of goal setting, after the goal is attained and the tension is reduced.
In this stage, motivation is described as a sort of power that drives consumers to take actions to settle their goals (Koler, 1994). This is specifically importance when there is a conflict between different needs of consumers. For example, a consumer is desired to eat nice fat food while at the mean time, he or she wish to lose some weight and being looked better. These two demands are conflict with each other, and then the action by consumers would affected might the strengthens of emotion to achieve the goal, which means, if the consumer has a strong emotion of losing weight, then he or she is more likely to give up a nice dinner.
Therefore, it can be found that maintain a certain level of motivation is important for marketer as well, since the competitors are also performed on the market and trying to affect the purchasing decisions on consumers. Marketer should ensure that the strength of motivation on the products is strong enough so as to attract a group of loyal customers can maintain the share on the market. Another important term on the consumers’ motivation is motivation direction. As mentioned above, the consumers’ behaviors as well as their specific objective of satisfy a need is goal oriented.
However, in many circumstance, there are many alternatives that can be used to satisfy the consumers’ goals. Therefore, it is very important for marketers to enforcing effective strategies to convince consumers to purchasing their companies products. For example, when a customer decides to choose a transport to help him or her travel from Sydney to Brisbane, there are many alternatives such as travel by plane, on the sea or driving by him or herself. Even when he or she decided to take the plane to the destination, there are many air companies as well as different class of seat that are available for his or her to choose.
The directions can be either positive or negative and thus it will result in customers’ goal to be negative or negative. The positive goal is the one that forward to directly directing consumers’ behavior. Customers driving by these goals will seek products that can help them to attain the goal. For example, a customer may willing to purchase nice flowers so as to make their home more beautiful. However, customers can also been driving by negative goals, as they have certain incentives to minimize the negative outcomes (Mower, 1987).
For example, a car owner would like to purchase an expensive car insurance, since he want to insure that when there is an undesirable event or any problem on his car, the insurance company could help him solve it in a timely way. 4. Motivational conflicts It is not unusual that consumers have more than one goal and they are motivated by different sources of motivations at the same time. Therefore, in certain circumstances they may conflict of each other and thus, it requires consumers make decision on which goal they want to maintain the most.
General, there are three types of motivational conflicts which are the Approach-Approach conflicts, Approach-Avoidance conflicts and Avoidance-Avoidance conflicts. In the Approach-Approach conflicts, a customer needs to choose one goal on the sacrifice of another. This is generally due to the constraint of budgets. For example, a customer may want to buy a book while at the mean time he or she wants to buy a video as well (Engel, Blackwell and Miniard, 1994). However, the amount of money that he or she has can only afford to satisfy one of the goals but not enough for both.
Another reason for such conflict can be the shortage of time. For example, a student wish to attend a football matching in the afternoon but he also have a course at the same time which he is interested in as well. In this situation, only one goal can be achieved. Also, there is much other constraint which limits the ability of one consumer to achieve his or her goals at the mean time. on the sense of marketing strategies, there is no too much solutions for dealing with such dilemma, while marketer may through better understanding the customer behaviors as well as constraint so as to trying to avoid such conflict as possible.
For example, football matches should be arranged on weekends as possible so as to avoid the conflict of time for students and those have to work regularly. The other one is the Approach-avoidance conflict. This conflict is the most general one and it affects marketing strategies the most. This conflict is usually arise from many products or services on the market have both positive effects while at the mean time they can produce some negative consequences as well. For example, many consumers like to drink coffee; however, they may not get access to it since it may affect their quality.
Another example is that many consumers like to eat nice fat food while at the mean time, they are fairing about getting weight due to the high calories. This conflict of human behavior is also termed as the cognitive dissonance, which arises from the premise that people have a need for order and consistency in their lives (Bagozzi, Gurhan and Priester, 2002). This cognitive dissonance can also create intensions as well, therefore, there is a potential for companies to produce relevant products and being purchased if this products can be well used to solve the problem of conflicts.
This process is called as a process of cognitive dissonance reduction. This process is achievable because the cognitive dissonance is a conflict arise from logical inconsistency between two or more beliefs or behaviors (Bagozzi, Gurhan and Priester, 2002), this can be occurred when a customer make a choice on one of the two goods, which is the alternative to each other, ‘by choosing one product and not the other, the person gets the bad qualities of the chosen product and loses out on the good qualities of the non-chosen one’.
Another way of reducing such conflict is to create a new way to get away from such conflict which is not realized by the present customers. For example, companies may choose to produce caffeine free coffee which produces less effect on human’s sleep quality. And also, companies can produce ‘light’, sugar free or fat free food which is tasty but with relatively fewer calories. Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict As mentioned before, the goals of consumers might not be only satisfy some needs that they have realized, but also to reduce or eliminate certain unwanted situation that faced by consumers as well.
For example, consumers would like to pay insurance on their cars and thus when there are some problems on the car or accidents; they can save money and time for management them. However, the avoidance-avoidance conflicts occur when consumers can only choose one way for avoidance on the sacrifice of another (Wilkie, 1986). For example, customers may face the option of buy a new car which needs to pay a huge amount of money in once or to bear the bad quality of the older car as well as the expense of fixing.
On the aspect of marketers, this situation is similar to the approach-approach conflict and the way of solving such problems is to trying to avoid such conflict. For example, companies which sold expensive products can prove credit or installation payment for customers, therefore, customers would more willing to purchase such goods without the painful from a lump sum payment and facing financing difficulties. The implication on marketing when considering the three conflict is that, since the conflict would produce certain tension on consumers, it can create needs for reducing or eliminating such tensions.
While the main purposes for marketers are satisfy the demand of customers, therefore, it can also create purchasing opportunities by offering the possible solutions to those dilemmas. Further, by well understanding the existence of those conflicts, it can help to guide companies produce the ‘right products’ which have minimum conflicts on consumers’ choice as well. 5. Consumer Involvement The process of consumer involvement is also an important aspect which is central to activating consumer motivates.
This process can be defined as a process of combining the aspect the consumers, the products as well as the situation all together so as to determine the consumers’ motivation to get access to related products information (Agrawal, 1989). This is a result of the process of goal setting and motivation, as when customers are cleared about their goals and purpose that can meet their needs, they will take more positive steps to get access to relevant products and pay attention to all relevant information.
The degree of the efforts that customers want to pay on the products and information is relevant to their needs, goals, values as well as their already obtained knowledge. While the process of get access and evaluating such information is of particular importance for them to make purchasing decision and therefore, it is also very important for marketers to well understand it. Generally, consumers’ involvement can be classified into three types based on their purpose as well as the degree of their attentions. The first one is the purchase involvement, which relate to the level of interest during the buying process.
This is directly affecting the purchasing behavior of customers and thus, many promotions are aimed to increase the purchasing involvement of customers. The second one is the message response involvement which is mainly about the marketing communication. In the real marketing, there are many Medias that can transfer information to customers; however, they have different level of attraction for consumer involvement. For example, advertisement on television would create a low involvement. This is because customers are only need to be passively watching the information without any response.
However, other activities such as sales promotion or product show conference would result in more positive responses. For example, many car companies would like to have their newly created cars be showed on some luxury shopping malls; this would result in more positive involvement from customers to get access to the information of their products. The third one is the ego involvement, which is relevant to consumers’ self-concept and it is usually independent from certain particular purchase situations (Foxall, 1994).
The implications for marketers on consumers’ involvement is that, through consumers may differ due to the level of involvement on getting access to certain product information, marketer still can promote a positive actions to increase customers’ involvement. This can be achieved by understanding some of the basic factors that increase or decrease attention of customer, the ease of receiving relevant information by customers as well as understanding customers’ motivation to get access to and process those relevant information. Therefore, marketers can take different kinds of actions to improve customers’ improvement. 6. Conclusion
As discussed above, the process of consumers’ motivation is never be a simple term or definition, rather, it is an integrated process which leads to consumers achieving their goals and fulfilling their needs. The analysis of consumers’ motivation for marketer is important and it should be started at the point of analyzing the needs from consumers. As described by Maslow’s needs hierarchy which presented that human’s needs are not incurred simultaneously, rather, they can be ranked in a pyramid and, without the fulfillment of the lower level of needs, the desire of fulfilling the needs at higher level would not be triggered.
Therefore, marketers should pay attention on the needs in different level so as to ensure that what they are promoting is on certain level. Also, the process of motivation as well as the motivation strength and directions are analyzed as well, the process of motivation is triggered by the realization of needs, which create certain tension on consumers and they are drive to reduce or eliminate such tensions by embark certain behavior and setting more detailed goals to achieve the purpose.
However, the wiliness of strength of motivation is used to evaluation the contribution of motivations as well as the inducement of customers’ purchasing behavior. Since the ways of satisfying a specific need of customers’ are always have many alternative, customers’ motivations can be directed by various factors. Further, it is very common that each consumer would have many goals that willing to be achieved at the same time, while some of them are conflict with each other.
This situation was termed as motivation conflicts which can bring about many difficulties for marketers, while at the mean time, bring about many opportunities as well. Finally, it also discussed the importance for marketers’ understanding of customers’ involvement process, though this process is mainly about customers action on searching relevant products information. This is because many factors that exist in the world that can affect the degree of effort on searching the information as well as the ease of get access to relevant information.
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