Motivation Matters: How Understanding Your Audience Can Spur Action
Marketing Tips

Marketing is a competitive game. But it’s also a psychological one. In the never-ending quest to capture the attention of a desired audience, the brands that rely on big budgets or flashy campaigns don’t always grab attention or generate conversion.

It takes a thoughtful approach to understand what your audience wants and what motivates them, and deliver the right message in the right place at the right time to encourage action, whether that’s making an online purchase, writing their congressman or signing up for an email newsletter.

Identifying what will motivate someone to take action is key to success for a marketing or communications campaign. To identify what motivates your target audience, you must first understand the target audience by analyzing factors like their demographic composition, purchasing habits and preferred content platforms, just to name a few.

Brands that incorporate this type of data into their marketing efforts see an 85% increase in sales growth. By collecting and analyzing this information, you then can develop personas that represent the type of individual you are trying to reach.

Each persona has at least one primary motivator. For example, let’s say the owner of a rural hardware store wants to open a second location in a more urban area and launch a marketing campaign to raise awareness of the store’s grand opening.

Based on customer data, the store owner knows that most customers at her rural store are contractors who come in knowing exactly what they need and ready to buy supplies in bulk. However, the store owner has noticed a recent uptick of customers who come to the store in search of more specific supplies for various DIY renovation projects.

After conducting more market research, the store owner concluded that the new store will receive more of those DIYers, and she needs to adjust marketing tactics accordingly to speak to both types of customers.

These two personas have different backgrounds and motivators, and might look something like this:


  • Location: Rural
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 30 – 55
  • Motivator: To buy cost-effective supplies quickly and in bulk


  • Location: Urban
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 25-40
  • Motivator: To browse and compare supplies for specific projects

Equipped with this information, the store owner can build a more effective marketing strategy that speaks to the motivations of each persona. And she can take that customer data further by looking at purchasing decisions. She can identify which supplies the personas are more likely to buy so she can optimize the store’s inventory.

Understanding the psychology of your target audience is the first step to execute a successful marketing campaign. By taking the time to research, collect and analyze customer data, you can develop messages that speak to motivation and encourage action.

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