The title of this post is How To Know What People Want – Customer Motivation In Writing Product Content. I want to be up front by saying that this is an article about how to define your quality customer when considering how to write content that will attract them to purchase a product. My main focus in this article entails what motivates people to purchase products and the reasons they are motivated to make those purchases.
However, and this might interest you the non-consumer viewers of this post, I have found in researching the ideas below that what motivates people to purchase a product or some information or service is much the same as that which motivates them in any avenue of life they may be looking for motivation in: career to follow, skills to learn, where to work, who to work for, who to marry, how many children to have, where to live, hobbies to get involved with, political party to join, religion to believe in, everything that gets us out of bed in the morning and moving toward some kind of achievement for the day, big or small.
All of these motivations are based on the same underlying motivation that compels or inspires our desire to purchase a hat, or buy a car, or pay to have the house cleaned, or what insurance policy to buy or investment to purchase. Every motivation under the sun is based on finding a solution to a problem.
The Human Spirit Requires Solutions
The human spirit keeps us moving forward, we die in many ways if we do not keep trying to figure out what the world and universe are made of, what people are made of, what makes us happy, joyful, sad, sick. What makes us want to love one another as well as hurt one another. We spend years and fortunes on acquiring educations that help us understand the world we live in and the people we live with better. The world of our social lives is going through an epic shift with the advent and use of the Internet. One that will be known throughout History as the Information Age.
We want information. We want to know. We want the exchange of ideas. We want to participate in and help to make better the world we live in and the lives we touch and if there were some way in our Western culture to make that happen without having to buy into complicated economic systems we would.
However, we have too often seen how gadgets and commerce have been the motivation and inspiration for the solutions to so many of the problems that keep our spirits from moving forward toward the discoveries we were created for. We believe in gadgets, we believe in services, we believe in information and we believe that the exchange of those things whether for free or for purchase is the thing that fuels the engines of creativity, discovery and progress and most of all we believe that we do all this for the people we love whether those people are our spouses, or our friends, our children or our countries, or even ourselves (we are human too after all.) We learn about our world, our lives and the people we love through the gadgets and books and movies all the stuff we play with. All the stuff of our creativity and all the stuff of commerce.
So even those of you viewing this post who are not necessarily interested in what motivates customers to purchase, but just in what motivates people for whatever reason, might find something of interest here too. I would like to know in the comments section below this post if you do. Thanks.
Who Is Your Customer?
Quality content writing depends on what motivates your customer. To know this, you will need to develop a deep understanding of who your ideal customer is, what they’re looking for, how they go about making purchase decisions.
Your customer will know if this level of understanding is there when they come to view and read your content.
You Are That Customer – I believe that the most important thing you can consider as you try to understand your potential customer is their motivation for purchasing your product. This doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. As a person who has chosen the niche your customer is looking at to purchase in, to promote, if you have not already realized it, you are also a customer of that product or service too. So, how would you define the following product features if you desired the product for yourself?
- The following outline takes into consideration a well-defined map that researchers have determined that potential buyers use in the process of motivating themselves to purchase a product. I like to define each of the criteria as stops along the road to making that important or even not-so-important purchase. If more of us took responsibility for understanding ourselves what these stops mean in our own purchasing process, I think we would be less inclined to impulse purchase and more inclined to purchase and use products for not only the personal solutions they provide, but the social good they can help us produce. The good we can do to help ourselves be healthy so that we can help the earth and the people in it to thrive.
- The outline below puts “motivation” under psychological factors, but I think motivation, as I said before, is the thing that influences everything we do and the outline below influences our motivations. Go on a little mind meld, shopping strategy, shopping spree with your potential customer. You two could be exactly alike, or you could be alike in some ways and not in others. Consider each of the following aspects and of motivation as you try and shop with your ideal customer.
1.) Personal. These are some of the personal factors that motivate purchase behavior.
- Demographics – Age? How old are you and your customer? Does it matter? Could a person of any age appreciate this product? Gender? Are you male, female? Does it matter? Could either gender desire to use this product, or is it gender specific? income, location
- Behaviors – Hobbies, & Interests – movies, books, plays, woodwork, sewing, needlepoint, gardening, games? Motivations: Why do we like what we like? What relevant buzzwords, values, turns you and your buyer on and off? Why do they turn you on or off?
- Learning patterns – where do you and your customer spend your time online to learn about new topics? Why do you go there and not somewhere else?
2.) Psychological. These motivational features include:
- Personality – Do I like to engage people more than things?
- Attitudes – Am I a conservative spender, a shopaholic?
- Lifestyle – Do I live a rich life, moderate life, frugal life, poor life? What decisions have I made to get me to living this life? Do I value quality or price, or both?
- Motivations – Why do I like people more than things or vice versa? Why am I a conservative spender and not a shopaholic or vice versa? Why do I live frugally? Why do I live opulently? How do I use the stuff I have?
3.) Social. These influences include:
- Friends and Family – How much do I depend on my friends and family for emotional support and guidance? How much do they depend on me for those things? How important is it that I show them my love and support with gifts of products and information?
- Opinion Leaders – Am I political? Do I participate in political debates at home, school, office, party headquarters? Do I purchase logo identifying paraphernalia to show my support?
- Role Models – Who are my role models? Family members, friends, teachers, political and opinion leaders, pastors and priests, bosses, T.V. and movie personalities, sports figures? and similar factors.
I’ve asked a lot of Why? motivations in the map above. That is because people are primarily motivated by solutions: Will that help me finish my project? Will this get the person to fall in love with me? Will that get the person to forgive me? Will this help me get a better position at work? Will this ingratiate me to this group of people? Will that adequately show my love for this person or group of people. Will this make me a better person, more kind, generous, compassionate?
Review the motivations and emotions that drove you to want to promote your product and chances are they will be the same things that will drive consumers to purchase them too.
That seems pretty straightforward. What are you (your customer) stuck at? What is keeping them and you from finishing that hobby you’ve started, or the work project you’ve undertaken? What solution do you need? Do you need a gadget or a widget to keep going? Do you need inspiration or motivation to renew your interest? What is going to make your life easier by completing this task and whatever goes with completing it? What relationships are you going to heal or promote with this purchase?
All Is Gift
Now that you understand how to discern your customer’s motivation behind what drives their purchase choice, whether that purchase is to provide themselves or someone else with something they need or want or are just curious about, all is gift and you recognize that you still have a need to choose the appropriate brand or style of product you wish to purchase and ask yourself, “How would I go about Researching the product I and my customer wish to purchase.”
In light of that important need, I would like to add one more criteria to the motivation of consumers and that is:
- Product Quality and Acquisition – How comfortable is the consumer with the purchase process? Have they given up a purchase simply because the process was too complicated or difficult or they couldn’t be confident that this product was of good quality?
- Understand the process that your consumer uses to make their purchase decisions. How much confidence in the product do you (your customer) need to have in order to purchase this product?
- Searching for information – Where would you search for information to try and find this product. Have you ever done so?
- Evaluating alternatives. What were the results of your own search? Were you able to find good product reviews before you bought? How did you find those product reviews and how did you decide they were good and valid reviews before you purchased the product?
- Deciding to purchase. Can you remember purchasing a product in the past after doing the research above and were you more satisfied with the quality of your purchase than you were with products that you didn’t research?
- What specific benefits is the customer looking for in this product? You will need to include these in your product descriptions, explaining how the features and functions help provide those benefits.
Looking down the road a bit, I will be going into the above stops on the map in more depth in future posts. Please come back periodically to see if I have found my way there.
So, whether you are trying to decide on a niche, or to communicate with the customers in a niche you have chosen. I think it is important to always keep their motivation and the things that can influence their motivation in mind.
It might even be wise to keep an excel spreadsheet or journal of what might motivate your customer: when that might motivate them, where they would be when motivated to buy your product, who would motivate them at that time and in that place.
Because motivations change from time to time, season to season, year to year, relationship to relationship, as a product promoter, if you are concerned about the quality of life of your customer at every turn of the events and people that effect their motivations for finding solutions to their problems, and you should be, you can:
1.) Give them quality solutions
2.) Help them feel that someone is thinking about them and their changing life needs. I know it seems counter-intuitive to think that the salesman can be a support person like a family or friend would be, but in some small way, product promoters like ourselves can be just that. As long as we value our customers and promote only the best quality products with proven records of filling the needs our customers have, we will be doing just that, giving them a service that can be almost if not as supportive as the emotional support a friend or family member would give. People are looking for solutions in every aspect of their lives. And in most cases those solutions have to do with relationship, whether those solutions are emotional or material.
I don’t like to equate emotional solutions with material solutions, but there have been a number of times when a simple thing like a friendship that could be enriched by taking a turn at paying for or hosting a meal shared together, or by giving a gift that ‘wasn’t much’ but spoke the words that needed to be spoken was facilitated by material things.
Again, I hate to say it, but sometimes people really do need to give and receive material things in order to heal some emotional scars. We are all human beings and human beings like all living creatures with eyes to see, ‘like shiny things,’ whether those things are to keep for our own use as we use them to understand ourselves, our abilities or our preferences better, or to learn about the people and the world we live with and in or to give them away for the use and healing of others. Things, the right things, in appropriate measure, quality, value, meaning and motivation can help our emotions to heal and our human spirit to soar.
I would like to share with you what has motivated me and supported me to write this article on motivation and get it out to you. I have found a wonderfully supportive community of people who have guided me step by step technically and emotionally to get this out of my head heart and into yours.
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