How To Deal With Consumer Motivation Research

Consumer motivation research is all about understanding the most important aspect of a business – the customer. Studying consumer motivation helps businesses and organizations develop marketing strategies that work. Simply put, consumer motivation refers to the needs or desires of a consumer that drives their purchasing behavior. In studying consumer motivation, one needs to look at the following aspects:

- The consumer’s psychology that deals with their thoughts and feelings that affect how they choose among different products and brands.

- The customer’s surrounding environment that may influence purchasing decision such as family or the media.

- The consumer’s behavior during actual shopping or deciding on a purchase

Aside from the above, a complete study of consumer motivation should take into consideration the fact that consumers value some products as more important than others or they find some products interesting, and others not. This is important because consumer motivation would of course vary depending on whether the consumer regards the product as important or interesting. How they select products would also differ if they were to choose a product that is important to them than something that they care less about.

It is not only the business world that can benefit from studies on consumer motivation. It can also be useful in creating social awareness campaigns and delivering messages to the public effectively.

There are several methods used to research consumer motivation. The two basic categories are primary research, which is an original study conducted specifically for a business or company either by an in-house team or a third-party research group, and secondary research, which is existing research conducted by another group such as the US Census.

Some of the methods used in consumer motivation research include surveys for gathering specific data; focus groups where discussion leads to the discovery of customer concerns; personal interviews that allow in-depth understanding of consumer motivation and experiment tests, which is used to prove that there is only a single explanation for a specific observation.

Take note, however, that the choice of words used in a survey can influence the respondent’s answer or the list of answers is limited so the response is not that accurate. Interviews are also highly vulnerable to creating a bias in the respondent not to mention conducting such sessions is quite expensive. High cost is also true for focus groups. In this method also, the so-called “social desirability bias” can affect the response of participants who instead of giving their honest opinion may only be saying what they think will impress the group or make them likeable. With experiments, the environment is highly controlled and the result of the study may not accurately reflect the behavior of consumers when they are in their natural surroundings.