Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

Baker's Dozen INDEX

13 Platinum Ways to Motivate Your Marketplace

Your offer is key to your marketing success.

Yet, it takes different strokes for different folks. You've heard that phrase. "Different" approaches, words, actions, incentives -- motivation -- move people to take action. Or not to.

Several things affect how your marketplace looks at your product or service ... and your offer. One is emotion.

Emotion plays a part in every buying experience. Sometimes great -- as with gifts for others, buying a new car for the first time, deciding which candy bar to enjoy. Sometimes much less -- as deciding which table to take at a restaurant. "Feeling" is involved in our actions.

"Thinking" is also a part of the decision making process. You think about what you want or desire, convert that to a need and decide to buy. Thinking, more than emotion, may determine which food group you'll eat today. Something good for your body over something less healthy.

Timing is another factor in how people respond. Seasons do make a difference. The weather "changes" how people view your offer. Non-holiday offers during a holiday time will get you a different response than at other times of the year.

You may get a different response to your offer at the first of the month, vs. the middle or end. For certain, just before and just after pay day.

Women and men do not make decisions based on the same data, the same message, the same way, either. They are different when it comes to response, too.

Age, education, income, geography, job and life experience all overlay what motivates a response. Yet, once you've been in the marketplace for a while you learn what turns your audience on.

Frequently you learn more than one way works for you to get an order, a new piece of business, a lead for your sales reps or telemarketers, the opportunity for a demonstration, a visit to your store or shop, a fax or E-mail response, a check in the mail.

Here is a Baker's Dozen -- 13 -- Platinum Ways to Motivate Your Marketplace.

1. Greed -- a better deal than the other guy

Greed is not bad. Not when we're talking motivation. The very idea of sweepstakes offers and lottery games is based on greed. Big time motivation.

The same for incentive campaigns run for sales organizations -- lots of greed in those programs.

It's safe to say everyone wants a good deal. Nothing new here. And when you feel your deal is better than what someone else got -- you "win". This is greed. And this is what offers are all about.

Of course the definition of what a good deal is varies from person to person. What satisfies one doesn't come close for another. This also is what offers are all about. And why it is so important to "test".

You'll be surprised at what gets you the most response, the most orders. The advertising specialty or premium that works is not always the most expensive, the newest, from the top of the ladder.

Next time, if it fits, try a little Greed.

2. Fear -- of criticism ... and of what you'll miss

Fear is a scary and very personal thing.

We sometimes are afraid of a thing or place. A close friend is afraid of heights. Even crossing a high bridge she has an uncomfortable feeling. This same lady flies frequently with no fear.

Yet a couple of buddies of mine get in an airplane only by force. Fear is so strong they literally get sick.

Fear in marketing is an unusual factor. Some products are sold almost exclusively on the platform of fear. Security devices -- to cut the fear of invasion, safety equipment -- to reduce the fear of an accident, some guns and knifes -- to reduce the fear of attack.

No one is "excited" about criticism, either. For some it is a real fear. To avoid it, some do nothing, rather than risk being criticized. Or they take what they know is the safe path -- to not be too far out. And thus be criticized.

Another type of fear, and thus motivation, is the fear of what you'll miss if you don't take advantage of an opportunity.

What will happen if you do NOT attend this class? Go on this trip. Visit this site. Ask for this report. Tour this plant. Return this mail, make this phone call, send this E-mail ... what will you miss? What will you NOT know because you passed up this chance, this opportunity?

Fear used this way works well to motivate. Because, it doesn't hurt the body -- instead the mind. And is easily "fixed" by taking action.

Fear is dangerous. Use it carefully as a motivation factor.

3. Guilt -- you'll feel bad unless you ...

. . . unless you give to this cause. Or make that phone call. Or visit this place.

Guilt is personal, 1:1, person-to-person. You cannot make a company feel "guilty" ... you can make the people who work there feel "guilty".

Charities and fund raisers have been extremely successful in making us feel guilt -- and thus giving to their cause.

Everything from food banks to disaster relief, political efforts and elections to Save the _________ (you fill in the blank, whales, children, trees and more and more), from animal rights to the homeless, from your alumni association to your businesses governmental action committee -- if there is a cause there is a reason to donate.

The story is always the same: "If you do not give we will fail. Help us now." And that's why it works. As people do want to help people.

Guilt is a very powerful motivator.

4. Curiosity -- be the first to ...

Satisfying curiosity is a tough challenge. As there are only a very few who truly wish to be in a leadership role. Out front.

Likewise, there is a small selection of folks who appreciate the opportunity of being a "guinea pig". The first to try a new product or service. The risk is too great for most.

Still, when you identify that portion of your marketplace that DOES like to be ahead of the pack, doing new and different and unusual things, you've got something.

"First" works for hard and soft goods. The automotive and telecommunications industries introduce new hardware every year. There are always takers.

The software industry regularly "tests" their new products with end-users.

Curiosity is a strong motivator for a few people.

5. Position -- ego & status -- better than the rest

Everyone wants to be in a comfortable position. For some it is at the top of the heap. For others in the middle. No one wants the bottom rungs -- no matter what.

High-end products are positioned and sold on the basis of status. Expensive automobiles. Fine jewelry. Gourmet foods. Five star hotels and restaurants. Selected clothing. Ego plays a big role in the marketing and merchandising of these products and services.

Professional sports teams sell front row seats for sky high prices. Financial service companies offer "personal banking", with an advisor assigned to serve you 1:1. Premium department stores offer personal buying services.

These way above average services play on the motivation of personal ego, your status, your position. Of course, if you qualify, you get to pay for all you receive. So, part of the marketing message is "value".

For some, Position is of premier importance.

6. Limit -- a limited time ... a limited number

Limited Time Offers get action from a hesitant audience.

They may like the idea, the offer, the product, the service -- they are not ready to take action. Yet. An LTO encourages action ... NOW.

Coupons with dates redeem faster and at a higher rate than those without. Why? Because the opportunity will go away unless the buyer does something now.

Time as a motivator crosses many products. Fruits and vegetables -- buy them fresh. Music -- the top 40 records are "hot" now -- get them now. Fashion -- the season to buy is short ... do it today.

Limited Number Offers work for a similar reason. There will only be "X" number of this product or premium available. And then they are gone. Never to be available again.

The entertainment and sports industry use this approach to sell tickets for their special events. For there are truly only a set number of seats in the theatre, stadium or auditorium for the concert or contest.

For decades collectors have been using the LNO motivation to gain buyers. More recently there have been limited editions of cars and trucks, anniversary issues of jewelry and specialized gifts, a set number of art prints or sculpture.

LTO and LNO is a motivation approach useful to get the action you desire quickly.

7. Ownership -- a desire to own wonderful "things"

Everyone wants to own nice things.

For the most part material things are the measure of ownership. A home. And maybe a summer or winter cottage. A Car. Probably more than one. And maybe a big Harley-Davidson, too.

A collection of fine jewelry. Good clothes. A big screen television. The latest VCR, computer, cell-phone. A swimming pool or tennis court. And whatever other "stuff" is important in life.

Travel is an exception to material ownership. Where you have been lately, on which cruise line, maybe the Concorde across the Atlantic, to which far away place, can also be "ownership". Although travel is a memory, it is "owned". You have sailed that ocean, climbed that mountain, visited that continent. You own the experience.

Ditto entertainment. Which play or movie have you seen. Which concert or sporting event did you attend. "Soft" ownership -- still, something you can talk about.

Those that sell these things play on ownership ... and the experience you have. They do so in combination with the financial world ... who helps pay for them!

When ownership is the motivation the picture is all on benefits. Very little about features, time, effort, money. Instead the message is all about how you will "benefit" with this product, this service.

Ownership can be sold on its own or in harmony with Position. Or sometimes Greed.

8. Convenience -- benefits you gain are . . .

Conveniences are personal. A people thing. And very much benefit oriented.

Conveniences are the "soft" benefits you get, earn and enjoy when you use a product or service. An unlisted toll-free number to call for assistance or to place an order. An individual sales rep to work with. Automatic upgrades to the next level immediately upon their release.

The frequency / loyalty programs, for the most part, offer a collection of "soft" benefits to their members.

Conveniences are also "hard" benefits. Physical location can be a benefit. The 24/7 convenience stores are so named because of just that. They are "conveniently" located just about everywhere.

Convenience can be a mix of hard and soft, too. Such as the variety of ways financial institutions do buisiness. Let's count all the ways you can bank today:

  • visit the bricks and
  • mortar of the bank
  • ATM at the branch
  • night deposit box
  • toll-free 24 hour phone service
  • drive-through window service
  • by direct mail & fax
  • off site ATM's ... in non-bank locations
  • 7 day week service at selected locations
  • on-line web site & e-mail service
  • bricks & mortar in another location, such as grocery store.

The Convenience of doing business with you can be a strong motivating factor.

9. Money -- earn more / save more

Money is a part of every buy and sell transaction. Even when none changes hands.

If money was not important everyone would drive a Rolls Royce and wear a Rolex. Since that is not the case, it is obvious money effects marketing. If not directly, then indirectly.

When you are in the market for a new car you probably have a budget. Maybe somewhat loose -- still a budget. If the make/model you are interested in costs "X", you may go up or down a little from that number. It is unlikely you will agree to pay twice as much, even for twice the value. Or half as much for a lesser vehicle.

On the other end of the scale is something as easy (fun and enjoyable, too) as ice cream. Should you pay more for the premium product, or stay with the "house" brand? Should you buy a gallon and save, or maybe just a cone?

What you will earn or make, what you save, or the security you receive, it all relates to money. It is a rare service or product that does not have something about money tied to it.

In fact, as I write this, I cannot think of anything!

There is no doubt, Money is a motivator. To earn it, to save it -- money moves markets to take action.

10. Sex -- you'll be attractive

Cosmetics. Fashion. Fine chocolates, coffees and gourmet foods. Fancy automobiles. Jewelry. Alcohol and tobacco products. Each a category where "sex appeal" can be a strong motivating factor.

Each of these industries offer products where we are encouraged to look great and feel good. Much of the advertising is image, awareness -- the "Position" we spoke of earlier.

If features are mentioned it is because the suit is triple stiched. The eye-shadow is all vegetable. The jewelry is 24 carat gold. The dress is made of silk. The car seats are hand made of double thick leather. The coffee beans are ripe on the vine. There is just as much ego and status and Position as there is sex in the message.

More often the "talk" is benefits. Your appearance to others. Why you will feel so good in this car. How you will look in this suit. Why your friends will enjoy your after dinner coffee. When sex is used as a motivation for action, it very much involves people.

This works in business, too. Apple Computer launched new products using sex appeal: the Macintosh, and more recently Imac. Early on in the life cycle of each product it was considered "cool" to own a Mac.

Sex, without being raunchy, can truly be a most motivating factor. When you find the right mix in the message and offer.

11. Health -- you'll look good, feel good

It is nearly impossible to count the marketing messages built around a better and healthy lifestyle.

Construction companies building communities for the retired talk health. Pharmacetical companies, with a countless collection of new drugs for everything from hair loss to your sex life, talk health. Cosmetic firms with scores of "beauty" products, many designed to make you look better, talk health.

Hospitals, clinics and special medical services are in our face daily. For women. For men. For children. For every condition and disease known. Including the right to live ... and the right to die.

There are health newsletters and special issue magazines. There are several publishing companies specializing in medicene and health care exclusively.

An entirely category in foods has grown up around a healthy and "better" life. This extends to spas, "fat farms", exercise equipment, juice bars, health clubs and vegatarian restaurants.

Even associations, lead by the large American Association of Retire Persons (AARP), talk health. And dozens of government agencies talk health, too.

There is no doubt health care is a hot topic -- not likely to go away anytime soon. This is good for marketers. If you have a product or offer a service you can relate to Health -- in almost any way -- you definitely have a motivating opportunity.

12. Family -- the lifestyle of your great grandparents is back

As far back as the 10,000 or so years of recorded history, "family" is discussed.

All the ancient writings, in every cultural, every language, every religion, talk family. And its importance in life.

Changes in how the family is viewed did not happen until transportation changed. And then communication. Followed by entertainment.

Trains began moving people about in the mid-19th century. The horse and buggy was slowly overtaken by the automobile. And then airplanes. These major changes allowed almost everyone to go where their ancestors had never been ... further than 25 miles from home. And family life changed. Almost forever.

Communication -- beginning with the telephone in the late 19th century -- was the next step. Now we could get a message to family and friends and business contacts around the world faster than ever before. The telecommunications explosion since WWII changed the world of the family.

Entertainment was next. Early on the family was the entertainment. Because there was little other choice. First movies and then television altered that fact. The pattern changed.

No longer was the family the center of all activities -- there was choice. And a lot of that choice was outside the family circle. Transportation made it easy -- communication allowed the messages to be shared almost everywhere, at almost anytime.

As we begin the 21st century family is back. The change began in the late 20th century -- with families moving out of the city back to the country. With religious groups growing. With "family" theme parks, entertainment centers, camp grounds.

From WWII onward family life drifted to two income households. It was the thing to do. The swing is now the other direction ... with many moms or dads staying home with the kids. And many times grandparents are involved again, too. Friends, love, compassion and closeness are very much "in".

Which means Family as a motivating factor is "in", too. Talk family and you have an audience

13. Pleasure -- delight, happiness, joy, a smile & laughter

People like to have fun. If you offer fun -- use it to motivate your marketplace.

When the world is well, meaning few conflicts and a good economy, the worlds people want to enjoy life. And they have the means to partake.

They take more holidays, and travel more. They eat out more often. They upgrade sooner. They replace goods earlier. They buy more "wants" then needs. They are very active in the marketplace.

In addition to spending more they also invest more. And are more likely to take a chance on something new and different.

When the world is sick -- wars and near-wars, the economy in the pits, the worlds people NEED to enjoy. And although neither money or time is as readily available, people do respond to messages that make them smile -- that offer good times.

Look at the option of Pleasure as a motivator.

That's it ... 13 Platinum Ways to Motivate Your Marketplace. Select those that appeal to you. That apply to your market. Mix 'em. Match 'em. Try different approaches. Test. And learn what motivates best for you.

Baker's Dozen INDEX

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