How to Unlock the Element of Desire in Your Marketing

by | Apr 14, 2009

What secret dreams motivate your customers? What questions haunt them into the night? In the rush of the workday grind, it can be easy to forget the fundamental truths that guide your client’s decisions. Yet businesses ignore them at their peril.

Drawing out desires

Consumer and business clients operate out of different needs and desires. Control, status, excitement, sex, self-improvement, the desire to belong, achievement, survival, and a host of other desires spur them to action. Do you know what tops the list for your clients?

appleMany consumer decisions are motivated by maintaining social status or enhancing their personal image. This can translate into vastly different buying behaviors depending on your target demographic. An aging socialite’s desire for youth can inspire cosmetic surgery, while a middle-aged sales rep’s desire for youthful vigor results in a motorcycle purchase.

Businesses, on the other hand, desire greater stability and success above all else. They struggle to remain competitive and survive, and ruthlessly evaluate decisions based on this desire. You may think information and cold logic drive all purchase decisions, but successfully tapping desires can put you ahead of the pack. “Automate your HR process so you can play more golf” appeals to both logic and desire.

There are many ways to discover these keys to client behavior. Read trade magazines, attend events, and talk to people in your target market. With the advent of search engines, it’s easier than ever to listen in on client conversations on forums, blogs, and social platforms. Keep an ear open for problems that can lead you to frustrated desires.

Choose a vehicle

Focus all your materials to target the specific desires you uncover. Ads, brochures, white papers, email marketing, and sales materials should all deliver a cohesive message centered on your customer’s hot buttons. These coordinated attacks reinforce the image you want to create in your customer’s mind, and multiply the effect of each tactic.

Tell a story

To unlock the full potential of desire in your clients, you must also establish trust. This means enlisting the help of allies to tell your story. Use testimonials, case studies, and third party research to build credibility for your messages. Stories of how you helped clients overcome obstacles and doubts to achieve their desires can have a large impact on potential customers.

Publicity also plays an important role in nurturing desire. Familiarity with your brand enhances comfort and trust with both consumer and business clients. This education process is especially important for driving longer B2B sales cycles.

Shifting passions

Even in a recession, people are looking to satisfy cravings. These impulses may be tempered by economic realities, but they still drive purchase decisions.

These economic realities can even increase the urgency of certain desires. Departments with severely trimmed staff may be hungry for increased efficiency and cost-saving solutions. How-To and DIY products have seen increased demand as well as customers strive to maintain growth with limited resources.

Some consumers maintain relatively constant purchase frequency, but opt for alternative goods or services. You can beat competitors to the punch by offering tempting alternatives to your usual higher-priced product or service.

Desire over the long term

The fundamental desires of humanity have endured through many economic cycles. For your business to survive difficult times, you must stay in tune with your target market, and position your message to fulfill your client’s desires.