Friday, March 23, 2007

What drives us

I read a presentation from a corporate psychologist the other day. He said, "You can't motivate your employees. You can only use their existing motivations to get what you want."
Then he gave this example.

Say you want to teach your dog to sit and you begin the instruction. You stand in front of your dog and say, "sit." The dog stares. You repeat the word again and again. If the dog makes the slightest move in the right direction, then you give it a treat. If the dog sits (perhaps he's just tired) you give him another treat. Eventually, responding to the treats, the dog begins to sit on command.

Who was motivated to sit?

The truth is, the owner, not the dog was motivated for the dog to sit. The dog was always, only motivated by food. But the owner used the dogs existing motivation (food) to encourage the desired behavior (sitting).

Consumers act when the action we propose through marketing leads to rewards they wanted in the first place. You can build awareness all day long if you don't align yourself with the consumer's existing motivations.

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