We like to think that when it comes to major purchases, we approach the situation with the rational, level-headed thriftiness of Spock on a budget. But we’re just kidding ourselves. Oh, we’d like to believe that we make informed decisions based on carefully weighing all of the issues involved, but it simply isn’t true.
More and more evidence is mounting as psychological researchers conclude that, as human beings, our “studied” decisions owe a lot more to our emotional reactions than our logical analysis. Whether you call it “Blink” thinking or credit the “reptilian brain,” it’s becoming obvious that, more often than not, we make decisions based on first impressions and then look for rationalizations to support them.
When creating any marketing communication, it pays to keep in mind the basic human motivations that your proposition answers. Dr. Richard Maddock identified these core motivations as the Orientation Motives (we work to keep ourselves in comfortable situations); the Survival Motives (our desires for spiritual, physical, material and sexual well-being); The Adaptation Motive (we emulate those who we envy or admire); The Expectation/Resolution Motive (we’re conditioned to expect results from our actions); and the Play Motive (we can find enjoyment simply in participating in certain processes).
Use these core motivations to craft your core messaging for maximum emotional impact. Then give your audience some logical support for the emotional decision you’ve asked them to make. It’s a recipe for big impact on every level. After all, we’re all only human.