Let me take you through a simple exercise. Imagine for a moment that we are friends (I know we might actually be friends, if online only, but pretend ☺)
What if I were to ask you a question like “Can you help me move this weekend?”
Don’t just think about what your answer would be. Think about the thought process that goes through your head for a moment. Good. Remember that feeling.
What if I asked you the same thing in a different way and said, “If I pay you $10 will you help me move this weekend?”
What did you feel? Different, isn’t it?
The logic that your brain processes is different. Rather than thinking about our friendship, and deciding if and how much you ant to help me. You immediately attached a value to our friendship and probably started thinking about how much your time is worth, or how much time discount you would offer me based on our friendship, or maybe even alternative payment methods.
That’s the difference between an intrinsic motivation and an extrinsic one.
Intrinsic motivation is motivation to do something that comes from inside an individual rather than from an external influence or reward. These are decisions we make based on emotional response.
Extrinsic motivation is the opposite. This is motivation to do something based on an external reason or reward. The metaphor often used to describe extrinsic motivations is a carrot or stick. It’s the idea that pleasurable rewards or painful external consequences to motivated people to do something.
Why are we talking about this?
Well obviously it’s because I need a few extra hands to help me move some furniture….
Actually I’m kidding.
These nuanced elements of human psychology can be incredibly important for business owners when it comes to developing your business plan. In particular in how you want to approach communication with your customers. From advertising and marketing to customer support, these subtleties can make a big difference.
Business owners need to understand that intrinsic motivators almost universally create stronger bonds when it comes to relationship elements such as loyalty and advocacy. In fact one of the best summaries of the power of intrinsic motivation on branding is Simon Sinek’s concept of “leading with Why”.
Identifying and increasing intrinsically motivated shoppers and customers is really the foundation of organic growth.
But the problem with these emotional drivers I they can be hard to measure. Or at the very least they can be intimidating.
But provided the right tools and data are in place it turns out there are some steps you can take to get better and deeper insight into how to identify and grow these types of customers.
Market researchers have a number of techniques and formulas to determine loyalty, and as a business owners that’s the where you should start. The typical formula for measuring loyalty consists of 3 questions. These data points while not perfect are a great indicator to help identify and determine who your ideal customers are. Which customers may be the most intrinsically motivated to be loyal to your brand, and maybe even determine a profile of how to find and attract more of the same type of people.
The three questions are permutations of the following:
3 questions to evaluate and identify the best customers you have
Are you satisfied with the product or service?
Would you buy again?
Would you recommend?
So now the question is how to gather this type of data. First thing’s first. The easiest place to start is to ask your customers. This can be done in a number of ways. For smaller businesses this can be accomplished with conversations (documented of course) and interviews. Reach out to your customers (try to pick a random sample so as not to skew the data) and simply ask them how they feel about your business, just try to make sure all your questions can fall under one of those 3 categories. Or just ask those 3 questions verbatim.
For an easier to scale approach you can use feedback widgets … Qualaroo for example, or even a survey. If your mailing list/customer list is big enough, with a combination of the email marketing tool you use, along with a tool like SurveyMonkey again you can setup a reasonably easy feedback system to gather some data.
When it comes to the second loyalty question asking about re-purchase intent. You can find a lot of quantitative data by looking at your customer information. Re-purchases and frequency of purchases are an exact number in some cases and you can look to your customer data to try to determine your outlier super customers as well as medians and averages. Your loyalty or rewards program might give you a peak into purchase behavior as well. Highly active customers when it comes to your loyalty program or incentive obviously would be likely re-purchasers as well.
Likewise when it comes to your likelihood to recommend data, there are amply quantitative numbers available to businesses running an active referral or word of mouth program. On the survey side you’ll get a predictive number or percentage as to how many of your customers would be likely to recommend, and on the referral platform you’d get the real world number of how many of them did (and who hey are).
Using all this information you can paint a very detailed picture of who your ideal customer is.
What are they demographics? Is there anything interesting in their shopping habits (at your store) or even in their referral habits and patterns?
That’s the information that can be used to target future buyers. After all, customers are great. But ideal customers are better. Those are the ones who will spend more, spend more often, and help you grow by referring their friends and family, and repeating the cycle.
The great thing about some of today’s marketing platforms. Facebook in particular, is that they allow you to build very specific and very targeted audience segments to try to reach with your advertising. These days you don’t’ have to just sit on your ideal customer segment profile. Or hope that an ad exchange will be able to find that segment needle in a haystack for you. With Facebook you can punch it in directly yourself, and better yet even optimize that segment over time with Facebook’s own native data.
It’s an exciting time for entrepreneurs and marketers. And for people who just like collecting data as well.
BTW who’s going to help me move?