Research paper (marketing behavior class)

Assignment 5 – 3: Research Paper: Motivation The paper aims to present research findings on how motivation influences consumer behavior. It would initially discuss diverse authors’ definitions and explanations on the concept of motivation; as well as its crucial role in consumer behavior. The motivation need theories found by Maslow, Alderfer and Herzberg have been indicated to impact consumers’ inner drives in contemporary markets. Secondary sources would be searched on relevant factors that have been found to relate to consumer characteristics, traits and beliefs that influence their behavior. Likewise, the discourse would detail application of how motivation is applied in contemporary business settings, specifically using the experience of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) to expound on the role of motivation in influencing consumer behavior. Motivation The concept of motivation has intrigued various scholars and practitioners in diverse fields of endeavor due to its ability to influence behavior. Motivation has been noted by Martires and Fule (2004, 2) as referring to the why and cause of behavior through its ability to energize and give direction. Montgomery (2008) in her study on “ The Role that Personality and Motivation Play in the Consumer Behavior” published in the Business Intelligence Journal cited Arnould, et al. (2004) who defined motivation as “ an inner drive that reflects goal-oriented arousal” (259, cited by Montgomery, 2008, 129). Due to its crucial role in influencing consumer behavior, an increasing number of organizations have realized the need to examine factors that motivate consumers to purchase specific products and services to enable them to design the appropriate strategies to satisfy these inner drives. In another research conducted by Van Raaij and Wandwossen (1978), the authors reviewed the need theories of motivation and their impact and implications to consumer behavior. Proponents of the need theories: Maslow, Alderfer and Herzberg requires an accurate assessment of individual or consumers’ needs for its effective application. As revealed by Montgomery (2008) there are certain factors that define motivational characteristics of consumers. These factors are sociodemographic factors such as age, gender, income, ethnic background; and psychographic variables cited as the need for affiliation, power, achievement, uniqueness and self-esteem (Montgomery, 2008, 133). Sociodemographic factors relate more on the personal characteristics and traits of the consumers; while the psychographic variables target their inner drives and needs. These variables could be solicited by various organizations through market research, consumer surveys, and other secondary sources provided by research organizations and local agencies. Application of Motivation to Consumer Behavior The case that was examined by Montgomery for motivational factors influencing consumer behavior was conducted on Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) through the use of print ads or advertisements that specifically appeared in Time Magazine. The study identified the five psychographic factors abovementioned as motivational factors that induce consumers to patronize the services offered by HSBC. HSBC’s basic premise is that since it is a global organization, it needs to relate to the consumers that they could cater to the needs and drives of their clientele regardless of cultural orientation – simply because they are culturally adept and aware of the diversity in needs, wants, values and drives that can be addressed by the organization. Its advertising campaigns focused on the slogan: “ Never underestimate the importance of local knowledge” (Montgomery, 2008, 129) with emphasis on “ Business Connections” (ibid.). By defining the motivational factors, HSBC was able to strategically design print images and messages that relay their expertise in cultural diversity. Consumers from diverse cultural orientations in the USA, for example, would prefer a financial institution that knows their values and preferences and can address their financial needs. HSBC offers diverse services ranging from personal financial services, commercial banking, asset management, private banking, global banking and markets (HSBC: Fact Sheet, 2011, 1). It boasts of serving 3. 9 million clients and has been ranked as number 8 among the top 10 banks in the USA (All Banks, 2008). These statistics prove that HSBC is able to achieve its goal of strategically designing advertisements and marketing efforts to encourage consumers to avail of their diverse financial services. In fact, the bank ranked number 20 from among the top 50 banks all over the world (All Banks, 2008). HSBC has been successful in designing marketing strategies based on motivational factors and variables encompassing both the internal organization factors and external industry globalization drivers. Aside from the sociodemographical and psychographic factors identified above, the external drivers that are constantly being monitored by the organization are cost, market, competitive, technological and environmental factors (Zou & Cavusgil, 1995, 62). On the other hand, the internal organizational factors that HSBC focuses on are leadership and managerial orientation, market orientation, commitment, organizational capabilities and culture and international experience. These factors are hard to substitute and difficult to imitate given that their thrust to emphasize multiculturalism has been effectively entrenched. Conclusion The paper has achieved its objective of presenting motivation as playing a significant role in consumer behavior. By initially defining motivation and identifying need theories as influencing strategies of organizations to cater to motivational drives and variables, the application of HSBC clearly supported using motivational theories to influence consumer behavior. Through print advertisements published in the Time Magazine, the organization was able to capture the attention of potential and prospective clients from diverse cultural orientations who felt the need to satisfy the need for affiliation, power, achievement, uniqueness and self-esteem. In doing so, HSBC’s rank from among the top banks, not only in the USA, but globally, has been evident and supportive of validating that motivation is an important factor that influences consumer behavior. References Arnould, E., Price, I. and Zinkhan, G.(2004). Consumers. McGraw Hill/Irwin, Boston. Martires, C. R. and Fule, G. S. (2004). Management of Human Behavior in Organizations. National Bookstore, Philippines. Montgomery, J. (2008). “ The Role that Personality and Motivation Play in the Consumer Behavior: A Case Study on HSBC.” Business Intelligence Journal, pp. 128 – 134. Van Raaij, W. F. and Wandwossen, K. (1978). “ Motivation-Need Theories and Consumer Behavior.” Advances in Consumer Research, Volume 5, Pages 590-595. Zou, S. & Cavusgil, S. T., 1995. Global strategy: a review and an integrated conceptual framework. European Journal of Marketing, 30 (1): 52 – 69.