Are you marketing to gain or pain?

Paul Nolan

There are two primary motivators of human behavior: gain and pain. A number of studies have shown the psychological fear of losing something or experiencing pain is twice as strong as the potential to gain or improve something.

Christopher Ryan, founder of Fusion Marketing Partners, says there are two ways to discover what drives your particular prospects. The first is to ask them what motivated them to talk with you or make a purchase (or not purchase). The second is to conduct online research to determine what search terms people are using to find you and your competitors. For example, prospects may find you by searching, “Stop customer churn” (pain) or “Boost client retention” (gain).

“Both the pain and gain motivators can lead to the same place, but where is the traffic coming from and which type of search converts in greater numbers? When you combine this data with relevant gain and pain messaging, you can really target your message effectively,” Ryan states.

“The smart money says to go with what gives your future customer night terrors. But as always, it’s up to you to learn about your prospect’s world. Test, inquire and improve until you find the unique triggers — positive or negative — that produce the desired result.”