Motivational research is a type of marketing research that attempts to explain why consumers behave as they do. By this research, the marketing manager comes to know the unknown qualities, habits, attitudes, etc. of consumers. It determines the answer of the word “Why in human behavior” and predicts as to how people react in a given situation. The term ‘Motivation Research’ has been defined as under:
- Lawrence C. Lockley: “Motivation research is the currently popular term used to describe the application of psychiatric and psychological techniques for solving marketing problems and better understanding of why people respond as the products, advertisement and other marketing situation.”
- Manson & Rath: “Motivation Research is a form of Market Research that attempts to discover the deep reasons why people buy.”
Usually, information regarding consumer may be of two types: Quantitative and Qualitative. Both types of information are required for marketing decision-making. The quantitative information may be collected quite easily and conveniently. It relates to the information regarding age, religion, caste, sex, education and income etc. of the consumers. Such information can be collected through secondary sources also. But qualitative information is quite difficult to collect. The information like why people respond to a particular brand or product or when, where, why and how people purchase a product is difficult to collect.
Techniques or methods of motivation research
The following techniques are generally applied for motivation research:
Traditional Technique or Questionnaire Technique
Under this technique, a questionnaire is prepared by the marketer with the help of psychologists. The questionnaire sent through post to the select consumers (or buyers). They are required to fill duly questionnaires. The completed questionnaires received by the company or marketers are analyzed and the results are extracted about the behavior of consumers. It is a very old technique and is not in much use now-a-days.
Experience and knowledge technique
Under this technique, buyer’s behavior is estimated on the basis of experience and knowledge gained by the marketing executives. Through their experience and knowledge they come to know the main buying motives of consumers (or customers.) and the reasons as to why they purchase their products. The different marketing executives consult and discuss with each other and thereby draw necessary conclusions. Such decisions may form a base for deciding the policy of advertisement, distribution and after-sale-services, etc.
Depth Interview Technique
It is the most important and widely used technique in motivational research. Under this technique, some consumers are selected and interviewed by the marketing executives of the enterprise. This interview is taken in a quiet and free atmosphere so that the consumers may express their opinion frankly. Though, this technique is time consuming and requires considerable patience on the part of the interviewer. It is quite expensive too.
Under this technique, questions are not asked directly but indirectly so as to locate the hidden feelings, thoughts and motives of the consumers. The main projective techniques are as follows:
- The Thematic Appreciation Test (T.A.T.): Under this technique, a series of pictures are shown to the consumer and he is asked to comment about each picture. The answers of different consumers are then interpreted by an analyst skilled in the test.
- The Sentence Completion Test (S.C.T.): The most useful and reliable of all the indirect or projective tests is the sentence completion test. In it, the test is used to uncover emotional responses to products or marketing situations but the reliability of the conclusion depends much on skill of the interpreter.
- The World Association Test (W.A.T.): Under this test, instead of a phrase of a sentence, a single word is used. The selected consumers are required to say immediately what other word comes into his or her mind. Such test may be written or oral. It required the words with similar meaning or opposite meaning
- The Paired Pictures Test (P.P.T.): Under this test, a pair of pictures is shown to a consumer and he is required to comment upon anyone of the pictures. For example, one pictures shows a woman opening a popular brand of a refrigerator and another picture shows a similarly dressed woman opening a refrigerator of another brand. The consumer expresses thoughts about any of these pictures. Such test creates a situation which the consumer is bound to express his inner feelings.