Change, otherwise known here as action, occurs when people realize that the consequences of their actions, or in-actions, are no longer acceptable to them. How many people have tried to diet, and tried many of the hundreds available, but couldn’t keep the weight off or motivate themselves to keep up the discipline? It wasn’t until they were finally fed up with the consequences of being overindulgent that the motivation to pay the price was activated. It isn’t the diet that works, it’s the motivation. Therefore, what you see in the marketplace are more diets that are less “painful” (less price to pay) being made available to snag those who are motivated to do something but are not willing to pay too big of a price (no pain, no gain).
From a marketing perspective, inspiration can propel some parts of a potential marketplace into action. I like Home Improvement store ads that implore you to “just fix it.” That concept gets drilled home and is geared to inspire the forgetful (and unmotivated) husbands to do what they know they should have already done, or, to inspire the other mate to remind them. Additionally, they educate you to the vast number of “specials” they have available on the supplies necessary for “fixing”. In addition to inspiring, educating the consumer as to the options available can be the justification to attract the already motivated but undirected person to come to you, now! This is a Yellow Page, e-mail or Media Ad position. As conditions change in the world (inflation, interest, seasons, etc.) or, as conditions change within that person, he may be inspired to act. You have little way of knowing this, unless you are running either inspirational or educational promotions, and, are monitoring the results. The best ads have both elements in them.
Remember, it’s the consequences of their actions (spending too much money, unnecessarily) or their in-actions (not bothering to buy a water filter) leading to unacceptable conditions that motivate people to act (buy). One reason the “green revolution” is not motivating the masses to change their ways is that it doesn’t have enough perceived consequences directly and immediately affecting the individuals. Therefore, the consequences of their actions are not yet unacceptable to them. The ones who respond are those who are motivated by higher values than only their small personal world. The good news is that there are usually enough “first guy on the block” types to fuel any new positive business. Usually, unless it affects someone in his personal pocketbook, or the fear that it will, action is scarce.