• shoes and feet

    Everyone likes to believe they always make rational choices.

  • pencils

    And never let feelings and emotions cloud their decision-making.

  • cute kid peeking

    Of course, that’s nonsense.

  • shopping cart

    We always choose what feels right (whether we know it or not).

  • love locks on a fence

    Motiv reveals what right feels like.

  • fish or cut bait sign

    Result: More effective strategies and messages, more desirable products.

Motiv™ is a generative approach to market research. It’s an insight discovery, strategy development and idea inspiration tool. Motiv brings the rigor of quant and the richness of qual together in one, immediately practical product.


woman with a purse

Using Motiv, we’ll discover the hidden emotions that motivate people to do things and buy things (or not do them and buy them) and inspire fresh, surprising, immediately profitable ways to tap those emotions.

Motiv: What It Is, What It Does

Motiv is an insight discovery, strategy development and idea inspiration tool.

Armed with insights discovered using Motiv, we help marketers:

  • Craft more potent selling messages
  • Design more effective marketing programs
  • Create more desirable products
  • Put the squishy issue of peoples’ emotions to work in concrete, pragmatic ways.
hand gloves on fingers
kids with ice cream

Working with Motiv, you’ll understand customers’ emotional and rational needs and how those needs work in the real world. This new understanding will help you sharpen communication and messaging, identify high-value customers and distinguish your brand more clearly from competitors.

Motiv’s insights will also spur the development of innovative new offerings and services, as well as emotionally engaging marketing and communications programs to launch and sustain those new offerings.

Motiv: How It Works

First of all, Motiv is not:

  • A picture sort exercise (although it uses pictures)
  • A “select these words we provide” exercise (but we do have respondents select words)
  • A way to rank the importance of things that we think are important
  • A way to prove what we already know
lotter balls

Motiv is:

  • Open-ended
  • Generative
  • A way to discover what we’re probably not even thinking about
  • Quantifiable and projectable
  • Anonymous, so respondents have no incentive to lie the way they do in so many kinds of research
Motiv Survey

The heart of Motiv is a unique, online survey.

Respondents use a set of 25 pictures to inspire open-ended descriptions of:

  • An imagined perfect experience with a product category
  • Their typical experience with that product category
  • Experiences and impressions of specific brands within that product category
painted gears

Follow this link to a live, Motiv demo. We chose banking as the topic of the demo because everybody has some experience with that category. Once you play with the survey a little bit, it should be pretty easy to see how it could be applied to any business category.

child walking up row of balloons (fanciful)

If you’ve got time, please complete the whole survey (average time is 15 minutes). Then we can show you how your responses compare to others’.

start-finish at race

Just promise you’ll come right back here when you’re done.

Motiv: What You'll Get

Far beyond a mere report, we deliver a unique set of products that will fuel immediate action.

collage of Motiv workshop

Emotivation™ Workshops

Instead of a typical report, we can facilitate a workshop that will let your team dig into the freshly-harvested data from our online survey. Working together, we’ll discover the often-hidden emotions that are motivating your consumers (we try to keep buzzwords to a minimum, but we’ve named these motivating emotions Emotivations for the sake of brevity).

Emotivation™ Infographics

Here, in visual and verbal form, are the often-hidden emotions that are motivating your consumers. Each set of Emotivations is unique to your category, your brand. And your project. Seeing your consumers’ own words and the pictures they chose to express their feelings focuses your teams’ thinking and helps everybody buy into a singular vision.

Emotivation Infographic
Emotivation Infographic
Emotivation Infographic
Emotivation Infographic
Emotivation Infographic
map graphic

Gap Maps

Gap Maps quantify all the ways your brand falls short of or exceeds your consumers’ emotional needs (these charts really help the folks who just aren’t quite comfortable with all this touchy-feely, emotion stuff).

person, anticipator type
person, meditator type
person, satiator type
person, sensator type

Emotivational Segmentation

We can segment your audience according to the real reasons they do what they do and create a projectable assessment of the size and business potential of each segment.

Message Architecture

Here’s a different way to approach the creation of marketing messages, using a technique called Message Architecture. You build messages from the bottom up, using a three-tiered template like the one seen here. We start at the bottom with what’s important to us, the marketer, then, based on what we’ve learned in previous steps, translate that into what’s really important to our consumers.

message architecture graphic
generic white packages

Insight-To-Action Workshops

Bring everybody together. Marketing people, creative people, product design people, packaging, distribution, financial, procurement. We’ll lead a workshop that will inspire everyone with the understanding of the real emotions that are driving your consumers and help everyone put those insights to work in their fields immediately.


Using Motiv’s tools and techniques, we’ve helped marketers in categories from pharmaceuticals to farm equipment develop new products, create more effective strategies and advertising, discover why a product failed (and fix it) and unite the visions and agendas of disparate marketing and communications teams.

soup bowls

A worldwide food marketer learned that, while some people will only pay $1.25 for a bowl of soup, plenty of others will pay $4.00 for “a bowl of quiet time”. Result: a popular, and profitable, new premium brand.

A multinational financial services company discovered a previously unidentified group of high value, online investors. For these folks, just making money on a trade wasn’t satisfying without “the thrill of the hunt and the kill”. That prompted the development of whole new set of online investing too.

lemon in fizzy water

A global soft drink marketer learned that the term “natural” has very different meanings for different people. That gave them permission to use that descriptor on a wider range of products and market them to a broader base of consumers.

shopper on escalator

A Credit Card marketer found out that, for 50% of affluent credit card holders, security is a critical component of status (“I have a lot, so I have a lot to lose. And I want people to know that.”). That led to the development of a new, elite credit card that’s challenging the category leader.


Bill Mount

Bill Mount

I’ve spent more than 30 years selling things. After graduating from college and a four-month stint as a car salesman, I went to work as a copywriter at Luckie & Forney advertising in Birmingham, Alabama and I’ve never looked back*. But everything I’ve seen in four decades in marketing has only proved the wisdom of what I learned in two weeks of sales training at the car dealership:

Beneath all their processing, debating and rationalizing, people always buy what feels right. Motiv was developed to show marketers what “right” feels like, so they can tailor their products, strategies and tactics for maximum rightness and maximum effect.

Motiv is the research tool I wish I’d had when I was working as an advertising creative guy. It delivers the kind of insights that can turn into practical, profitable ideas immediately.

Bill Mount
Insights and Strategy Director, The Crafton Group
Boston, MA

*Past Lives

  • Co-founder, Drumcircle, LLC, an insights and innovation company, Boston, MA
  • Co-founder, Creative Director, Brain Surgery, LLC, an Atlanta-based strategy and creative boutique
  • Sr. VP, Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, Houston, TX
  • Sr. VP, Group Creative Director, Tracy Locke/BBDO, Dallas, TX
  • Associate Creative Director, D’Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, MO
  • Copywriter, Luckie & Forney, Birmingham, AL


  • Consumer Package Goods: Beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks, canned soup, prepared dinners, desserts, frozen foods, bottled waters (unflavored, flavored, still, sparkling), confectionary, pet foods.
  • Restaurants: Fast food, QSR, family dining
  • Pharmaceutical: Numerous, from sepsis to hepatitis to erectile dysfunction
  • Technology: Personal computers, networking, software applications, telecom
  • Finance and Insurance: Numerous, both B2B and B2C
  • Health Care: Hospitals, HMOs, concierge medical practices, health portals
  • Agriculture: Tractors and implements, feeds and supplements
  • Work in all categories includes developing and launching numerous new products.


There are tons of Wufoo features to help make your forms awesome.

The Blog

This is a portal to Bill Mount’s blog, Sermon From The Mount, Observations from someone who loves advertising, marketing and figuring out why people do what they do. Click here.

Here are some samples with links to the full posts.