Effective marketing is figuring out what motivates people and getting them to act. Marketers have been doing this since time immemorial. So the big question has always been, What motivates people? Price is obviously a concern, but that’s only after they’re interested. Ann Fishman is a marketing expert and president of Generational-Targeted Marketing Corp. She says three things impact what motivates people.

The first is what happened in their youth. This helps develop individual traits and generational characteristics. Different people will see the events of their youth through different lenses, but the events shape their views.

Secondly, current events motivate people. What is going on right now and how does your product or service fit into that? The third factor in Fishman’s triumvirate is age. Attitudes and values tend to shift over time, but even if they don’t age becomes a factor in what people want and need.

Figure out the interplay between youth, current events, and age and you’ll be ahead of the marketing pack.