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Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs And Marketing

Marketing is not just about "selling something". It is more about persuading people and convincing them that they need a product or a service. As Marketing is about creating, understanding and satisfying a need, it requires mastering Psychology.

Now, at the time when new marketing channels has been invented and reinvented multiple times, and different ways to communicate with people has been established, the basic of understanding people as an essential part of marketing has become more relevant than ever before. The importance of humans and their needs in marketing has its origin in Psychology. Yes, Maslow knew it. Maslow's theory of motivation, better known as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, is older than Facebook and Twitter, but its content is still very valid and applicable to marketing, even to the most experimental marketing campaigns. Understanding the needs of the people will help us to create more effective marketing.

Level of needspriorities first.

If you never heard of Maslow or his theory, let me start from the beginning. His theory describes human needs. Those needs are shown in a five levels pyramid. From the base to the top, each level represents the human needs which go from the most basic like breathing and sleeping to the most evolved ones such as belonging, esteem and self-actualization. 
Wikipedia 2016's_hierarchy_of_needs

For Maslow's, people start by fulfilling their most basic needs (food, water, sex, sleep and shelter), but when those are fulfilled they move up a level on the hierarchy to fulfill the needs included in the next level. To get to the next level you need to fulfill the needs of the level below. However, jumping up and down the pyramid is usual, too. As our circumstances change, our needs and its fulfilling change, too.   

Why Maslow's theory is relevant to marketing? 

This pyramid and the levels of needs help us to determine what our customers and prospects need, want and dream of.  We know that our customers are different, so we can assume that their needs are different, too. Creating campaigns to "all" might be inefficient as you might be offering products or services that are not at their level or reach. 

I find this extremely relevant when talking about international marketing. Understanding culture is important, but understanding the local conditions and needs also play a very important role. I remember once some marketing person trying to create videos to be shown in hospital, in countries in which basic medicines, working hospital and even doctors were unavailable. I was sure that they did not have TV on the hospitals...No doubt, a marketing fail.

When generating digital campaigns and automatizing marketing to mention some examples, sending the same content to all might look as an easy solution for saving marketing time and money. Remember to ask yourself first if all your customers, prospects and contacts are at the same level of the pyramid? Is the use of your product and service needed or even understood by all your audience? Is the answer is not, do not press enter to send that newsletter. Instead, create messages for different levels of needs.

Moving up and down- marketing to various needs level. 

Now, when we understand better the basic of Maslow’s theory, we can assume that most of people will move to the next level when the previous will be fulfilled. So, do the same with your marketing content and strategies. Create messages that will go from the most basic to the most advance level. Your basic message can be used to start targeting those who are not even aware of the need, to let them know that your solution is available. Step by step you can add more details and send the information to the people in different levels of the pyramid until you get to the evolved group. You show them all the bling and sparkle your product can have. 

Unfulfilled needs are great for your marketing, too. You can help your customer to move to the next level of the pyramid. It is not about being pushy, it is about being at the right time bringing the solution that your prospect is lacking.

Maslow's theory into (marketing) practice:

The importance of getting to know Maslow is to use this useful information and apply it when creating your marketing strategies and tactical activities. Summing up: 
- Understand your prospects and their needs. Remember to listen to your audience and to read their feedback! 
- Create the right message for the right target (based on their level). Go step by step.
- Offer products to fulfill their actual needs.
- Be proactive with your actual customer and use the "moving cycle" to offer the next level solution on time.

This post first appeared on My Sandy Planet, please read the originial post: here

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Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs And Marketing


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