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Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs For Marketing

Updated on February 18, 2020
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Evie Sparkes is a published novelist, content writer and company director from the UK.

What is Maslov's Theory

If you have no idea what i'm on about, then let me sum it up for you. Basically, it’s the theory that there is a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid. Here, 1 being the basic level of need and 5 being the highest level.

  1. Physiological
  2. Safety
  3. Love/Belonging
  4. Esteem
  5. Self-actualisation

Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up. So, how does this theory apply in business? If you look at the theory as a whole, you can see how we can apply levels of need to any circumstance. Think about the level of your target marketing in the Hierarchy of Needs right now. What needs are you fulfilling? Think about the anxieties, fears and concerns those unfulfilled needs create.

Let’s break down the basic levels of your audience’s needs. When it comes to your content marketing. Can you:

  1. Answer a question
  2. Educate
  3. Distinguish yourself
  4. Build a connection
  5. Inspire

Building a Connection With Your Audience

You probably already know that building a connection with your audience is essential when it comes to retaining their interest and bringing them back for more. But you can’t build an emotional connection until you have laid the ground-work. You have to be the expert in your industry, you have to be able to answer common (and not so common) questions and educate your audience in order to be able to move onto to the next levels.

As a business woman for the past twenty years, I understand human psychology. How? Because I've made it my mission to understand my clients and how I can fulfil their needs in a non-salesy way, with zero pressure. I am not a sales person, so I need to really understand my clients. Of course, they are individuals, but they all have the same core need. They want to feel safe in my hands. They are putting their trust in me and they want to know that I am able to do the job, but also that I am approachable and will reassure them if that us what they need.

Feed the Need

Maslow's basic principles work when linking marketing to human psychology. You connect best with an audience if you appeal to their needs in a meaningful way. Think about the level of need your customer is trying to meet, and then market your product or service in a way that convinces them that it will meet exactly that need.

To make sure that your video marketing efforts bear fruit, always be aware of where on Maslow's needs hierarchy your customer base is and where you fit in. Human psychology and how it affects client behaviour is the very foundation of business growth. If you don’t get your potential clients, then what chance do you have of turning that lead into a sale? What do your clients need? What then drives them on to take action and buy once a real or perceived need is identified? Let’s face it, real or perceived, doesn’t really matter. Learning how to use Maslov’s Hierarchy as a tool in business gives forward-thinking companies the edge. Be one of those companies. Understanding that we all have needs, and knowing that when those needs are met, we fill fulfilled.

A Strategic Approach to Maslov’s Hierarchy

Answering questions gets you onto the first rung of this over-crowded ladder. Solve a problem and you might be thanked if you’re lucky, but you’ll soon be forgotten. It’ll be your answer that gets the attention, not you. Educate, and you become more interesting, an expert in your field, respected. Now you’re on your way to building your audience. Distinguishing your service means you already stand out from the crowd. Building a connection comes from interaction and expertise, a willingness to give information away for free. You are already beginning to inspire with your knowledge and engagement. Now you’re on your way to creating awareness.

Key Strategic Points

Now you know what you need to do. How do you put the theory into practise when it comes to your marketing strategy? It’s the easiest thing in the world to leap in with loads of great ideas but no plan of action. Without a coherent strategy, it all falls a bit flat. You might get results, but they’ll be mediocre at best.

  1. Decide what distinguishes your content
  2. Identify your goals
  3. Find your audience
  4. Connect with your audience
  5. Keep them interested

When you know the level of your target market in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you can quickly determine what your prospects are looking for, and desire. Let’s look at how your potential audience thinks, what are their key needs?

Most people have a problem they want solving. So, this becomes number 1 in the hierarchy of needs. Now they are looking for someone to be the solution to their problem, but they are unsure who that might be, Searching. They find your content and they are interested enough to watch until the end. They begin to engage. They make a connection. You solve their problem. They trust you.

What Separates Good Marketing From Inspired Marketing

Whether it's video content, blog content, outreach or article based, when you start to think of marketing as psychology based then you start to think a little outside of that over-used box. Let’s face it, what we’re really trying to do here, is motivate someone to make a decision, which ultimately leads to them taking the action that you want them to take. When we understand what motivates an audience, we start to see things happen. Our marketing efforts start to gain momentum.

Don’t throw your hands in the air and think that you have to No you don't have to change every bit of content you've ever created, you just need to consider how you use it.

What separates great marketers from exceptional ones? The ability to understand the how and why behind your client’s thought processes. Their behaviour after this is directly linked to their thoughts and feelings before the main event, the sale.

When we get our clients, we ultimately turn leads into sales on a big scale. Successful businesses know that marketing is a process that starts with understanding human behaviour.

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