Effective Marketing Hierarchy From Abraham Maslow

There was no way in 1943 that Abraham H. Maslow could have predicted that his Hierarchy of Needs would be so influential. It was considered to be one of the more influential theories in the study of human behavior and remained influential into the following century as well.

Abraham Maslow said that people act out of feelings caused by emotional needs which have not been satisfied. We are compelled to try and resolve those needs in a certain set order. Second tier needs follow those that are of prime importance to the individual. Third tier needs follow second level ones, and so forth.

Physiological requirements are primary concern to a person that keeps him alive. Next is safety needs and then comes social needs. Later in the list is the need for self esteem and last is self-actualization. A student following Maslow’s theory will know how this can be adapted in the marketing world. During the attempt to make a sale, it applies not only to the product that is sold; the idea of the product, and the image, but, in the end, the result of the product is also sold. Thus, one or more requirements in the hierarchy may be fulfilled.

A marketing campaign would be sufficiently more successful if it appealed more towards the lower levels of unfulfilled needs in a person’s life. In order to succeed you really need to know your customer. If your product promises to fill an esteem need, it wouldn’t be attractive to a prospect who hasn’t met their safety need yet.

Any successful marketing campaign must first focus on what consumer motivators you will target. It’s important to figure out where in the hierarchy the need you want to fulfill would fit. Then you will need to clearly communicate to the consumer how your solution will address their need. The key is to reassure the consumer that your approach will actually be effective in resolving their needs.

Maybe a more important question is how you can tell which level of need your potential customer is currently attempting to address. If a customer comes to you asking for your product, then they are doing a large portion of your work for you. However, it’s exceedingly difficult to understand the needs of a complete stranger when you are attempting a cold sale.

The best way to overcome this obstacle is simple, and it’s one that every marketer is taught from the very beginning of their career: just talk. Talk about sports, the weather, or family life – anything other than the product you are trying to sell. Chatting with your potential customer in a friendly, non-pressured way will allow you to pick up on invaluable clues about their needs.

When you are able to understand the motivations of your potential customers, you approach the ability to meet their needs. After you figure out what motivates them then you can gear your sales pitch towards what will be effective for each customer. As you understand the needs of customers in general you can be more effective in selling to the market in general.

Most modern management techniques are based on Maslow’s theory. But Maslow’s ideas are just as effective in marketing. As always, the key is to persuade your customers that your product will change their lives for the better.

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