Developing a marketing strategy can be a challenge. Many companies try to engage customers at every touchpoint, creating campaigns that maximize their presence and reach. While this approach isn’t wrong, often, it doesn’t capture and retain customers. The reason why is simple. It fails to satisfy the customer’s basic needs.
Companies often place their customers in a box – only thinking of them related to purchasing their products or services. The trouble is, when companies only view their customers on a transactional basis, they fail to build a long-term partnership.
Your customers aren’t just looking for a product or service.
If targeting a business, that business wants to see why that product or service will enhance their company’s value. They want to feel that you are committed to their success. When targeting individual customers, the customers want to feel as if you care about them, on an individual basis, beyond just the product or service you are providing.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a way to understand human behavior.
Maslow’s Hierarchy has been around since 1943. You have likely learned about it in high school or college. While other studies have been conducted since then that adds to our overall understanding of human behavior, Maslow’s theory is still relevant in terms of human needs fulfillment and how that provides satisfaction.
Since Maslow depicts these needs within a hierarchy, to show how they relate to one another, it demonstrates how these needs impact human behavior on every level. As such, Maslow’s Hierarchy serves as an excellent resource for marketers to refer to as they work to understand consumer behavior.
Though only a theory, it is safe to say that consumer behavior and decision-making processes are driven by needs that run deeper than a product or service. So, as a Marketer, if you can identify what appeals to and motivates your customer, your marketing will be more successful.
Here’s how to get started:
Hard data is the driving force behind understanding consumer behavior. However, while building consumer personas based on data, we can sometimes lose sight of the human component behind those facts. This is where Maslow’s Hierarchy comes into play.
When reviewing hard data to develop a customer persona, think about where the customer’s needs fall into play at a basic, human level. This will help you understand your customers physically, psychologically, socially, and economically, allowing you to connect with customers more deeply. So, when creating a persona for your customers, ask yourself:
Triggering events are vulnerable times for any customer that your messaging could be built around. This will not only capture your customers’ attention but showcase the value of your brand. Think about Maslow: When a customer’s needs are “met,” they can move up the Hierarchy towards better things. Your product or service can help them achieve that.
Triggering events can range from a competitor launching a new product to a merger or acquisition or even an expansion or relocation. It can be a family welcoming a new baby, being ready for a job interview, or the first time buying a home.
Be clear and captivating with your communication. Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy, individuals stay within one level or another, so targeting multiple needs can be difficult if the messaging is not clear. To keep messaging on track, revisit these two questions:
Remember, every customer has a “barrier” that prevents them from moving forward with a service. For some, it may be the price. For others, the timeline. Some customers may even push back due to poor experiences in the past where other companies failed to deliver. As you keep Maslow in mind, you can determine what that barrier may be. Then, you can showcase why that barrier does not apply as you market your own product or service to them.
Here at 97° West, our customer-centric approach to branding and marketing is specially designed to present your product or service as a long-term solution. Contact us today to learn more.