Maslow’s Heirarchy of Marketing Needs


Anyone who ever took Psychology 101 or a sociology class learned that Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health based on fulfilling innate human needs according to the level of priority, ending in self-actualization.

The pyramid shape is similar to the sales funnel, albeit upside down, or is it? Maslow’s priority of needs correlates very well to the ascension model of marketing goals and actions.

Basic/Awareness: At the base of the triangle, businesses must provide basic nutrients and shelter to their audience in order to create awareness. Samples, freebies, and promotional items are typically offered in order to initially attract prospects.

Safety/Membership: Then, in order to keep potential customer’s attention, it’s necessary to find ways to convince
them that they are in the right place, and have found a credible place where they may find what they are looking for and won’t be taken advantage of.

Social/Engagement: When a prospect feels that they are in the right place and part of the right tribe where they will receive value in relation to their own goals and desires, they will become engaged. It becomes likely that they are consuming content and building the cliche but necessary “know, like and trust.”

Esteem/Invested: This is the place where the ascension gains traction and customers feel confident enough to initially invest in your products or services, or invest a greater amount. In order to achieve this, your prospects must feel respected which creates reciprocity for you and your company.

Self-Actualized/Loyal Repeat Customer: This is the coveted peak of the mountain, where customers have been indoctrinated in your unique selling proposition, and feel that they only want to buy from you over your competitors. Your creative marketing or value proposition has converted prospects into loyal and raving fans who will buy from you over and over again.

Does your content marketing plan take into account your customers’ needs? Are there other similarities or disparities between the two ascension models, I’d love to know your thoughts.

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