Up to this point, we have covered the basics of marketing, but as you move beyond this and you start getting these essentials in place, you need to get your creative juice flowing and think about what your marketing will look like in the future. We’ll be spending the remainder of this week looking at this subject. To get us started, I’d like to throw out an idea to get you thinking a little more strategically.
Maslow introduced his “hierarchy of needs” clear back in 1943. In it, he defined the stages all humans must pass through in order to reach self actualization. Now there are a variety of criticisms about Maslow’s theory; however, it is useful and it can help illuminate much about the human psyche. Even more important, it can help us better understand marketing; how we can use it to better connect to customers; and how we might be able to utilize marketing to change the world.
Now, let’s imagine what a marketing version of this same pyramid might look like from a marketing perspective. At the bottom of the pyramid, we would need to consider the consumers basic needs. The middle of the pyramid would encompass her wants. The top would encompass a rather elusive and often ignored area of marketing, creating meaning. Here’s what that pyramid looks like:
This pyramid is not unique. There are a variety of excellent marketers who have proposed a similar or slightly modified models. If you are interested in checking out others who have written about this, be sure to check out Chip Connely’s book, “Peak” (amazon affiliate link) or Bob Gilbreath’s “The Next Evolution of Marketing” (amazon affiliate link).
We will take a closer look at each section of the pyramid above over the next few days. Until then, here are a couple questions to consider:
- Think about the types of marketing you are currently involved in. Where would you place your current marketing on this pyramid?
- How are you identifying your customers’ needs and wants?
- Can you think of any real world examples that might fall into the top part of the pyramid?
Until tomorrow, keep on marketing.