SBM 101 – Marketing that Matters – Moving Beyond the Basics

Small Business Marketing 101Have you ever watched yourself and how you react to advertising and marketing in your own life? What does it look like? What types of marketing resonate most with you?

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.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow's Hierachy of Needs

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:

Marketing Pyramid
Marketing Hierarchy

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.


3 thoughts on “SBM 101 – Marketing that Matters – Moving Beyond the Basics

  1. Jason,
    This is a real important series you are posting. I suggest you take the opportunity to stress the importance of aligning marketing with the BE DiFFERENT strategy. My marketing and strategy blog articles could be helpful. My basic thrust is to say that marketing must move beyond flogging products (based on features and benefits) to the masses to creating Holistic VALUE-based Offers for the Fans we choose to serve. This is the means to BE DiFFERENT.
    Marketing today is Boring, unimaginative and lazy because of the product focus. Need to move on up to looking at the customer as a complete entity and assess ALL of their requirements. My book goes into this.
    Will be reading with interest. If I can help let me know.

    1. Roy,
      I apologize for not getting back to you sooner regarding this post. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the BE DiFFERENT strategy and I do plan on referencing it more and more as I move forward.

      I’d love to make you an offer – would you be interested in writing a guest post or potentially answering some additional questions for a future blog post?



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