Maslow’s Pyramid is a marketing classic, but do you know what it means? Today we take you through what it is and how to use this theory in your online marketing strategy. The idea is to help you get to know your target audience better to differentiate yourself, segment well, and better plan your content.
Today, I am collaborating on the blog to tell you about the Maslow Pyramid which you certainly know but which is not adapted to social networks. Hope this helps you and you can apply these tips to your online strategy.
Maslow’s Pyramid is named after its creator, Abraham Maslow, and to define his idea, he was inspired by his book “A Theory of Human Motivation” in 1934. His theory is based on the organization from below. rational consumer needs, that is, we can see how a person prioritizes the needs they have to feel satisfied. This is where its importance lies.
And what role do businesses, bloggers, and community managers play in all of this? Well, brands have to meet people’s needs, and to do that, they have to know more about those needs and how a person prioritizes them. Thanks to this, we will be able to establish very defined strategies to reach the customer.
Maslow’s Debate and Pyramid
Do the needs exist or are they created?
It is obvious that needs already exist, we all have needed to be met, whether you are a person or a company, but the truth is that with technological and social development, I believe that there are needs that have been created in a certain way.
How many things do we buy on a “whim”? Did you need this iPod when you have an MP4 to listen to your music? Did you need 3 or 4 sneakers from the same brand but in a different color? Did you need to go out to eat 3 or 4 times a week at your favorite restaurant? I do not think so.
Speaking from my own experience, I have bought a lot of things that I don’t need, that doesn’t satisfy any of the phases that make up Maslow’s pyramid but that quell my desire for consumption. I think it happens to all of us, to a greater or lesser extent, doesn’t it?
Do all brands know how to create needs?
The reality is it isn’t, and the market, full of supply and demand, teaches us that you have to be good to create a supposed need for someone.
Yes, some brands have been successful and it works wonders for them. Nintendo, Samsung, Mc Donals, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Inditex… have succeeded in making people switch from consumption out of necessity to capricious and excessive consumption.
See the case of Apple around the world. Do you need the new iPhone that they release every year? What need is met by the fact that you buy an iPhone every season? Any. And feeling “cool” is not one of the needs organized by Maslow’s Pyramid.
Real needs vs. purchase impulse
A brand needs to be well aware of a person’s real needs and what is just the whims of the crazy feeling of consuming a brand that has a reputation and status, which is called the “desire to own”.
In reality, the brand “doesn’t care” why they consume it, whether out of whim or out of necessity, what interests them is that they buy it. But it is very important to know how to distinguish each of these cases because it will not be the same strategy as taking a product intended to satisfy a need, as another intended to awaken this “crazy” buying impulse.
The traditional Maslow Pyramid
In Maslow’s Pyramid, motivation is very important. Knowing the needs of our target audience will allow us to reach them more safely and directly.
Maslow’s pyramid is made up of 5 stages in which you will find the different types of needs that a person has to live and which range from the most basic to those that make a person feel fulfilled to have reached the goals and Goals.
The basic idea of the hierarchy that Maslow structured is that the “strongest” needs occupy our attention when the most basic needs have been met.
The 5 steps of Maslow’s pyramid
The first 4 levels can be grouped into “deficit needs” and the last level is also called “growth motivation”. The difference between the two cases is that while the deficit needs can be met, the need for the 5th stage is a continuous driving force, i.e. having the momentum to produce the push needed to achieve Our goals.
Physiological – 100%
These are the ones that refer to the basic physiological needs that a person has due to their condition as a human being. For example: to eat, to breathe, to sleep …
Safety – 80%
These needs are those that make us feel “safe” from dangers and threats. It is also the need to be with someone that makes us feel protected.
Affiliation – 60%
These are the needs to feel that you belong to a group, to feel loved, that you matter, that you matter for someone and something.
Recognition – 40%
These are the needs to feel useful, productive, or to have prestige and to see that you can achieve what you have in mind to gain recognition from others.
Self-realization – 30%
This is the final step, when you “cross the finish line” that you set yourself up and feel a fulfilled person because you have achieved everything that you set out to do. When we talk about needs, it is important to also talk about conflicts.
Conflicts are situations that arise from the dissatisfaction and frustration that a person feels when they have not met the need they had. It makes a person angry and leads to “wrong” behaviors that cause various types of harm to another person or oneself.
The reasons that often lead to conflicts are:
- Lack of respect
- Lack of communication
- Unmet needs
- Confront different values and principles
- Lack of resources and development opportunities
- Limited competition
Maslow’s pyramid applied to social networks
It is not new that the consumer has new behaviors and has evolved a lot thanks to the development of new technologies and the emergence of social networks, among other things of course. As a result, their needs have also changed.
I’m not saying that the needs or the philosophy that form Maslow’s traditional pyramid no longer exist, what happens is that now it has a few more characteristics. Today, the consumer is a more informed and sophisticated person in terms of demand and behavior. Added to this are the emergence of social networks and their influence.
Social media has given users a voice and relevance they didn’t have before. It is now more accessible than ever to know the experience of the users and you can listen, read and see their opinions, motivations, complaints, doubts, and needs. This is why they play such an important role for brands because you can use them as a ‘weapon’ to get to know your target audience better and give them what they need at the right time.
The 5 Stages of Maslow’s Pyramid 2.0
The basic concept of the levels is the same, that is, the role of the person is always maintained, as long as he satisfies the most basic needs. Next, I explain to you what the traditional pyramid is equivalent to in the social media pyramid:
Physiological: the mobile as an extension of our body
Nowadays, although it may sound overkill (or maybe not that much), our Smartphone can be seen as an extension of our body. We need it for (almost) everything, whether for work, play or entertainment. There are also those (very funny) who add the Cats as a basic need here. You know cats are the big protagonists in rrss. This is a joke; D
Security: data protection and security of internet purchases
The security needs to be adapted to the world of the Internet and social networks are elements such as antivirus, strong passwords, data protection, firewalls, etc. Everything that helps secure your mobile devices and rrss profiles.
Affiliation: we measure ourselves by the number of followers, friends, or fans
The person continues to seek acceptance from others, to feel loved, and does so in the same way as in the traditional Pyramid. The person in question is looking to make friends and build relationships with other people, but in this case, through rrss.
Recognition: the more we “love” the better
We all like to feel appreciated, accepted, and part of the social group to which we belong. Today, most of our relationships grow and evolve in the large online communities of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or Instagram. We share all kinds of content there: videos, infographics, links, ideas, opinions, photos, and personal moments with which we seek “the approval of the other”. In this context, the recognition needs are reflected in the number of “likes”, the number of visits to the website, comments, favorites, the number of retweets, shares, and other interactions in the various rrss.
Self-realization: I am already “influencing”.
You could say that in this case, the objective would be to become “influential”, that is to say, to be influenced by society. Everything you say and do through your social media will have a big impact on others, so much so that you can influence their actions and/or their way of thinking. This is why brands, aware of their power, work so much with bloggers, youtubers, and other influencers.
Maslow’s pyramid, Google, and content marketing
We know that users have different types of needs depending on their level, and we also know that Google is the most widely used “needs” and information search engine in the world.
In addition to having a quality product or service, you need to develop a good content strategy to be more visible in the search engine and get more and more visits to your website. Also to get in touch with your target audience in the networks and offer them something really useful. You can use these tools and tips:
- Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find the words with the highest search average in your industry
- Write articles on your website blog that add value and help your community
- Spy on keywords your competitors use with Semrush (maybe they’ve detected needs you haven’t yet met)
- Use social media to interact and ask users about their interests, needs, and issues
- Take care of your community by commenting and sharing your posts
30 great examples of how to do content marketing
Conclusions and final opinion
Today, if a brand wants to know its consumer perfectly, it must take into account the two pyramids and work based on them to adapt its product or service as much as possible to the needs of the evolved consumer who exists today. Who, as I said before, is much more knowledgeable and sophisticated.
A brand must have a good communication strategy in social networks where the main character is the interaction with its audience, the good treatment and making them feel that they are taken care of and that ‘we value it, but really.
The combination of the two pyramids will allow you to make a much clearer and more direct path to your target audience and as a result, you will achieve very good results.
I hope you liked it and that it will serve as a source of ideas for your projects.