Psychology is an increasingly vital part of marketing because the more we know about what makes a person tick, the more effectively we answer what it is they want and how they want to get it.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory in psychology focusing on the stages of human development and what humans need to thrive. Human development is a great lens to look through your marketing efforts through because, ideally, you want to treat whoever your product is for like a human – not just a vessel to sell something to.
In particular, Maslow’s Hierarchy is a useful psychological tool because everything you can potentially sell will exist somewhere on this pyramid. Really! The pyramid identifies each level as a separate set of needs that need met in order to move on to the next stage of motivation. By looking at what motivates people at any given level, we can also begin to identify various emotional states that commonly happen at each level.
Why would looking at emotional states help our marketing efforts? Easy. If you know what someone is thinking about and struggling with, you can speak to that struggle in a way your customer can personally identify with.
Today, we’re going to explore how several companies have positioned their offers according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how you can use that for inspiration to create more effective landing pages. We’ll move through each level of the pyramid and cover an example company who has crafted an offer that speaks to their customer at an emotional level.
1. Physiological Needs
Food and water, sex, clean air – these basic needs sound like no-brainers, and they are. But don’t write them off just yet. These basics of human existence are constantly being reinvented, improved upon, made trendy, and marketed in brilliant ways.
Think there’s no new way under the sun to meet a basic need like eating? Then you’d be wrong. Plated speaks to this most basic of needs in a sophisticated and modern way. By providing you with the recipes, ingredients, and delivering it straight to your door, Plated addresses a basic need, as well as an esteem boost. Who doesn’t want to be a better cook, after all?
In particular, notice how the copy on this page speaks straight to the person who cares about what is going into their body but has no time. This meets a basic need in a way that makes you feel good about it.
2. Safety Needs
Security, housing, insurance – humans long to feel like they have their own back. These needs are often addressed in a way that plays on the fears we have about losing our security. (But it doesn’t have to be that way, and I’d love to know if you see a company that speaks to this level without resorting to fear tactics).
If there is anything we want to feel safe and secure about, it’s our money. Stratos leans into this desire incredibly effectively. This shot in particular drives the point home. The copy implies your wallet isn’t safe without Stratos – “Safer than the cards in your wallet.” Brilliant psychological move. The lock is a nice visual cue, as well.
3. Love and Belonging
Relationships, community, and a sense of belonging – we want to be part of a tribe. We want to be loved, and anything targeting this level is speaking to us at social and cultural level. Our example goes straight for the heart here.
Find the one with a swipe. It makes it sounds incredibly easy – which is part of why Tinder is ridiculously popular. The physical action/trigger is highly effective in ingraining this, as well. The image is a great addition here, giving the user that jolt of what it is they most want right now:
Esteem deals almost exclusively with problems that are felt-needs, not actual problems. Feeling successful, like you’re accomplishing something of value, like you’re contributing, like you are cool – these are the kinds of solutions we provide at the esteem level.
Basic needs are met by the time you’re talking about self-esteem, so this level of the pyramid speaks more to those things that are nice, but not necessarily non-negotiables. Bombfell nails it here by targeting the desire men have to look good… and maybe not have to think so hard about it. The CTA button here is prominent and makes taking the next step to style simple:
A product realistically can’t sell self-actualization. However, there are services and products that certainly give off the feeling that they can get you there. This is the highest level of the pyramid, and the products sold at this level tend to be higher ticket items because of the desires they speak to.
This is not my favorite landing page for many reasons (they desperately need to test some elements on the page to see if it is converting); however, it does an excellent job of addressing that part of us that wants to evolve and operate at a higher level of consciousness. That said, playing up the magic of yoga, travel, and all those other extras makes the viewer feel like it’s exactly what they need if that is the space they are in. The image is a good choice for the offer:
Applying the pyramid to your landing page
As you can see, discovering the particulars of human motivation can leave you with key insights about how to speak to your audience. Wondering how you can apply this to your next campaign? Read on.
1. Identify the level of the pyramid is your offer speaking to.
A general rule of thumb is the lower on the pyramid an offer is, the easier it is to sell. If it feels like a need, it gets treated like a need. With Plated, for instance, I’m meeting my basic need to eat; however, I’m doing it in a way that serves my lifestyle more effectively. An offer doesn’t have less value because it meets a basic need.
2. Create an opt-in that meets a need lower on the pyramid.
It’s almost always easier to start a conversation with someone at a lower level of the pyramid because the problems that exist there tend to be easier to quantify. Do you have an offer that solves a problem at a lower level that helps build trust before making the big ask? If not, find one small part of your offer that solves a problem. If you can solve one problem for your customer
3. Create a minimum viable page (MVP).
A great offer needs a great way of communicating its value. That’s why you need immaculate landing pages that speak directly to the emotional state of your ideal customer. By creating a page that addresses a single problem/solution, you can make sure your audience is getting exactly what they came for – and that your page is converting.
(Pst! Have you seen how easy it is to create mobile responsive pages, too? With our latest features you can instantly create mobile-friendly landing pages).