If you don’t already know Maslow then you probably don’t know his Hierarchy of Needs. Don’t worry they are pretty simple. Here is a quick graph explaining them. The needs at base are the most important to humans and they gradually grow up the pyramid until one reaches self-actualization.
I created the inbound version of Maslow’s theory. This version consists of the different levels of inbound marketing and relating them to Maslow’s theory. Keep in mind not every goal is met, and some times people stop after the first goal. Blasphemy, I know! Well, any way take a look.
Physiological: This is the obvious need for anyone who wants to get found. Build a website and that’s it. Here is the first step and once it’s met a marketer can move up the chain of inbound marketing.
Safety: Here the marketer needs a sense of security. He wants to know that all his hard work in building the website isn’t going to waste, so he puts links in his site. This gives him a greater SEO and a better chance of getting found and being the best site for his consumers.
Love/Belonging: As soon as the physiological and safety goals are fulfilled then comes the need to feel loved and have a sense of belonging. In our lovely world this can be fulfilled through Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers. Joining Facebook groups and pages and knowing that followers on Twitter are getting your Tweets builds a sense of acceptance and lowers anxiety, which in turn gives the marketer a sense of brand security.
Esteem: This goal becomes interesting because it is when the marketer starts to desire to be accepted and valued by others. He starts Tweeting and blogging about more than just his brand. He wants to be liked for what he knows and wants others to trust his judgment and values.
Self-actualization: This is when the marketer realizes his full potential and desires to become more of an expert and he wants others to know about his methods. He also feels that he needs to focus on problems outside of his site.
There it is! Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs applied to Inbound Marketing. What do you think?
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