Marketing to ONE buyer at a time

Segmentation is a key pillar of any marketing plan.  Whether it is attitudinal, behavioral, psychographic, etc…. you have narrow your scope to a set of buyers.  Yet when you’re marketing, particularly around messaging, a key is to convert ONE buyer at a time, even while deploying mass marketing mediums. 

 Appeal to your target audience’s core needs

At the end of all decisions, even committee-based decisions or RFPs, there is a person making a choice.  I know, I know… sometimes it seems like the process at hand is taking human interaction away and that these decisions are being automated.  To an extent that is true, but ultimately we are still making decisions via humans not robots.

Case in point:  the government.  Even with all its bureaucracy, procedures, departments, requirements, etc… the government still influenced by people (lobbyists or voters or other politicians).  Same is true for all other organizations in the world.

As a marketer, our challenge is to expand our influence beyond simple tactics and channels.  To appeal to the benefits that influence the maker’s willingness to choose, support or advocate for our products of services.  To do this we must tap into the buyer’s deepest needs, whether expressed or not. 

Maslow had a great marketing insight

Given the target audience for this blog, you’ve heard of Abraham Maslow.  He’s well known for developing the Hierarchy of Needs.  The theory states that humans seek to satisfy their individual needs in a particular order.  This has great implications for marketeers.

Early marketing moved messaging from features to benefits.  Depending on your market place, your differential advantage and your competitive framework, the higher level you can appeal to in the Hierarchy of Needs, the better.  Clearly this must be supported by the reason-to-believe.

How do we leverage Maslow’s insight?  Revisit your positioning, messaging and execution channels to ensure that you’re building need-centric value chains that are coherent, supportive and additive.  Be ever mindful that ultimately, regardless of DTC or B2B mediums, people are making decisions and you need to appeal to their human needs.  New tools(videos, social media, social networking, etc..) can help us to move our marketing efforts from the mass to the personal – rapidly, accurately and cost-effectively. 

As marketeers I propose that our greatest challenge is to convince humans, ONE buyer at a time. 

Good marketing!



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