Markets and Marketing

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Marketing, Emotion Pages: 7 (2303 words) Published: November 22, 2008

In economics, a want is something desired having to do with, distinct from a need. It`s said that people have unlimited wants, but limited supplied resources. Thus, people can`t have everything they want and must look for the best alternatives sometimes that will cost them less. People usually carry the tendency to have a strong desire to obtain something. This desire, known as “want” has been established since the beginning of life. (1)

To most psychologists, a need is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a goal and the reason for the action, giving purpose and direction to behavior. The most widely known academic model of needs was proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow. In his theory, he proposed that people have a hierarchy of psychological needs, whicvh range from security to self-actualization. (2)

In most business schools the classical marketing definition is “to connect costumers with products”. And usually nobody is talking about manipulation, playing on consumer emotions or even lying. But to connect consumer with a product is not an easy thing to do, especially if one is not aware that such product exists, or one has not thought about having the product. And this is where a marketer`s job comes in. It is not only important to meet costumers` needs, it is essential to show the customers that such a need exists. To show the benefits one could get combined with a physical and emotional satisfaction. Howard Schultz, Starbucks Coffee Chairman, has said (3):

“Customers don't always know what they want. The decline in coffee-drinking was due to the fact that most of the coffee people bought was stale and they weren't enjoying it. Once they tasted ours and experienced what we call "the third place"... a gathering place between home and work where they were treated with respect… they found we were filling a need they didn't know they had.”

We communicate with each other by symbolizing our thoughts through words, pictures, sounds, actions and feelings, depending on what type of person we are, which “channels” are opened. Some understand visual material much better, some prefer sounds and some people react to emotions or real activities. A marketer can express people inner thoughts into external symbols. Geoff Ayling is talking about Memes (4):

“In the context of advertising, a meme is an idea or concept that has been refined, distilled, stripped down to its bare essentials and then supper-simplified in such a way that everybody can grasp its meaning instantly and effortlessly.”

Richard Dawkins has coined the term “meme”, and G. Ayling in his book is showing that meme has the ability to enter the mind without our conscious awareness, and plant a thought in there. According to lots of successful marketers, the ultimate goal of advertising is to create a shift in consumer`s attitude and behavior. A meme is a simple, yet powerful way to create this shift, to change our perception and to make us look at a symbol and see a larger concept in there. G. Ayling points out fifty reasons of why people buy (4). Reasons like “to feel safe; to feel accepted; to protect their family; to become more fit and healthy; to feel younger; to leave a legacy” and many more are mentioned, and many of those are in some way or even directly connected to Maslow`s hierarchy of needs. People have certain needs and it doesn`t matter whether they are aware of it or not, because marketers have tools to “help” people to realize, to see and to feel the need or a problem. Basic feeling (psychological need) such as hunger and thirst can be potent driving forces to make a purchase. Marketers can use this advertising at a time of a day when consumers are likely to be hungry and probably would pay attention to the message and remember it. The second - safety need are used very well all around, for instance, in car markets or addressing to moms of...
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