It is the abundance of a firm psychological foundation that deems the most creative marketing campaigns to fail. Within the last 2 years I have learned that my best campaigns, usually don’t look that good visually. While this does not always look like the best course of action to your superiors and colleagues, the overall results will keep everybody smiling.
Sticking to a firm psychological foundation instead of cramping juicy UI elements will clear your funnel from “static noise” and make everybody on board happy – from your new customer that just signed up (or the one that decided not to) and all the way to your R&D team that urges to generate a top-class product, basing development decisions on the collected user data.
In 1954 an American psychologist call Abraham Maslow published a book called Motivation and Personality within the book he explained his research of human developmental psychology and revealed the well known “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”.
The pyramid Maslow defined is a common framework till today and is implemented within sociology research, philosophy courses and professional work environments. Higher ranks within the military as well are taught Maslow’s theory in order to understand basic homosapien needs and improve the morale within soldiers.
If you are not familiar with the Theory I deeply recommend learning about it, you can find some usefull links on the bottom of this post.
Understanding a Consumer’s Emotional and Logical filters
In a natural matter, we – as consumers, scan all the information provided before every financial decisions (big or small) in purpose to locate areas of opportunities and risk within the experience.
Every financial decision has an impact on our lives and we know this, the thought process we go through while buying a $4 shirt and investing $2000 a new computer is the same, yet the intensity of the experience is completely different. Why is this? Maslow will explain.
While deciding on your next purchase, your logical and emotional filters start working, these filters are a modern instinct that will ask yourself multiple questions around the line of – Do you need this item? Will this item do you good? Can you afford this item? Is this Item safe? Will I really use this item? This stage is what I call “The Pondering”.
If you manage to satisfy the logical and emotional filter at the “Pondering” stage you will find yourself purchasing the item. This modern instinct of ours, keep us financially safe, prevents us from buying damaged goods, falling into scams and buying junk we do not need.
How to plan a campaign based on Maslow’s theory
Depending on the industry the answer will change, in each industry the target audience personas will fit into a certain segment of Maslow’s pyramid.
It is possible to implement a firm physiological foundation and use this tactic only after you get to know your target audience, I do not recommend taking this approach if you do not have the time to do so or certain project restrictions interfere.
First I ask myself, how much does my customer need to devote in order to convert AND does he really need a product like mine?
Attempting to understand the amount of devotion required from my consumer will help me decide the next step – How will my campaign funnel look like and What will the steps be?
I always keep it short – even If I understand that a high level of devotion is required.
I tend to create a omni-user path with the least steps possible to collect the information needed for human intervention or – “the all mighty conversion” (depending on the level of devotion required).
After I get a slight picture how my funnel will look like and what steps are required I start with the entrance point. The entrance point is where all the action happens and will have the most effect on your overall results, keep a clean interface and provide only the necessities. Here is when you want to have Maslow in mind.
I state that the 2 first stages of Maslow’s pyramid are mandatory to develop a logical consciousness. After these are achieved, we can focus on stages 3 and 4 which deal with your emotional consciousness.
The entrance point of your funnel (the initial landing page) needs to “break” the Emotional and Logical filters which I will compare to stage 1-4 of Maslow’s pyramid.
Virtual reality has been woven into our perception of life, where the physiological part of virtual reality is the core of the internet and any marketing campaign – Your domains name, SSL certificate and server type.
Using a simple and readable domain with a SSL certificate will help answer the user’s first logical filter – Will this hurt my virtual physiological state?
The next stage is where we will strive to understand if this interaction will harm us. We, as consumers debunk this bias by looking for well-known trademarks, contact information address location, legal policies and etc. The main concern of the user at this stage is if he landed into the right place, is the company a legitimized institute? Is somebody trying to trick me?!
Avoid using automatic chat popups with stock image models – Everybody knows that they are virtual and due to that they lower the sense of safety. Here are a few ways you can urge the sense of Safety.
- Providing a large clear and visible logo.
- Providing a visible phone number physical location
- Removing any stock images or videos.
By doing these you are automatically building “safety” attribute points that will completely remove the logical filter from your consumer.
It feels great to know that we are loved, that we have friends and family around us that support our daily actions. Implanting a sense of Belonging to your user is the key-secret to unlock this stage within my approach, how do we do this?
Easy, add a featured image that will hit right on the spot, make that immediate connection to your user that he has arrived to a place that understands people like himself.
Respect by others, Achievements and Confidence. We can achieve this virtually by inserting Social proof elements like a Client carousel or Facebook page widget showing pictures of clients and people that support your business. This is the first step of unlocking the emotional filter that kicks in and challenges our experience.
Even something small like a quote or an honest testimonial from a well-known client of yours will close the deal and show your potential customer that you have already delivered the goods in the past, and the chances of you doing so again are high.
Now that we have removed both Emotional and Logical filters, our customer is now at the stage of self actualization. The user will start awaringly to read the content provided in your entrance point to collect enough knowledge in order to take the final decision: Is this product relevant? Will it contribute to my needs?
All users, scan all information provided, whether it is consciously or subconsciously. The interface is a pillar of the overall experience, I aim to provide all the information needed so the user will be able to take a decision based on knowledge, while simultaneously urging the sense of security and addressing his natural needs. Adding unnecessary elements into the UX will harm the consumers decision-process – If it is not mandatory, then do not add it.
Optimizing your Campaign with Maslow
A fun test I would do on myself while optimizing campaigns is to visualize yourself as the user and imagine his needs and fears. List all the fears you have as a customer and write them down, later to be used when deciding on elements of Safety for you entrance point composition. Additionally, list the needs to help you decide the content you will present, strive to be pin-point yet rich with relevant information.
Overloading information will cause confusion while a lack of information will cause suspicion. When Implementing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in my campaigns I will find myself making a less-appealing campaign containing only the necessary conversion elements. Rather then creating a visually stunning campaign that steers the attention from the parts that matter the most – The parts that actually create the confidence within the user and helps him to convert.
Remind yourself while designing the core elements of your next campaign, that both filters will need to be addressed in order to succeed, no matter what tactic you choose to base your foundation, this article only presents one approach to remove these filters and is based on the work of Abraham Maslow.
- Figure  Mathew Larson