Calculate Marketing Return on Investment!

Marketing ROI can been extremely simple and then again extremely complicated. Everyone has a blog, article, book, opinion about it, which isn’t surprising. Let’s apply the KISS principle by keeping it simple.

Without researching your balance sheet, quickly pencil down a ballpark estimate of the following:

  • Your firm’s Total Revenue last year.
  • Your firm’s Total Advertising Expense last year.
  • Your firm’s Total Referral Fees paid last year.

A simple yet useful calculation of your marketing ROI

Add Total Advertising and Total Referral Fees together. Divide that number into your Total Revenue number. That is your Marketing ROI.

For example:

$10 million (Total Revenue)
$1 million (Advertising expenses) + $2 million (Referral fees paid) = $3.33… which means you are generating $3.33 for every $1.00 you spend on advertising.

To put it another way, this is an ROI ratio of 3.33 : 1.

Why referral fees are a marketing expense

You may believe that referral fees are not a marketing or advertising expenditure. They’re just part of the cost of running a law firm. You should take out referral fees from this calculation.

By removing referral fee costs changes things dramatically, from a ROI ratio of 3.33 : 1 to one of 10 : 1 increasing the efficiency of your marketing dollars (and your profits) by about ten-fold.

Referral fees aren’t a fixed cost like rent. They are what you pay to acquire clients, which clearly makes them a marketing expense. If you don’t include referral fees in calculating your marketing ROI, you are artificially inflating your ROI and managing with flawed information.

The inefficiency of referral fees

If law firms included referral fees in calculating their marketing ROI, they would find that these fees are a very expensive and inefficient use of their marketing dollars. Yet, most firms blissfully prefer to pay out 33% to 45% of their top line revenue as referral fees rather than consider paying out a much smaller percentage of their revenue as advertising. That is, they choose to accept a much lower return on their marketing investment.

Why?  First, most firms don’t calculate their marketing ROI. They are flying blind, with no idea of how efficiently their marketing dollars are working. Second, the referral fee system is comfortable; it’s the way things are done. Law firms who operate this way really aren’t focused on financial success. And that’s okay, money is not everything but if you don’t care about making money, why are you reading an article about return on investment?

Consider this hypothetical self test:

You examine your theoretical financials carefully at year-end. You find that your firm collected $10 million in gross legal fees.

If you could choose one of the next two statements to be true, which would you prefer?

  1. You find that your firm paid out $3 million in referral fees on those cases and your ad budget is very small for a marketing ROI ratio of 3.33 : 1.
  2. You find that your firm spent $2 million on advertising in that same year and you have almost no referral fees paid out for a marketing ROI of 5 : 1.

Think about it.

Your specific preference will likely determine your Advertising ROI and your outlook on your practice.

Improving your marketing ROI takes more than calculating it

If you have not yet figured out your marketing ROI, it is probably not the highest and best use of your time to start working on it now. First, improve your personal ROI by committing to doing whatever it is you do best (lawyering, managing, leading, inspiring, or dreaming) and hire a serious marketing professional to manage your marketing. Give them KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to obtain.  You’ll be amazed by the results.

Time and time again during my years of marketing law firms, I’ve seen a financial transformation occur when firms decide to base their marketing decisions on real information versus intuition or tradition or simply hope.

 

The BIG Problem with Implicit Opt-in for Email!

There are legal definitions of spam — in the U.S., for example, spam can be classified as any email that violates the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act or any other countries’ bulk email laws.  Canadian law prohibits senders from emailing anyone who has not explicitly requested that mailing, and Australian and European law require prior-consent.

In the eyes of consumers, however, the definition of spam can be even broader and less forgiving.

To consumers, spam might represent:

  • Any email they don’t expect.
  • Any email they don’t want.
  • Any email that prompts them to hit the “This is spam” button.
  • Any email they might have signed up for, but later decide they don’t want.
  • An easy way to opt-out.

That’s why it’s crucial to build your email marketing list in a way that promotes trust in your brand.  However, some common ways of building the list don’t always translate into this level of trust.

The Definition of Implicit Opt-In

Implicit single opt-in occurs when a consumer fills out a form, e.g. in order to download content or register for an event. Sometimes this happens when a consumer registers for something on a third-party site, and the site shares the email addresses with sponsors. In either case, the website’s privacy policy must state that performing this action automatically opts the user into email marketing.

It has many advantages, including:

  • Requires the least amount of effort on the part of both the company and the customer.
  • There’s no place for a subscriber to drop the ball, which can happen when she’s required to “confirm” her opt-in.
  • Quickly leads to a big list.

The Risks with Implicit Opt-In

There are risks with this approach. Any time you assume or use implicit opt-in (especially if you use a list of email addresses you secured elsewhere), you’re taking a risk that your valuable messages will be considered junk mail — even if you technically
have legal permission to send them.

For example:

  • The subscriber doesn’t connect registering for something to your subsequent email. If a subscriber forgets that he opted in, or doesn’t realize he has opted in, the risk is high that he’ll mark your email as spam. This is particularly true when too much time has elapsed between subscriber sign up and your first communication.
  • You got a name from a tradeshow list or other activity you sponsored. When a consumer registers for something you sponsored, lets you scan his nametag at an event, or drops a business card in a fishbowl, it does not necessarily mean he’s asking for future email marketing. If the recipient is not expecting your email, you may not be building trusted engagement.
  • Someone handed you her business card. An executive handed you her business card after being introduced by a colleague at an event. Does this mean she wants to receive your marketing emails? Probably not.
  • You already have a list of contacts. You give your admin your entire contact list to enter into your email database or CRM system. A month later, everyone on that list receives an unsolicited email from your company. This is a way to break trust — fast.

In some countries, implicit opt-in is actually illegal. (Check the laws of the countries in which you market.) But even if you have legal permission, in general less consumer effort in the sign-up process generally means less connection to your brand overall.
Less committed subscribers are more likely to mark you as spam, or actively or passively opt out of your emails later.

What to Do About It

There are a few techniques you can use to help mitigate these risks.

  • Welcome Emails. When a new subscriber enters his information, an immediate auto-response email thanks and welcomes the subscriber. This email includes a customized message that tells him what to expect in future emails, and when to expect them. It’s courteous, and it also serves as a good way to begin earning the trust of your subscribers while setting proactive expectations.
  • Explicit Opt-In. Requires the user to voluntarily (and explicitly) sign up for email marketing. Often, this takes the form an explicit sign-up for updates, or a checkbox on a registration page that reads something like, “I want to receive news and updates.”
  • Confirmed or Double Opt-In. After the subscriber enters their email, the post-subscribe thank-you page may alert him to look for an email. Once he receives that email, he needs to click on a link or button to confirm the subscription. This separates the committed from the simply impulsive; those who click on the link really want to receive your emails – though there is always a risk that an interested subscriber will get distracted before she can click “confirm” in the follow-up email, or, worse, that your email will get lost or filtered.  As a result, you may lose interested subscribers.

Contact Miller Creative Strategies to learn more!

 

 

 

J.Miller

How Often Should You Monitor Your Pay-Per-Click Services?

Every business owner knows the importance of a (pay per click) PPC campaign as part of a comprehensive website plan. But the exact analytics of the same may not be known to everyone. The written description is critical in a pay per click campaign. The purpose of the written description is to attract targeted visitors, who are likely to be your buyers and not just any or every visitor.

What to Look for When Monitoring Pay-Per-Click Data?

Pay per click is one of the methods to optimize your website, so it is critical to monitor your PPC data at frequent intervals. When monitoring PPC data, you may want to know where most of your customers are coming from. E-commerce tracking will enable you to know this. Pay per click will also reveal other critical data pertaining to your business. You will learn the much needed critical information on how exactly you are making money.

While monitoring your PPC campaign, it will help you to learn how much each visitor is worth for your site. You may need to do some computing here. Divide the number of visitors to your site for a certain period by the earning you make over the same period. For instance, if your site made a profit of $50,000 with 250,000 hits, each visitor is worth 50 cents. So, you may have to figure out how to pay under 50 cents per click. You may have to bid less for certain phrases.

Benefits of Frequent Monitoring

You can continue to be profitable only as long as you can continue monitoring your PPC campaign frequently. So, if you do not want to lose on the bid war, you need monitor PPC advertising constantly. PPC campaign involves risks and efforts so it must be planned. That’s how risks can be managed. You will need to monitor the campaign frequently. Since the competition for top ranking is intense, the bidding war can take the price high up. You will need to ask, whether it’s worth taking the risk.

It is for this reason that you need to constantly monitor the campaign. If you notice the bidding sum going north, it is best to drop the keyword and close your bid. You may then go on to try another keyword. The idea is not to pay too much on a particular keyword unless you want to lose.

Consequences of Improper Monitoring

In case you can’t monitor your PPC campaign properly, you may end up as a loser without having met your goals. Your goals are to attract targeted visitors and convert them. In order to achieve this goal you will need to continue monitoring to determine if the chosen keyword is profitable for you. If not, you should immediately change the keyword.

If you do not monitor, the adverse business impact will be that you will continue to pay for the keyword that is not yielding results. You will also have no knowledge of the keywords that are performing well for your business. In other words, if a keyword is giving you profit even after costing more, it should be retained, but if you drop the keyword because of improper monitoring, you may lose the campaign as well as the business.

Contact Miller Creative Strategies, LLC, to learn more.

How to Measure Success and Return on Investment from Your Marketing

It’s easy to ask the question,“What kind of results domy programs deliver?”  However, determining the answer can be very difficult.  Some of the key challenges to marketing program measurement are:

Knowing when to measure.  The money you invest today will have an uncertain impact at an uncertain point in the future.  Last month’s tradeshow may deliver results next month or perhaps not for two years, but marketers need to decide where to invest their budget today.

Multiple touches.  Proverbial marketing wisdom says at least seven touches are needed in order to convert a cold lead into a sale.  Whether or not this is the correct number, the principle conveys an element of truth: every marketer knows it takes multiple touches to create a customer.  This fact makes it difficult to allocate revenue to any specific touch.

Multiple influencers.  The average buying committee at a mid-sized company comprises six people.  In the case of larger companies or more complex purchases, such a committee can involve 21 or more influencers.  Different marketing programs affect each individual differently, so it is a challenge to know which programs have the most impact.

Extraneous variables.  In many cases, factors outside Marketing’s control can significantly impact program results – from macro-economic trends, to the weather, to the quality of the sales reps.  If revenues increased because the economy improved, can marketers claim their programs delivered better ROI?

 

Contact Miller Creative Strategies for an in-depth analysis of your company and its marketing needs.

7 Advertising & Marketing Rules You Must Follow Or Continue To Waste Your Money

Ever driven past a billboard at 70 miles an hour and the type was too small to read the message?  Ever walked by a trade show booth and couldn’t figure out what they were selling? Ever visited a website and after only a few seconds you were confused?  There are 7 rules that are broken every day by millions of organizations trying to grow their business with advertising and marketing approaches that don’t work and never will.

It doesn’t matter whether we are discussing a website design, a magazine or newspaper advertisement, a brochure or trade show banner or booth – the following are the seven rules you must follow consistently if you want positive results from your advertising and marketing resources.

When most organizations develop websites, brochures or advertising they usually don’t consider the following fundamental rules that when followed will give you better readership and therefore better results.

On the surface it would appear that these are common sense rules but the problem is that all too often, ego, arrogance or the need for hype and current trends tend to overrule basic human behavior.  Let me share these seven rules with you.  Keep in mind I am just giving you a quick overview.  If you want to learn how to effectively integrate these in your advertising approaches, give us a call.  We are here to help you get results.

Readership; What I am referring to here is the time of exposure to your message and a sensitivity to your readers concerns.  For example, there are about 80 million baby boomers (the biggest buying segment in the US during the past 75 years) that want things bigger and slower.  What is technology giving to these folks every day?  Smaller and faster.  See the problem here?

Next is the simple fact that you generally have less than 20 seconds to grab someone’s attention.  If there are hundreds of people trolling a trade show floor–who do you thinks gets the most attention?  It has nothing to do with show dominance or the size of the booth – it’s all about positioning or quickly grabbing attention and keeping it.

Positioning; Photos, illustrations and large type in any add or on a website grabs a reader’s attention first.  Here’s the problem.  Research over the years has indicated that when people read anything – website page, magazine ad, brochure etc. they read down and right.  Add to this that the first thing they will notice is a photograph followed by an illustration and then large type.  So – if you put a photo in the middle of the page and important type above the photo, they will be drawn first to the photo and then continue to read down and right and miss your message completely.  How about two photos on the same page – one at the top left of the page and another at the bottom right.  So – they will tend to look at the photo on the top of the page first and then their eyes will be drawn to the photo on the bottom and they will never read the content in between – they will now turn the pager or click on a page link message lost!  This is a simple yet fundamental rule that advertisers make every day that costs them thousands and even millions of wasted advertising and marketing dollars and lost customers every day and every year.

Content; This one is simple yet a major issue in the advertising and marketing area.  Too much content.  Yes, there are people who will tell you that they need to tell the entire story in an ad or brochure, but research indicates that the average attention span of the average adult is between 10 and 12 seconds.  If your content does not keep the reader engaged I don’t care how much or how little you have – you must come from the reader’s/customer’s perspective.  Next is too much hype or empty promises or grandiose statements that people will not believe no matter how hard you try.  Everyone filters what they see, reading through their own very personal and yes biased mental filter. One of my favorites is websites that have competing activity – here a movement, there a movement, everywhere a movement.  Add to this that the rotation is either too fast or too slow.  What’s the answer?  Yes– have activity on a site or an internet ad, but you can’t do this in a brochure. Keep in mind if you have competing activity or it moves too fast for me – Click Click – either a different page or a different website.  Notice this section is longer than the rest?  This was a test to see if you kept reading or went on to the next topic.

A Call to Action; Any ad, brochure that wants my business that does not make it easy to find contact information – well, I will look elsewhere.  I recently visited 50 websites in the Manufactured Housing Industry and it took me an average of 3 minutes to find the contact information and many of them didn’t even have it.  Just wanted me to fill out an online form.  Sorry – Click Click.

The Mix; Reinforcement is the key.  Yes, have a website. Yes, advertise. Yes, have a brochure. Yes, participate in industry trade shows and yes, have some PR, but beware it’s all in the mix.  None of these, if not reinforced with other media, will in and of themselves provide consistent results/activity.  You would be amazed at how many organizations are going back to Direct Mail as a part of their mix.  Not saying this is good or bad strategy but if it reinforces your message, theme or brand, it helps.  Nothing today in and of itself will do the job.  I know, I know the internet guru’s would have you believe that this is the end all.  TV and radio once spouted that mantra years ago.  This is one of the advantages of MHProNews.  We do it all. And for very modest fees.

Target Markets; Using young models in your ads, brochures or websites when you are trying to reach folks in their 60’s or 70’s isn’t going to make them feel good or attracted to your message.  Putting a single model in a trade show limits people’s perspective on your products.  Failing to have contact information on your website makes it hard for me to do business with you.  I could go on but I’ll leave you with a quick question.  Are you making it easy or difficult for people to do business with you? The answer to this question speaks volumes about where you are today in terms of results and growth.

Measure;  I’ll keep this one short – If you don’t measure how do you know if your investment is working?  Whether It’s SEO, tracking phone numbers or coupon codes you have to know what is working and what isn’t otherwise just keep throwing more time, energy and money down the drain.

 

T. Connor

Keep Calm and Carry On Social Media! It Works!

 

keep-calm-and-get-over-yourself

It’s never going to stop. There are those that still don’t believe that social media is an effective strategy for B2B (business to business) business people and marketers and probably never will be convinced. And that’s OK. Those of us who do believe in social will keep pushing the boundaries of modern demand generation best practices while others will just continue to cry out in opposition until the last person listening turns out the light.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that social media can be a tremendously effective strategy for B2B, but, I didn’t just wake up one day suddenly convinced. It took a tremendous amount of time and a lot of trial and error to find out what works. But what I have learned and failed on, can surely be lessons for other to build upon
right?

I am constantly challenged by others, usually B2B purists, on the effectiveness of social. I hear the same thing over and over again: “Your case is unique and you absolutely have no right to give a blanket statement that your strategy works for all B2B marketing.” That is absolutely correct. But the same people who are questioning my strategy and its results, are not in the social media trenches out on the front line doing
their best to find a way to apply it to their particular industry. It seems that they just like to fight the idea in general. My answer to them is always the same: take the ideas, tactics, and overall strategy that I have had success with and make it your own.

The Importance of Trial and Error

The thing that I think people fail to overlook is that you can’t just say “oh we tried social for B2B and it didn’t work”. That’s like saying “we tried direct mail once.” You have to
test, measure, refine, etc. If you take a half–baked approach to social and then when it doesn’t work, throw the baby out with the bathwater, that’s the type of thinking that will do us all in. The reason I believe people are successful starts with the discipline that is put into their strategy. Pay attention to what people respond to and do more of it. Don’t just throw mud out there and hope it will stick.

The idea I am trying to get at is this: the best marketers in the world don’t make excuses – they pave their own way and share what they have learned along the way. They are not afraid to take risks and even more importantly they are not afraid to fail. Removing the term “failure” from a business owner and marketer’s vocabulary gives them the freedom to break free from the status quo, and that’s when the real magic happens. Then you have a smart marketer who is primed for turning heads, making some noise, and inevitably changing the world.

 

J. Miller

Looking for the Ideal Gift for Your Business for the Holidays?

One definition of creativity states that creative people look at the same thing everyone else does, yet they see something no one else does.

But even creative people (which includes all of you, of course) can run into roadblocks every now and then. Sometimes it’s not possible to see something different. Sometimes you’ve just been staring at a problem for so long it’s now impossible to look at it in any other way.

So what do you do in these situations?

Why not try changing your perspective?

Consider this: A friend of mind who does needlepoint has a design that’s mostly black. Rather than simply stitching the design on white canvas with black thread, she’s using a black canvas and is stitching the negative aspects of the design instead of the positive.

She changed the way she viewed the problem. And now she has a really cool-looking needlepoint design that’s different from most other ones out there.

Or what about this: An art teacher has her students turn a photograph or object upside down and paint what they see — not a picture but an arrangement of shapes.

By changing your perspective, you’re changing what you see. And when you change what you see, you’re more likely to create something completely different.

But — I can hear you all saying right now — that’s art. That won’t help me with my business problem.

Okay, so here’s another story from the book “Thinkertoys” by Michael Michalko. Back in the 1950s, experts proclaimed the ocean freighter industry was dying. Costs were skyrocketing and delivery times kept getting pushed back later and later.

Executives at the shipping companies kept focusing on ways to cut costs while ships were sailing. They developed ships that went faster and needed fewer crew members to run.

It didn’t work. Costs continued to spiral out of control and it still took too long to get the merchandise shipped.

Then one day, a consultant changed the perspective. Rather than ask the question: ” In what ways might we make ships more economical while at sea?” executives asked: “In what ways can we reduce costs?”

Ta-da!

Ships are big money-sucking machines when they aren’t at sea actually doing their job — shipping merchandise. And when aren’t they working? When they’re sitting in port being loaded and unloaded.

So, the industry came up with way to preload merchandise on land. Now a ship comes in, the container carrying the cargo rolls off, a new container already loaded with cargo rolls on, and the ship heads back to sea.

That one innovation saved an entire industry. And it happened because shipping executives changed the way they viewed their problem.

Exercise — Change your perspective

So, how can you change your perspective and solve your business/marketing problems?

Try what the shipping industry did and change the question.

Instead of looking at a narrow part of the problem (“In what ways can we make ships more economical while at sea?”) broaden the question (“In what ways can we reduce costs in general?”)

Here’s another example.

Maybe your question is “how can I land more clients?” What if you started broadening the question like so:

How can I land more clients?

How can I grow my business?

How can I make more money from my business?

How can I make more money period?

How can I be happier in my life? (I know, I know, money doesn’t buy happiness. But it’s certainly nice to have.)

Maybe one of those questions is a better place to look for a solution. Because maybe one of those questions is the “real” question you want to solve, but since you never took a step back to look at the big picture, you’ve never discovered the right question to ask.

And if you don’t ask the right question, your muse will never give you an answer that actually solves your problem.

 

 

M. Wacek

7 Great Ways to Develop Word of Mouth Marketing for your Business

The most effective advertising a company can get is more difficult to achieve but much more effective and lasting than traditional media advertising. It is word of mouth advertising, and it is earned rather than purchased. It is your customers’ opinion of your product, which at times can be very vocal with praise or derision.

Here are seven factors to consider for creating a good word of mouth for your company and its products.

1.    Quality – From day one, all company employees must be aware of the importance of maintaining quality, and systems must be put in place to monitor it. Any products or components outsourced must be rigorously inspected to see that your standards are met.

2.    Service – Regardless of whether your product is a high or low service one, customers’ problems with its use must be addressed and solved with a minimum of effort on the customer’s part and in a timely fashion.

3.    Instructions – Many products need to be assembled or explained. The instructions accompanying the product must be clear and concise. Many companies fail miserably in this area and devote little time and effort to it. Poor instructions can turn off consumers to all your future products and create bad word of mouth.

4.    Communications – All contact with your customers and their inquiries must be promptly addressed with courtesy and knowledge. This starts with the telephone.

Tip for Entrepreneurs: Have humans answer your phones, not computers like most large companies do. This simple move will start you on the good word of mouth path with your customers. Also your receptionist, who I call “The Director of First Impressions,” is a more important hire than most employers acknowledge. You want an upbeat, intelligent, pleasant person in that slot. Management’s interactions with employees, suppliers, and stake holders should also be first class and monitored. This good word of mouth as well as customers are important to the company’s health.

5.    Value – The value you deliver on your products to customers is paramount in their returning and spreading the good word about you. It must meet or exceed their expectations. A good maxim to deliver to all the employees is to under promise and over deliver.

6.    High integrity – You want all your stakeholders and customers to trust you. This trust must be earned continuously. It takes time to develop, but can be lost in an instant. Problems must be addressed and solved quickly. They cannot be ducked, delayed, or shifted politically. Mistakes should be admitted and corrected. People want to do business and work for trustworthy companies.

7.    Be a good citizen – There is no doubt that a company’s prime responsibility is to make a profit. To not do so will eventually lead to its demise and the loss of all jobs. Do not be embarrassed to earn a profit. However, I believe the company has a responsibility to take actions to enhance the quality of life of their community and employees. This good citizen appellation should not be just empty promises for show. If real, it is also good for your business, your family, and your sleep.

B. Reiss

7 Ways to Garner Great Word-of-Mouth Marketing for Your Business

Here are seven factors to consider for creating a good word of mouth for your company and its products.

1.    Quality – From day one, all company employees must be aware of the importance of maintaining quality, and systems must be put in place to monitor it. Any products or components outsourced must be rigorously inspected to see that your standards are met.

2.    Service – Regardless of whether your product is a high or low service one, customers’ problems with its use must be addressed and solved with a minimum of effort on the customer’s part and in a timely fashion.

3.    Instructions – Many products need to be assembled or explained. The instructions accompanying the product must be clear and concise. Many companies fail miserably in this area and devote little time and effort to it. Poor instructions can turn off consumers to all your future products and create bad word of mouth.

4.    Communications – All contact with your customers and their inquiries must be promptly addressed with courtesy and knowledge. This starts with the telephone.

Tip for Entrepreneurs: Have humans answer your phones, not computers like most large companies do. This simple move will start you on the good word of mouth path with your customers. Also your receptionist, who I call “The Director of First Impressions,” is a more important hire than most employers acknowledge. You want an upbeat, intelligent, pleasant person in that slot. Management’s interactions with employees, suppliers, and stake holders should also be first class and monitored. This good word of mouth as well as customers are important to the company’s health.

5.    Value – The value you deliver on your products to customers is paramount in their returning and spreading the good word about you. It must meet or exceed their expectations. A good maxim to deliver to all the employees is to under promise and over deliver.

6.    High integrity – You want all your stakeholders and customers to trust you. This trust must be earned continuously. It takes time to develop, but can be lost in an instant. Problems must be addressed and solved quickly. They cannot be ducked, delayed, or shifted politically. Mistakes should be admitted and corrected. People want to do business and work for trustworthy companies.

7.    Be a good citizen – There is no doubt that a company’s prime responsibility is to make a profit. To not do so will eventually lead to its demise and the loss of all jobs. Do not be embarrassed to earn a profit. However, I believe the company has a responsibility to take actions to enhance the quality of life of their community and employees. This good citizen appellation should not be just empty promises for show. If real, it is also good for your business, your family, and your sleep.

The Psychology of Social Sharing: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

It is clear that there is a strong correlation between psychology and the act of social sharing. As a marketing professional trying to create your social media and content strategy, having a basic foundation of human psychology can help amplify your efforts, more effectively reach your audience, and encourage your customers to share your message.  But how do you get your audience to share? By understanding the psychology behind human motivations, you can have greater insight into how to
target your audience.

In 1943, Abraham Maslow, a prominent American psychologist, created Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to explain fundamental human behaviors.  By being conscous of the motivations behind need fulfillment, you can better underatnd how your message will resonate with your audience and create campaigns that your customers and potential customers want to share.

Physiological

This is the largest, most fundamental need in Maslow’s pyramid. It covers the most basic physical needs for survival such as food, water, sleep, shelter, warmth.  This and the next tier are more product and service focused. Focus on calling out the  physiological if your company sells  a product or service that helps enhance or fill one of these basic needs.

Safety

Safety and security can include protection, order, law, employment, health. This is also the level that income falls under. Having a healthy income and a steady job is also part of this tier. Note, that these needs aren’t as crucial as the initial physiological ones, but are still important for human comfort.

Love/Belonging

Now we are beyond the physical and get up into the deep psychological and interpersonal needs such as friendship, family, and intimacy. According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance within their social spheres.  This sense of belonging motivates people to lean on their peers and listen to their recommendations. This is one of the primary reasons for social sharing–the group-think mentality. If your friends are sharing a piece of content, you are much more likely to look at it and share as well. This concept can also be seen in a Groupon like group deal. The more deals that show as purchased, the more likely you are to see the item or service as desirable. Conversely, if the group deal has a low purchase rate,  you might think twice about buying it yourself.

Esteem

After the desire for beloging, the next level of needs is self-esteem. Esteem exemplifies the desire to be recognized and rewarded for achievements. Because esteem is so closely linked with belonging, this level illustrates the need to be listened to and accepted by others. Growth both personally and professionally can also fall under this tier. This can fuel competition in a social sharing campaign, or be a motivator behind writing a review and participating in a poll. Everyone wants their opinion heard. Additionally, by rewarding your influencers (those that evangelize your message the most) you can tap into this need.

Self- actualization

This is the concept that refers to the desire to realize one’s full potential and to achieve a high level of accomplishment or mastery. This is the driving force behind the need to succeed, and perfect his or her chosen interest or profession. Tap into this need by fueling competition through your social channels. Go further by asking your audience to be creative or to show their expertise in some way. The desire to be the best is a great motivator.

A lot can be learned from Maslow’s basic explanation of human needs, and this can easily be translated into what motivates people to share  Social media fosters a strong sense of group mentality — learning from your peers, being recognized by your peers, relying on your peers for that sense of belonging. As a business person and marketer, keep this in mind when both developing your content and your social campaigns. Always ask yourself what need “social sharing need” your campaign is fulfilling.