How to become a Better Marketer: Understand the Six Human Needs

Most people hate to be wrong. They hate to make a statement and be proven wrong days later, take a guess and find its incorrect, make a decision and then be proved wrong or perhaps even take the blame, make a request for a raise and be turned down.

They don’t like to buy the wrong car, vote for the wrong candidate, wear the wrong type of shoes.

So often times they may rather choose to do NOTHING.


But as a marketer you cannot let that happen. So you learn about the basic human needs and once you discover what motivates them, press that button over and over until they jump-start.

This is not some slick salesman gimmick or sales tactic to trick people into saying “yes” to your request and later renege on their promise. Most people hate to be forced to say “Yes” or do anything against their free will. Even children. So to persuade or influence others you often have to first start with understanding them even when they are obstinate, hard headed, cold – minded or just simpletons.

So it pays any self-respecting entrepreneur, freelancer, marketer, politician or smart employee to understand just what the 6 human needs are as made popular by Anthony Robbins.

1. Need for Certainty: This is the reason why we want a 8-5 job with a steady paycheck every month. Or we are reluctant to try out a new job that would require us to step out of our comfort zone and meet new people and experience different scenarios.

How can you sell the fact that buying your products or service will give them more certainty?

2. Need for Variety: This is why we get bored with eating only white rice and stew and sometimes require other continental dishes. It’s also the reason people cheat even though they are in love with their partners. It’s the reason why we sometimes get bored with just having missionary position and we want the 50 shades of Grey replay in bed. It’s also the reason people smoke a joint, take Coke, drink alcohol etc just so they feel different.

How can you sell to your clients that you are different from the others and give them a new experience that leaves them refreshingly surprised?

3. Need for Significance:Human beings have a need to feel important. They may not want to be important, however they have a need to feel that way.

It’s why so many desire fly first-class, buy an iPhone X, wear a Rolex watch and drive a Mercedes Benz.

It could also be the reason why people join secret cults in the University or run for public office like Donald Trump.

How can you make your customers/clients feel important? What if President Buhari or his wife were your clients? How would you treat them? Treat every customer that way.

4. Need for Love/Connection: We all desire this at some primal level, to love someone and be loved by someone.

Unfortunately due to the very nature of the world we live in today, love is losing its meaning for most people.

As they have witnessed divorces and separations from their parents and role models. They may also have had their own undue share of heartaches and checked into the Heartbreak Hotel.

So now they just settle for connection with a partner who they feel understands them and accepts them.

How can you make your customer feel like they are a part of something much bigger than themselves. A movement, a brand, a special needs group?


5. Need for Growth: Every human desires mastery on some level in our respective fields of interest.

We need to feel like we are growing mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, politically and whatever other “ally” you can think up.


Just by making progress and learning a new hack or shortcut or more efficient way of getting things done gives us fulfillment  and a sense of direction towards our ultimate destiny.

How can you come up with ways to make your clients feel like they are advancing in their quest for mastery? More medals? Training? Honorary awards? Certifications?



6. Need for Contribution: This final need is what makes billionaires like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet decide to give away 90% of their wealth to charitable causes. But you do not need to be a billionaire to have a need to contribute. It’s possible to fulfill this need by giving old clothes away at Oxfam, or perhaps an orphanage or leper colony. It’s also posible to volunteer at NGOs like Cry for Help or the Red Cross. When we give of our time, treasure ot talent we feel a sense of growth, joy and fulfillment that money cannot buy. By giving we become more.

How can you infuse that buying from you in some way makes a difference to a cause or charity organization which your organization is affiliated with?

These 6 needs highlighted above are ultimately what most people subconsciously need when making any decision ranging from the type of jeans to buy of the person to marry.

Most times we prioritize one need over the other. Your task as a marketer is understanding the Top 2 needs for every customer out of above 6 needs and address how your product/services meet those unspoken needs, then tailor your message to that.

People don’t change their Top 3 needs that least most people don’t. You’ll find that the content of their character remains the same if the situation surrounding them is constant. Otherwise the content of a person’s character however may fluctuate from one situation to another.

Quite naturally, a rat will run away from you, but if you chase it round down to a tight corner with a big stick, its going to turn around and head straight back towards you to attack. I have experienced this before and believe me its scary stuff!

In a similar way, a person’s hierarchy of needs may fluctuate depending on the context they find themselves. So good people sometimes do bad things and sometimes bad people also do good things.


There are 2 lessons to note:

1. Stop expecting people to change, they won’t. It only gets you upset when your expectation of them doesn’t match reality. People only change when they absolutely want to, not upon your request. So be more accepting or tolerant with others. Hey, we’re tolerant with your high expectations and need for perfection, return the favour! Start with understanding what needs are driving our behaviour.

2. You may not be able to change your life, the life you’ve been given is granted you’re either tall or short, black or white, thin or not, funny or not! However you can control the circumstances surrounding your life, that way you can play in your area of strength, avoid tricky situations and be the best version of yourself always.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Share with a friend and should you have a need for a marketing coach like myself to tweak your marketing message to incorporate at least 3 of the above 6 human needs do not hesitate to contact me here:

Be your best always and leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “How to become a Better Marketer: Understand the Six Human Needs

    • Thanks Folake. Quite frankly it took me half an hour to write this down and had my kids running late for school as I would not stop writing until all my thoughts were expressed fully. So I’m glad yoy appreciate this.

      Look out for subsequent posts as we expand on the subject matter. More on this will be discussed on Monday from 1:15pm to 3pm on 106.3F.M. It’s also available online.

      Hope to hear from you soon again

  1. You are right as usual. Got me thinking especially about my brand,and what need it could possibly fill.
    Glad to have you writing again,as Awolowo said, I too feel a bit slimmer after reading your posts….lol

    • Thanks for the glowing compliments Doro. Been a while since I last saw your face or read your comments here.

      I’ll be discussing more on this subject as it regards brand-building, customer service and marketing on Monday 106.3F.M next Monday from 1pm to 3pm.