Human-to-Human Marketing

“Marketing is a contest to get people’s attention” – Seth Godin

As a consumer and a passionate marketer this quote resonated with me. I wanted to learn more about what causes consumers to stop in their tracks and pay attention to a brand. Why some marketing messages were “louder” than others and what caused consumers to engage with a brand. Researching the navigation of the digital and fast-paced world, revealed that companies are using a human-to-human approach.

The approach I found to marketing human-to-human is using three of the six human needs. According to Tony Robins, renowned life coach and author, the six human needs are:

1. Certainty/Comfort. We all want comfort. And much of this comfort comes from certainty. Of course there is no ABSOLUTE certainty, but we want certainty the car will start, the water will flow from the tap when we turn it on and the currency we use will hold its value.
2. Variety. At the same time we want certainty, we also crave variety. Paradoxically, there needs to be enough Uncertainty to provide spice and adventure in our lives.
3. Significance. Deep down, we all want to be important. We want our life to have meaning and significance. I can imagine no worse a death than to think my life didn’t matter.
4. Connection/Love. It would be hard to argue against the need for love. We want to feel part of a community. We want to be cared for and cared about.
5. Growth. There could be some people who say they don’t want to grow, but I think they’re simply fearful of doing so—or perhaps NOT doing so. To become better, to improve our skills, to stretch and excel may be more evident in some than others, but it’s there.
6. Contribution. The desire to contribute something of value—to help others, to make the world a better place than we found it is in all of us.

A few campaigns that have used at least three of the six human needs to market have been the following:


The three examples connected with the consumer and included variety and in some cases significance and contribution.

Previously mentioned, our digital and fast-paced world can strain human relationships. Since marketing and sales has everything to do with building the right relationship with consumers, appealing to three of their six needs will make communicating and closing deals disingenuous. Point of the story, learn to speak with or to your consumer before spending money on a campaign.

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4 Responses to Human-to-Human Marketing

  1. Danielle says:

    Tony Robbins is a great example to use in finding effective approaches to marketing. In his Business Mastery series he explains the 6 principals in communication. We follow this series at work and it is surprising how many of these principals are embedded within successful marketing.

    Below is a video from TED on why we do what we do. Enjoy!

    http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_robbins_asks_why_we_do_what_we_do?language=en

  2. Ryan says:

    LOVE this post. Sounds like we are both passionate marketers. I always tell my team, forget the platforms, the mediums, and types of media. Focus on the people we are trying to market to. What do they do,? What makes them happy? What makes them take action? Focusing on the people makes you a career marketer because whatever the next new thing is (social media, digital marketing), you will know how to market to them.

    Great post.

  3. Graham says:

    Killer list of human needs. I’ll have to remember those! I haven’t followed Tony Robbins much but I like his ideas as you’ve articulated them. I can certainly see how leveraging these can help to forge a stronger relationship with consumers.It seems that while Heath and Heath talked about ideas that stick, Robbins is after ideas that matter. I noticed that many of these human needs can be rolled into one campaign so I was wondering if having more of these qualities strengthens the campaign or if having a strong three does the trick? I’ll have to experiment with these in my next batch of AB tests with some of the ads I’m running for a client. Nice post!!

  4. Avril says:

    This is a great list to keep in mind, especially as I work on recruitment for Management Leadership for Tomorrow’s Career Prep program. My messages to prospectives should involve something like, You’re certain to get an internship after exploring a variety of industries. You are a leader and deserve to join a community of the best of best tp grow professionally, realize your full potential and become well-equipped to give back to your communities.
    It’s really a perfect model for shaping the story, thanks!