Been thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs lately, mostly thanks to "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die", which I reviewed last week. Too many marketers worry about the base needs, such as safety, and fail to address higher-order needs like esteem and self-actualization. Clive Thompson has a great piece in this month’s Wired that helps explain the appeal of Twitter. Social networking is about connection between people. It’s about belonging. It’s about the social, not the networking. Hell, Clive even notes folks who connect to the machine when they can’t connect to people.
More importantly, this need to connect will increase over time as people who grew up with the tools enter adulthood. Andrew McAfee talks about how kids (sorry, younger demographics) view social networking relative to email (And thanks to Anne for the link). Steve Rubel seems to think it’s more about the tool and how it needs to make it easier for folks. It’s probably true and it probably will. But that’s not the point.
If you’re in marketing today and you’re selling anything less than the power of connection, the power of belonging, you’re short-changing your audience. Wake up and join the club.