Principle 1: People Seek Pleasure

It’s safe to say that all types of buyer personas seek pleasure.  This is best described in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:

marketing and maslows hierarchy of needs

The takeaway from this visual is that humans need:

  • Love and belonging
  • Esteem, including achievement and earning respect
  • Self-actualization

This applies to your marketing content in the sense that every blog post and landing page that you write should clearly communicate how you will create pleasure for your customer, whether that be through achievement, respect, or security.

Principle 2: People Avoid Pain

Pain and suffering is something everyone avoids. A lack of progress or any sort of embarrassment, failure, or rejection is something we all try to avoid. Being aware of this truth will make you a smarter marketer. As your writing and creating content, make sure you are empathizing with your customer and acting as a sort of protection for them. The best marketing strategies will communicate how your product or offering can help your customer avoid or alleviate pain.

Principle 3: People Don’t Like Confusion

Max Wertheimer’s principle of gestalt research shows that people like simplicity and avoid confusion. This theory states:

  • People are drawn simplicity over confusion
  • People seek closure
  • People prefer symmetry, order, and logical flow

Of all of these 3 principles, perhaps this last one is the easiest to apply to marketing. Websites and all content should be simple and aesthetically pleasing while incorporating messages that are simple and complete. An easy way to remember this is this:

If you confuse your customer, you lose your customer.


Do you use principles of psychology to support your marketing efforts?