Take a look around at the people who surround you every day – think of what you know about them. Now think about what you really know about the people who you’re advertising to. Very often, marketing seems to be a process involving facts and figures; statistics that show what has worked and what hasn’t – but the human element is frequently left out.

What element is that? Humans want to be happy – they are driven to achieve this. Therefore, when marketing to humans (and let’s face it, we’re the only species on the planet that uses money) we need to figure out what makes people happy, and sell to them in light of that.

Humans get a great deal of satisfaction from the feeling of creating something uniquely our own, something worthwhile – we like it when our efforts produce tangible results. Thus one direction to take is to sell a product by making it the product of an achievement by the purchaser.

People who feel that purchasing a product also means they have expanded their horizons will get great satisfaction out of that acquisition, and make consumers feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves when buying a particular product (i.e. they are creating a better world by this particular brand loyalty).

We also want to belong, to fit in. By creating this sense, it can move individuals to want to continue to buy into a certain company. For example, there are many who are loyal to the Apple brand – marketing has given them a sense of belonging to an elite group who would only use an iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Thus, all advertisers have to do is continue to perpetuate that feeling in order to sell the next generation of products.

Marketing to people also involves engaging them in the process – letting consumers know that they have been heard increases the value of a product in people’s eyes. Hearing that features they have been clamoring for have been recently added is a great motivating factor for consumers, as it reinforces the belief that they can make the product better through feedback and eventually get exactly what they want.

Yes – we need to market to people, and not just do what the numbers tell us to do!