Maslow Theory of Needs

What are human needs? Why are the priorities of human needs different from each other? Abraham Maslow answered it with the Hierarchy of Human Needs Theory. There are five layers of human needs that are multilevel. It is often described in the form of a pyramid. Maslow grouped the needs into eight types.

First, physiological and biological needs such as eating, drinking, reproduction, sleep, appropriate temperature, and rest.

Both need security and security. This includes the needs that are protected from something dangerous. This also includes law, stability and order.

Third the need to be loved and loved. This includes the need for friendship and close relationships. Including trust, acceptance, being a member of a family, friends and work group.

Fourth, the need for success and prestige or good reputation. It can also be called the need for self-esteem, including (1) respect for dignity, achievement, expertise, and self-independence (2) the will to get respect and reputation from others.

Fifth, self-actualization or the need to realize the full potential, talents, and aspirations. This is not just realizing the ability from within, but wants to realize his ideas about the outside world such as the idea of ​​society, the search for peak experiences.

Later Maslow added a list of needs again. These needs can also be added to the needs of self-actualization. The added need is the need to know, aesthetically, and transcendently. Cognitive needs are the need to know and understand, seek meaning and predict. Aesthetic needs. That is the need to understand and feel the beauty of art. Transcendent needs are needs that are driven by greater values ​​than oneself, such as mystical experience, experience being part of nature, serving the people, seeking knowledge and religion.

That is Abraham Maslow’s opinion about the hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy of needs does not only answer what human needs are but also answers, why humans at one time were very motivated to meet one particular need, not another. With the hierarchy of needs he explained that when humans are in a state of deprivation, he prioritizes basic needs. When basic needs are met, then he will prioritize the psychological needs of security and affection.

Fulfillment of needs does not have to be 100 percent, but more or less fulfilled. Once a need is more or less fulfilled, the focus of attention will reach a higher level of need.

Maslow classified the five needs into two. The four needs below are called basic needs (the term Maslow Deficiency Needs, D-needs). While self-actualization includes growth needs (growth needs, Being needs, B-needs).

Basic needs, such as drinking water, which if fulfilled, then the motivation for drinking water needs decreases. People look for other needs that have not been fulfilled. If the water needs are not met, then people will be encouraged to achieve it. The longer the basic needs are not met, the stronger the motivation to get those basic needs. The longer a person is in a state without drinks, then he will have a strong urge to get drinking water.

The need for growth, namely self-actualization, has a different character. When the need for growth is satisfied, motivation does not decrease but instead increases. Self-actualization is the desire to be self-full of its own abilities, to be anything according to its ability. Maslow found this motivation for self-actualization to emerge after the basic needs were sufficient. Basic needs start from physiology, security, love, self-esteem.

If basic needs are not met, for example someone does not have a job, he will most likely prioritize those basic needs without regard to the needs of self-actualization. He will delay his taste for art, his dreams for society, the development of his talents.

In addition, according to Maslow, the emergence of that need could rise and fall in the pyramid. That is, it can happen at a time, someone is more oriented to self-actualization, then because of changes in circumstances, re-prioritize to basic needs. The factors that influence this are the development of the external situation and the uniqueness of individuals. In 1987, Maslow improved the hierarchy of needs. The hierarchical sequences may differ from one person to another. Some prioritize self-esteem compared to love. Some prioritize love above self-esteem.

Need, Desires and Demand in Marketing

In order to be able to sell, it is necessary to connect the product to the needs. Products are the solution to their needs. Following Kotler’s opinion, Marketing is recognizing and fulfilling human needs profitably. The introduction of human needs is an important thing to do before meeting needs. Because the needs fulfillment tool must be in accordance with the needs.

Suitability of requirements is a necessary condition, but not sufficient for the sale and purchase transaction. That need undergoes a change of shape to desire and demand. The definition of these three concepts is the definition of Philip Kotler in Marketing Management.


Needs are something needed to survive, be comfortable, happy, and satisfied. Regarding needs, humans need water, food, air, clothes and shelter. In a row, if human cannot get their need, humans are thirsty, hungry, unable to breathe, ashamed, and roam amid the heat of the day and the cold of night. If that is fulfilled, there are still other psychic needs, namely, wanting to get recognition, self-esteem, feeling owned and possessed and loving and loved. If it has all fulfilled, humans want to realize their soul calls, or self-actualization.


Needs encourage people to want specific items. At that stage, the need to experience change becomes desire. The same need in some people can turn into different desires. For example, the need to eat can change into a desire for a plate of rice, but not always. There are people with the same needs who want different items, namely corn, sago, bread, tiwul. Marketers not only need to know their needs, but also need to know their desires, so they can determine the products offered.

Kotler’s conception of desire is indeed different from the conception of economics about desire. In economics, desire is something that is good to have but does not need to survive. Whereas the need is something that must be owned to survive. Economics is the science of public policy about meeting community needs. So it is necessary to differentiate between important and less important desires in order to prioritize. Whereas in marketing management as followed by Kotler, there is no need to differentiate, the important thing is that the cannot sell the goods. What marketing management needs is the distinction between unclear forms and needs that clearly point to an item / desire. The marketer’s job is


Demand is a desire for certain products with the ability to pay. Just want not necessarily be able to pay for the desired item. For marketing work efficiency, marketers target their marketing programs in the market segments they want and are able to buy. Thus, the chances of a transaction on its offer are much greater, rather than offering products to those who are unable or unwilling.

This distinction between the three concepts, needs, desires and demands is important to know what the psychological barriers to buying and selling are. Maybe the product suits your needs, but not as you wish. For example, everyone needs basic food, but when we give him rice, he refuses because he wants sago to satisfy his needs. In addition, goods can also be in accordance with the wishes, but the purchasing power is insufficient.

Transformation from Need to Demand

When Apple introduced the first tablet, people didn’t know what it was. They don’t automatically want it. Apple is working hard to introduce the benefits of tablets through advertisements and publications. After that, many people want it. It shows that in order to change needs into desires, it is necessary to introduce in advance what the benefits are. How the item fulfills the desire. Shifting from need to demand requires a learning process.

Learning theory teaches marketers that to build demand for products, they can

• link the product to the needs

• through messages, packaging, and in the form of images, words, sounds, smells, and other senses

• and provide positive reinforcement.

For example, to make people want an iPad, Apple made a television advertisement with the slogan “A magical and revolutionary product and an unbelievable price”. A magical and revolutionary product with unbelievable prices. The ad content about how to use, which is to browse the web, read and send emails, enjoy photos, watch videos, listen to music, play games, read books and so on. iPad is associated with work, entertainment and self-development / self-actualization. More than 350 million iPads were sold since the initial year of its launch, 2010. When people use the iPad and are satisfied, there is positive reinforcement. He will tend to use it again, or buy other apple products.

That is an example of a new innovation product. It took a lot of effort to introduce it. Many products are not new innovations, so people have linked them to needs. For example clothes to fulfill warmth, rice to eat, mineral water to drink. These products have become market desires and demands.

The Birth of Marketing Ideas

In 1914, Butler formulated marketing as a management discipline. Butler (1914, p. 1, 1917, p. 3) was the sales manager of the Protec and Gamble Company. Butler defines; marketing is a plan behind a campaign or promotion series. Before that, experts did not know marketing, only knew production and sales / distribution. This distribution is an intermediary task, covering risk, transportation of goods, financing, sales, assembly, selection, and shipping to the next buyer.

Butler makes a new definition because based on experience, there are many problems that need to be resolved before making advertisements in the media and sending salesmen to the streets. Companies need to determine decisions about products, distribution channels or how to reach the desired market. (Kazuo Usui, 2008, Development of Marketing Management, Ashgate).

Butler’s idea that incorporating product planning as part of marketing management or plans behind the campaign was a remarkable idea in his day. The idea separates marketing management from sales and distribution management. Marketing has a new meaning. At that time, production decisions were part of production management, not part of marketing that was still synonymous with distribution.

Until now there are still many people who equate marketing as a sales promotion and advertising. Indeed from the outside, marketing work that looks invisible is promotion, while its contribution to production planning is not visible, even though it is very important to adjust the product and market needs.

Butler formulated the marketing work in product policy is to ensure that the product achieves technical quality in accordance with consumer preferences, before the product is launched into the market. Before becoming part of marketing, production does not think about product conformity with consumer preferences.

Bartel (1962, p. 213) considered Bartel’s idea to participate in shaping what is now called the marketing mix. Butler emphasized the importance of separating the planning and implementation functions not only in personal sales promotion and advertising but also in marketing activities in a whole.

The great depression era (1929-1930) pressured the print media business finances. Media distribution has dropped dramatically; print media income from advertising has declined.

Entrepreneurs turn to advertise on radio. Radio is a famous entertainment center. Entrepreneurs sponsor radio plays. Radio plays are growing rapidly.

Amid advertising costs slumping while advertising competition is also tight, advertising costs are no longer an option; a breakthrough has emerged to attract viewers’ attention by differentiating. Advertisers focus on how products differ from competitors.

In 1933, Edward Chamberlin described the practice of differentiation in the form of theory. This theory states that consumers have a variety of preferences for products available in the same industry. Price is not the only consideration. This theory adds new treasures, considering that the theory that is commonly used is price is the balance between demand and supply. Consumers choose the lowest price and achieve a balance between demand and supply.

This conceptual contribution from Edward Chamberlin adds a new dimension and new traits in the marketing mix. Products do not have to be cheaper or superior, to be able to compete. More different and according to special group needs also allows the product that suit to the market.