Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to help some of the world’s best-known brands create powerful marketing campaigns by digging into the hidden needs of their prospects and customers.

Some of the companies I’ve had the opportunity to work with include The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, CNN and Cartoon Network. Even though each company had their own set of objectives, they had one thing in common — they were interested in learning more about their customer’s needs and desires so that they could appeal to their emotional hot buttons.

One of the best things you can do if you’re in marketing is to recognize that most people buy products for emotional reasons but rationalize the purchase with logic.

This graphic highlights that point.

When you’re taking a look at your buyer personas and exploring the inner needs of your consumers, be sure to drill down on what it is each one of your prospects is actually looking for.

For example, someone walking into Starbucks has a variety of needs, only one of which is the need for a cup of coffee.

Here’s a graphic that highlights that point.

Here are a few action steps for you based on what we’ve talked about here:

  1. Develop Buyer Personas: You have more than one type of customer. Think through the 3 to 5 different kinds of customers you usually sell to. Then, develop buyer personas for each one of them.
  2. Create a List of Your Customer’s Stated Needs: You probably have a handle on your customer’s stated needs. Jot those down on a white board or on a sheet of paper.
  3. Drill Down to Uncover Their Unstated Needs: This is where the fun begins. By thinking through a buyer’s unstated needs, you can explore the things that are genuinely important to them and incorporate them into your marketing campaigns (when appropriate).

Good luck! And keep us posted on how things turn out.


Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

Stated: I want coffee

Unstated: I’m lonely