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To correctly market a product or service we first have to understand how human behaviour is driven, what influences our behaviour, what drives our choices.

Once that is understood, it then becomes easier to create a marketing message around your offering that is actually attuned to your clients needs.



How can we measure human behaviour?

We first have to break down human nature into an easily defined system that measures the major influences over human behaviour, once we have done that, we can use that system to classify human behaviour. 

The system we use, we call the “sphere marketing system”.


The sphere marketing system

The sphere marketing system operates on a simple premise, the idea that there are basically three spheres of human experience (leaving aside the spiritual sphere) that we can appeal to when we are marketing a product or service, the three spheres are:

  • Physical sphere / the body - this sphere incorporates bodily needs and requirements
  • Intellectual sphere / the mind - this sphere incorporates the logical part of our mind, the mechanical and problem solving aspect of our natures
  • Emotional sphere / the heart - this sphere incorporates our emotional life which also includes our social needs and requirements

These three main spheres each have their own impact on our behaviour and what messages we will respond to.


The physical sphere - the body


This sphere covers the physical needs we have, our bodily needs. Anything that involves the physical part of our nature can be placed here. This part of our nature is the most basic, some examples of needs we have that can be placed in this sphere:

Physical security

Practical application: 

Marketing to this sphere of our nature involves showing how a basic physical need is going to be fulfilled, for instance, keeping warm in winter is a high priority for the elderly, marketing a heating product to them in the run up to winter is obviously a good idea.

A real life example can be seen with double glazing tv commercials, where they highlight the physical benefits their product will bring by increasing insulation efficiencies.


The intellectual sphere - the mind


This sphere covers the intellectual aspect of our lives, the intellectual stimulation that comes from the analytical part of our nature, those things that appeal to the logical side of our nature. Some examples of needs we have that can be placed in this sphere:

Problem solving
Analytic observations
Financial planning

Practical application:

Marketing to this sphere of our human nature, can be considered as appealing to the problem solving part of our nature, a typical example of this is computer systems which will help you solve the organisational issues you have through the power of the computer components or indeed product.

A company that appeals to the intellect is Audi, the car manufacturer, who are letting you know how good their product is technically, how the design is so important and the engineering is so precise.


The emotional sphere - the heart


This sphere covers our emotional needs and is the most powerful of all the spheres and also the least understood. The emotional aspect of our lives is a dominant force in all our decision making, learning to tune into this sphere with your marketing will dramatically increase its power, some examples of needs that can be placed in this sphere:

Social standing

Practical application:

Marketing to this sphere of our human nature, can be considered as appealing to our emotional needs, a typical example of this is a product that moves us from fear to safety like a home security system.

A real world example of this would be the supermarkets who promote Christmas food by showing family scenes around the table, inferring the social situation and how they can help you achieve social pleasure with their product.


Analysing your product

The analysis of a product or service is a key step in using the sphere system. The questions you ask of your product or service should revolve the spheres of human experience your product impacts.

Each sphere should have a value assigned to it, even if it is a very low value. Correctly assigning the values (this value system can be as complex or as simple as you want) will enable you to create marketing content that works using all the spheres appropriately.


Choosing the order value of the spheres

Some products and services will rely heavily on one specific sphere to get its message across. Carefully select which is the predominant sphere you want to address by figuring out what is going to be most important sphere to your potential client.

Then choose the second and third sphere in order of importance, carefully blending all the spheres together, combining the physical, intellectual and emotional content values into one piece of long tail marketing content that focusses on the priorities your potential perfect client will want to see.


Here is an example of an analysis using a Designer Kitchen Kettle:

  • Emotional sphere - lifestyle message placing kettle in kitchen of modern successful home through photography or video
  • Physical sphere - outer casing is insulated avoiding a health risk - data on accidents with kettles
  • Intellectual sphere - heats water efficiently reducing electric bills - information on cost savings

Now we have an outline, we can focus our marketing content around this item appropriately making sure to emphasis the correct spheres according to the force we want to express for each sphere.

A budget kettle would be marketed differently as a comparison, with heavy emphasis on the intellectual sphere with regards to cost savings.


The perfect marketing content mix

When you take a product and create content that involves all three spheres you are creating genuine content that will engage your perfect client at all the key points of human experience, you will be aligning your product with their needs.

Creating “long and short tail marketing content” with these principles in mind, will give your content a rounded appeal. Knowing when to emphasise each sphere in your marketing will also spare you the headache of wondering how to create engaging content.

A word of warning, if you try to market to the emotional or physical spheres in isolation, your marketing will likely come across as manipulative and people will walk away from that. We should never seek to bypass the intellect with our marketing, if we need to do that, it means our product is just not good enough.

Blending all three elements means the whole human experience is communicated to the potential client and that sends out reassuring signals to clients when it is clear you are not trying to bypass their intellect.


The ten steps to create balanced content

  1. Assess the physical needs your product addresses and assign a value
  2. Assess the intellectual needs your product addresses and assign a value
  3. Assess the emotional needs your product addresses and assign a value
  4. Decide what your perfect client looks like in terms of the spheres of human behaviour
  5. Organise the content spheres in levels of importance
  6. Select imagery that conveys your central message
  7. Create written content (including video scripts) that communicate the spheres in order of importance
  8. Make sure it can be found by placing it on long tail platforms like Google+
  9. Re-share the content on short tail platforms periodically with short tail content that drives potential clients back to the long tail content
  10. Test the results and re-order the spheres if content is not delivering results


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AuthorMark Timberlake