Marketing Based On “Desire” VS “Need”

A couple of days ago, I saw this post from Lisa May Huby in a Facebook group.



Think about it:

Did you need that gluten-free muffin you scarfed down in 2 minutes flat?

Or that 5-pack of razors when you’ve got perfectly good dollar-store ones in your closet?

Did you need to fill your car with gas when you had 1/8 tank?

Nope. You bought those things because they satisfied a WANT, a DESIRE, a CRAVING.


  • Craved a sweet treat that didn’t make you feel like crap.
  • Desired smooth, sexy, fuzz-free skin without nicks, cuts and gouges.
  • Wanted to go somewhere and not have to worry about how much fuel you had.

See the difference?

Sell what people WANT, DESIRE or CRAVE, not what they NEED.


This made me step back for a minute and kind of opened my eyes.

Our clients don’t buy what they NEED from us. They buy what they DESIRE.

A lot of times, when I create marketing proposals, I include what I think the client needs.

Sometimes, it comes back with “can you add these 3 additional items”.

This happens because what they need and desire are two different things.

A need, a want, and a desire are totally different. For Example:

  • A need is something you cannot live without, such as air, food and water.
  • A want is something that you don’t absolutely need but will make your life a little better. e.g. An iPhone or a Macbook air.
  • A desire is something you wish to have, regardless of your needs and wants. For example, you may lack food but still desire riches. You may lack a home but still desire a luxury vacation.

Action items for myself (you can use these too)

  1. Next time I am in a client meeting, I will pay special attention to what they actually desire.
  2. Instead of focusing too much on needs, I will try to create proposals based on desires. e.g They may need Facebook Ads proposal but their actual desire may be to increase website traffic or email leads.
  3. Try to understand the “WHY”. e.g. Why do people want to invest in LinkedIn Ads or Pinterest promoted pins? If the actual desire is to increase website traffic, there could be other cheaper alternatives.

So what do you think?

Do you sell what people need or desire?

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