Pain Points – Jesse Grillo
pain points

Marketing is not about your product's features, it is about the issue your potential customers want to resolve by using your product.

There are two layers to pain points. The first layer are issues that seem obvious…

Coca-Cola: Thirsty.

PayDay Loan: Short on cash.

Minivan: Needs transportation.

First layer pain points may be included within your marketing campaigns, but the focus should be on the core, underlying pain point.

To understand these core pain points, we need to understand core human needs.

Hierarchy of Needs

These are the first 4 human needs from Maslow's hierarchy of needs, in order of importance.

Potential customers will usually focus first on these needs in the hierarchy. Once those needs have been met, their attention will shift to the need in the next higher level.

A lot of people are subconsciously if not consciously looking for these needs. Using them in your marketing messaging can be very compelling, and can support premium pricing.

The more you can focus your marketing on these 4 most essential needs, the more it will resonate with potential customers.


Physiological needs are the most essential out of all human needs. They are the biological component for human survival.

Humans are compelled to satisfy physiological needs first before other needs. Try and focus on physiological needs in your marketing above other needs whenever possible.

If a person is struggling to meet their physiological needs, they will be unwilling to seek safety, belonging and esteem.

Physiological needs include:













Once a person's physiological needs are satisfied, their safety needs dominate behavior.

Safety needs manifest themselves in ways such as shelter, job security, health, and safe environments. 

If a person does not feel safe in an environment, they will seek safety before attempting to meet any higher level of survival.

Consider positioning your product or service as essential to improving your customers’ need for security. Demonstrate how it is the foundation they need to build on. Make sure they can count on your product or service delivering.

Safety needs include:


Personal security

Emotional security

Financial security

Social Belonging

The third level of human needs is interpersonal and involves feelings of belongingness.

Humans possess a sense of belonging and acceptance among social groups, regardless of whether these groups are large or small; being a part of a group is crucial, regardless if it is work, sports, friends or family.

The sense of belongingness is being comfortable with and connection to others that results from receiving acceptance, respect, and love.

This need for belonging may overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure.

Consider inviting potential customers to a Facebook Group or another forum to host the conversation and facilitate connectivity.

Social belonging needs include:






Receiving and giving love and affection


Esteem is the respect, and admiration of a person, but also self-respect and respect from others.

This may include a need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, attention, self-respect, a need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom.

For some individuals, the need for self-esteem is more important than the need for belonging.

Second level pain points in messaging…

Coca-Cola: Social Belonging. These ads are known to show love and care between people. And you’ll be able to “taste the feeling”.

PayDay Loan: Esteem. Fix your lowered social status.

Minivan: Safety. Making sure you and your family can travel safely.

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