Cracking the social code: Aligning consumers' need states to marketing objectives

Kevin Moeller and Heather O'Shea


The industry has spent a lot of time discussing the importance of social media for advertisers, but often the wrong questions may be driving these conversations. The first question marketers need to ask when thinking about how to 'get more social' is why. Why are consumers using social media? What is the gap in the consumers' psychological profile that social media can help fill?

UM has been able to crack the social code by discovering the five needs that underpin all social behavior – learning, relationship, diversion, progression and recognition. In order for brands to form meaningful communications in social media, they should align their objectives with these consumer needs, which is what we at UM call the social value exchange.

When these steps are taken, advertisers are more likely to not only drive better connections with consumers, but drive business results as well.