In Marketing, there is a huge difference between desires and needs. Professionals involved in this area create desires and satisfy needs. Technology has impacted our lives in aspects related to health, business, and entertainment. Nowadays it has become even more complicated to distinguish a need from a desire.

Abraham Maslow, a US psychologist, published a paper titled “A Theory of Human Motivation,” which states that people have five sets of needs that are fulfilled in a specific order. This theory is 71 years old, but is still a reference in the business world. With the current presence of the Internet in our daily lives, Maslow’s pyramid is incomplete without the technology level factored into it.

Luckily someone has already done the job, here’s proof. Goof or not, there is an important point on that image: technology has created new sets of needs. Yes, created. Life is completely different after cellphones became more sophisticated, after the appearance of tablets, and after the announcement of wearable technology for health/fashion purposes.

There is a new need for connectivity in every single activity. For example, a person who goes on a business trip will now need to keep track of their e-mails, constantly staying online in order to remain notified and be able to reply. In a fast-paced environment, it is almost impossible to spend a day without that kind of access.

In education, students need to go far beyond textbooks. Their research requires online sources to access different authors’ ideas and learn from them; besides, schools’ systems depend on digital platforms for admission and for organizing teachers’ and students’ schedules.

What happens when these systems go down? That’s the impact of the need for connectivity.

Tech companies are also keeping an eye on customers who want to get rid of their smartphone handsets in exchange for something that fulfills even further needs. That’s why wearable technologies are presenting innovative devices to keep all this information and functionality in a wrist watch to make and take calls.

Connectivity is creating the need to feel that you belong to a community; that you are part of the information society where you can also contribute with any kind of input wherever you are. No matter if you’re sitting in front of a computer or if you’re collaborating from your wrist, people want to remain part of that community.

Maslow’s insights are still helpful to understand human motivation; however, technology is writing a chapter on its own and it’s adding a new level on the pyramid of needs.

What are your thoughts?

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