What’s The Marketing Difference Between IT Needs vs Wants?

Wants Vs Needs - Balance

In Economics 101 we learned that people have unlimited wants whereas there are really on a few basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, etc…  The reason I am bringing this up is because the term ‘need’ has become a buzz word among many managed services providers, which refers to a lead that has some problem or pain points with their current IT services provider or in-house tech.  Of course any opportunity for marketing to a prospect that already has some issues would be considered premium.  However, these leads are by their very nature few and far between because most companies feel their basic IT needs are being meet!  We have consistently advocated for marketing to ‘wants’; yet it seems these two opposite concepts have become confused.  What is the difference between marketing to technology wants vs needs?

You might ask how have these two very clear and distinct terms been confused by some computer consultants?  Well in our presentation we try to make the  difference between these two types of IT sales leads very clear.  However, many times after we have made said presentation and explained we largely find opportunities with companies that don’t have any immediate needs, but that we have drawn out their interest by appealing to their wants.  It’s at this moment when many times I am asked to explain how we develop their pain?  Hum, how do we develop pain or need from a prospect that doesn’t have any basic IT needs?  I think that question more than illustrates how confused many are between needs and wants.

I think the confusion stems from how ingrained the idea of finding needs has been inculcated in the minds of computer services providers with their IT services marketing techniques.  Even when they accept the premise that they are getting a lead with a company that doesn’t have needs, but is open to looking at a better offer, they still feel that a win will mean they uncovered a need.  So you can see why it’s difficult to get away from this idea.  If the basic needs of a business are being meet for IT; but you’re able to get the prospect interested, then it doesn’t mean you’ve uncovered pain but rather developed a ‘want’ for something better.

Since we have unlimited wants then let’s get behind this technique and make sure we understand it clearly!  That way you can sell more managed services deals to satisfy those wants, once you develop that want!


John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 10 years experience marketing for IT providers and var marketing to help get them more IT sales.