™I recently attended a workshop where Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was shown to form the basis for segmenting audiences using Values Modes™. Developed by Chris Rose and Pat Dade of Cultural Dynamics, Values Modes™ are divide into three main groupings; Settlers, Prospectors and Pioneers. Each Values Modes™ grouping has different sets of values and worldviews, which impacts on how they engage and participate with campaigns and campaign messaging. I also noticed that each group can be linked to Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation model. A diagram below shows where each group grouping fits with Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs, and the Diffusion of Innovation model, followed by  a short description of each grouping.























Settlers are traditionalists, who will often just follow what they are told by government or senior figures. They are nostalgic for the past (which they view through rose-tinted glasses), being secure and safe, and not rocking the boat. Campaigns aimed at them need to promote keeping their values and their families being safe. A campaign that appeals to this grouping is the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE). The Maslow groupings that relates to them are safety and psychological needs. Linking to the Diffusion of Innovation model, Settlers form the vast majority of ‘the late majority’ and ‘laggards’ segments, as traditionalists and late adopters of innovation. Saying that, if an innovation increased security or protected something they value, they may be ‘early majority’ adopters (e.g. security systems, solar panels to save money)


Prospectors are collectors and accumulators of items, that help to show off their wealth and status. They are the grouping that wants something now, wants to be better than others, and wants to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. They don’t like being told what to do or to give up something, unless it benefits them in some way. Campaigns that seek to engage with them need to not preach to them and pander to their need to be seen to do something fun, creative and where they can win something. Comic Relief is a great example of a campaign that works with this grouping, as it involves celebrity, fun and has mass appeal. The Maslow groupings that relate to them are esteem and belonging needs. With the Diffusion of Innovation model, this group are the majority of early majority, following the Pioneer grouping in the uptake of innovative ideas and making them fashionable. If an innovation really links strongly to their values and views then they can be early adopters, spreading the innovation quickly within their networks. If an innovation does not catch on with this group, it is unlikely to succeed.


Pioneers are facilitators and have concern for others, rather than just the self and believe in fairness and equality. They look to help others and are often supporters of causes, such as environmental or welfare charities. Many campaigns already link up to values that the Pioneer grouping already have and find this group easy to engage. Campaigns such as Greenpeace and Save the Children are obvious ones that tie into the values of this value mode group. Within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, this group would equate to those who have reached Self-Actualisation – needs have been fulfilled and now seek satisfaction through helping others. Within the Diffusion of Innovation model, the vast majority of innovators would be found in this grouping, with the majority of remaining Pioneers, found as early adopters.


My background research, into engaging parents, has shown me that campaigns should be targeting by psychographic segments, rather than using demographics, such as gender, age or wage, unless the demographic closely matches the intended target audience. The Values Modes™ system is one version of segmenting by psychographics, and has been used by a number of organisations to engage with their target audiences better.


You can also take an online test to help you work out which Values Modes™ grouping you belong to.  To see which group you may belong to please visit the following website, where a short questionnaire will pigeon-hole you and define your values mode: http://www.cultdyn.co.uk/Process/indexAdagio.php – I am, apparently, a transcender.


One issue I thought about was, if my worldview is as a ‘Pioneer‘, than I may be creating campaign collateral and messaging that does not resonate with other groups that I am trying to engage with. I then realised that marketing research and pre-testing with the target audiences is even more vital to remove this bias that I might be introducing to campaign messaging and collateral.