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The Role of Purpose Driven Marketing

4 minutes read

Millennials are a generation often defined as selfish, lazy, entitled and some even say hard to manage. Yet, this generation will make up 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2025. As the future of our marketplace, perhaps it is time to look at what empowers millennials.  

The key? Engagement.

For most generations, money is a deciding factor in accepting a job, and while salary still plays a role in that decision, millennials yearn to find a career that provides a sense of purpose. They want to make the world a better a place. They want to create a world that compassionate, innovative and sustainable.

In fact, having a sense of purpose ranked number one in job satisfaction for this group, and over half of millennials prefer to find work that gives them purpose over bringing in a sizable paycheck. As millennials join the ranks of the workforce, they want to believe in their company’s mission, and know success isn’t simply defined by profits. Millennials want the purpose of their work to be something bigger than themselves.

This idea of making employees feel purposeful isn’t just for good for the millennial generation, it’s good for business. When this generation is empowered, they are motivated, engaged and produce powerful results.

So how does a company integrate this sense of purpose into their company culture? Consider the benefits of purpose driven marketing.

What is Purpose Driven Marketing?

Although purpose driven marketing (or goal-oriented marketing) has been around for a while, it has made a strong comeback in recent years. With this purposeful tactic, a company markets the purpose of their products as going beyond traditional uses.

As more Millennials enter the workforce and take over consumerism, this idea of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly popular. By utilizing socially conscious messaging, companies can better articulate their purpose and values and ultimately, their reason for existing. According to the 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study, 91% of millennials would switch to a different product if it was associated with a meaningful cause.

Purpose Driven Marketing in Action

Last year’s Super Bowl was a prime example of purpose driven marketing. To give a few examples, Kia produced an ad about environmentally friendly cars, Budweiser addressed immigration, and Audi took on equal pay.

Adam Fridman, founder of Chicago-based digital marketing agency Mabbly, also cites sports manufacturer Wilson as one company that does digital marketing right, specifically with regards to purpose driven marketing. Wilson goes beyond simply selling sports equipment; they sell the opportunity to make memories.

Wilson makes every NFL football, and uses vintage equipment and high quality material to ensure superior craftsmanship. Its Louis Sluggerville brand, which produces baseball bats, has produced over 100 million bats and even opened a bat museum to show their dedication to the sport.

To Wilson, sports are more than a game.

Advantages of Purpose Driven Marketing

From an internal perspective, purpose driven marketing aligns leaders and team members with a common goal. It allows everyone to be on the same page, and helps build a stronger company culture. This motivates employees, especially Millennials, to believe in the company’s overarching purpose. Externally, purpose driven marketing attracts clients, partners, and investors who also believe in the company’s values.

How to Get Started with Purpose Driven Marketing

The challenge is in the fact that everyone’s doing it, but few are doing it well.

Even large enterprises like Starbucks failed when they tried to produce a national dialogue about race with their #RaceTogether campaign. The best way to ensure success is to leave it to the experts. Hire an experienced digital branding agency when working to add purpose to your marketing and branding to ensure it’s communicated in a meaningful way.

Also, before adopting a purpose driven marketing mindset, take a step back and think about the why. Assess your company’s strengths, weaknesses and competitors. Ask yourself, what can we do differently? Once you have an idea, make sure it’s authentic and aligns with your company’s values. Consumers are quick to recognize inauthentic messages.

To be successful with purpose driven marketing, you must live your message inside and out. Similar to rebranding, it is critical that employees are on board, buy into the meaning of the company message, and have a sense of camaraderie.

Purpose driven marketing has advantages around building brand awareness and attracting consumers, especially the socially conscious Millennials. Yet, it’s definitely not as simple as planning one campaign. It is a commitment. Socially-driven campaigns must feel authentic.

Before getting started, make sure your entire company is all in, and reach out to industry experts to guide your success.

What does purpose driven marketing mean for you and your brand? Tweet your thoughts at @MabblyDigital, and we’ll share our favorite insights.