Purpose Based Marketing

Another successful week in the Emerging Media class, and this week’s discussion focused on the future impact of new media on traditional media venues. It seemed like radio and newspapers got the most endorsements for the medias most likely to see a decline in effectiveness and ad revenue. The discussions were quite engaging and I think we identified a key trend shaping the industry–content is king!

This week there was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal relating to a form of marketing called “purpose marketing. The gist of it is this–as brand clutter continues and consumers gain more choice and control over which messages they can receive or block, one way to integrate a company’s brand into people’s lives is through the pursuit of a higher purpose, beyond just product sales. One example was Proctor & Gamble’s Pampers brand, which took the position of improving the lives of mom’s by helping them develop healthy, happy babies.

How did they do it? Instead of marketing just their products, P&G offered parenting advice and conducted research on the sleep patterns of babies–in an effort to develop products that aided babies in their sleep. The result was a new design of clothing and diapers that keep babies warmer and helps them sleep better.

P&G’s attempt at purpose based marketing worked–the company grew market share. The innovative marketing strategy helped inspire employees and built trust and an emotional connection with their consumers, helping to differentiate the brand. I think we’re moving towards purpose-based marketing across the spectrum. We’re doing so because the marketing discipline itself is changing. It’s not just about products, or brands, or sales promotions, or advertising, or clever slogans. It’s about building trust–building a connection, a relationship. It’s about people and lives, and good marketers today understand that.

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