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5 Tips for Building a Purpose-Driven Marketing Campaign

For many brands, purpose-driven marketing is still an untapped strategy with the potential to revolutionize business.  In fact, about 72% of audiences believe that brands should have a purpose, and that number is only going up. 

Knowing how to put together a strong campaign requires an understanding of some basic ideas with a little bit of math and magic. 

Lucky for you, we’re here to help. Having helped brands like Re:Wild, FIAT, and RAM develop purpose-driven campaigns, we’re going to give you our top tips for building a purpose-driven campaign that will help take your brand to the next level.

What is Purpose-Driven Marketing and Why is it Important? 

Purpose-driven marketing is a business strategy used to communicate the beliefs, values, and principles of practice for a brand. With the foundation of these principles going beyond profit, and making positive change. 

Purpose-driven marketing can take many forms, so long as it aligns with the company’s beliefs and values. This could look like: 

  • Social impact: A company focusing on creating positive impact in society, tackling challenges such as poverty, inequality or discrimination. 
  • Environmental impact: A company that focuses on protecting or aiding the environment in some way, via reducing carbon emissions, replanting trees, or preserving wildlife. 
  • Employee well-being: Even taking care of your employees is a brand purpose. This could be providing a good work-life balance, living wage, and safe working conditions.
  • Innovation: A company’s purpose could even be inventing and researching new methods to solve problems in fields such as medicine, education, and technology.  

Purpose-driven marketing is important because it’s the primary way your brand communicates with audiences. Having a purpose is one thing, communicating it through your branding to ensure your audiences understand your purpose is what makes a difference.  

5 Tips for Building a Purpose Driven Marketing Campaign

Building a marketing campaign already has its challenges, make that campaign a purpose driven one and things can get overwhelming. To make your life easier, here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you build your next campaign.

Tip #1: Define Your Purpose

Clearly defending and communicating your purpose is key to a successful campaign. If your purpose is hard to understand, or difficult to explain, then it runs the risk of being misunderstood by consumers. 

Defining your purpose provides the framework for everything your brand does, and in turn, everything your marketing team does as well. Defining your purpose as a brand can seem overwhelming, but don’t let that fear stop you! The best way to define your purpose is to sit down and ask yourself a few questions…

1. Why? 

A great place to start is to ask yourself  “Why is the brand doing what it is doing?”. It’s the core of purpose. Your brand’s purpose doesn’t have to be some great extraordinary thing like “We want to save the world”. Its purpose might even change over time. What’s important is that as the marketing leader, you continue to ask about the “why” behind the brand’s mission. 

2. What are your brand’s values? 

What values do you hold as a brand? What beliefs do you have that guide your decisions and actions? Identifying your values and clearly defining them is the best way to connect with consumers that hold similar values. 

3. What kind of impact do you want to make? 

How do you want your brand’s purpose to impact the world? How do you want to make a difference? Think about what physical (or mental) changes you want to see in the world, society, and community, as it’s a great way to create a more focused purpose. It also provides you with a goal! 

4. Who’s your customer? 

Who are your customers? What problems do they have that your brand can help solve? Looking around at either your local community or segments of society that you want to help is a great way to sharpen your purpose and your messaging. 

5. What’s beyond profit? 

While profit is important, purpose-driven brands prioritize making a positive impact over maximizing profits. Figuring out what’s important to you and what lies beyond profit is a key aspect of purpose-driven brands. 

An example of a brand with a strong purpose:

A brand with a strong and well-defined purpose is Toms. Their purpose is to “improve lives through business” by providing shoes to those in need, and they’ve expanded their mission to include eyewear and clean water initiatives.

Toms was founded on the principle of the “One for One” model, where for every pair of shoes sold, a pair is donated to someone in need. This model has resonated with consumers and has helped the brand stand out in a crowded market!

Tip #2: Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience, like in any marketing effort, helps you to make key decisions as a marketer about how to deliver your message and how to approach your audience. 

Knowing your audience might seem simple, and you probably have an idea of who you want to target. However, there is a big difference between knowing who you want to target and knowing and understanding your audience. Here are a few ways to know your audience as a brand: 

1. Conduct some market research: 

We get it, research can sound like a bore, but research is key to understanding your audience. Good research involves gathering data about your target audience, including their demographics, behaviors, attitudes, and preferences. This is done through surveys, focus groups, and other forms of data collection to gain insights into your audience’s needs and wants.

2. Talk to your audience: 

Social media is a great way to connect with your audience.  Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be powerful tools for engaging with your audience and understanding them on a more human level. With social media you can gain a better understanding of your audience’s interests, concerns, what they find funny, what they don’t… It’s all about paying attention to the conversation. 

3. Get some feedback: 

Collecting feedback from your customers can help you better understand their needs and preferences. This can be done through customer surveys, feedback forms, and customer service interactions. Pay attention to their feedback and use it to inform your brand’s purpose and messaging.

An example of a brand that knows its audience: 

Dove is a great example of a brand that truly knows its audience. They’ve done an excellent job of implementing their purpose and understanding what their customers want. Dove customers want reliable, affordable, and effective skincare products that make them feel good about themselves. Dove has responded to this by celebrating natural beauty and promoting body positivity through their “Real Beauty” campaign

By featuring diverse women of all shapes, sizes, and ages in their ads, Dove has built a loyal following of customers who appreciate their commitment to promoting real beauty.

Tip #3: Be authentic

One thing that all successful purpose-driven brands have in common is a commitment to authenticity.  Authenticity provides a foundation of trust for your consumers. 

It’s one thing to tell somebody to “be authentic”. We’ve all heard it before, but for marketers, there’s a little more to it. Here are some things to keep in mind as you think about what authenticity means for your brand. 

1. Staying true to your values: 

Before embarking on a purpose-driven campaign, ensure that your brand’s values are aligned with the cause you’re advocating for. It’s critical to have a genuine belief in the cause you’re supporting, rather than seeing it as a way to increase sales or build your brand image. 

An example of a brand receiving backlash for not staying true to values was Mercedes “Nature or Nothing” campaign. Mercede’s was accused of green-washing in a campaign, as consumers caught on to the irony of a car company promoting better environmental impact. 

2. Be transparent: 

Be open and honest about your goals, intentions, and actions. Let your consumers know how their purchases and support are making a difference and how your brand is contributing to the cause.

3. Showing your impact: 

Consumers want to see the tangible impact of their support, so make sure you’re tracking and sharing your progress. Share specific metrics and success stories to show that your brand is making a real difference.

An example of a brand committed to authenticity:

Patagonia is a clothing brand that is committed to environmental sustainability. They have made it a priority to use recycled materials in their products and promote sustainable practices throughout their supply chain. In their marketing campaigns, they often highlight their commitment to the environment and encourage customers to join them in taking action to protect the planet. They do this by telling a story, one that often inspired their consumers to believe in the same cause they do.

Because they are so passionate and wholeheartedly committed to sustainable business practices, and making a real-world impact with their brand initiatives, they’ve been able to garner  trust and create lifelong bonds with their customers. For Patagonia, authenticity is the foundation of their brand. 

Tip #4: Use storytelling

While often seen as a nice flourish to creative ads, storytelling plays a huge role in purpose-driven marketing. The reason is that storytelling, much like purpose-driven marketing, is largely emotion-driven. Of course, purpose-driven brands shouldn’t just pull mindlessly on the heartstrings of their consumers. Storytelling helps consumers to better understand your purpose, and what your brand stands for. 

But make no mistake, storytelling is no easy feat…  Here are some things to consider when telling crafting your brand story: 

1. Highlight real humans: 

Using the personal stories and experiences of those who have benefited from your brand is a great way to create a sense of connection. Who knows, somebody watching might have gone through something similar. This shared human connection in storytelling is a way to create a sense of community within your brand. 

2. Use strong visuals: 

Utilizing powerful and moving visuals is a great way to tell a story. You want to use visuals that capture attention and create some sort of emotional connection. However, don’t go overboard and make the images you use so emotionally reactive that it turns people away. These might be images that create a strong sense of sadness or despair in your audience, which might cause your audience to forget what your brand is even about. 

3. Take advantage of user-generated content: 

The great thing about social media is that users can upload and create their own content. Find creative ways to encourage your customers to share their own stories and experiences related to your brand’s purpose. This could include user-generated content such as photos, videos, or social media posts. By sharing these stories, you can amplify your brand’s message and engage your audience in a more meaningful way.

An example of powerful storytelling:

A great example of a brand that uses storytelling is Nike. Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign from 2020 used powerful storytelling to showcase the resilience and determination of athletes from around the world. The campaign featured a split-screen format that showed athletes from different sports and backgrounds seamlessly passing a ball or baton to one another, emphasizing the message that “no matter what, we will always come back stronger.” 

The campaign was both visually stunning and emotionally impactful, highlighting Nike’s commitment to empowering athletes and celebrating their triumphs. Nike’s strong commitment to storytelling is what allows their brand campaigns to have such a strong impact, and continually puts them at number one in the athletic-wear market. 

Tip #5: Measure your impact

After running a marketing campaign, the final step is to measure your impact. Measuring your impact acts as a valuable resource and provides important insights on what decisions you, as a marketer should make next. Here are the how, and why, you should measure your impact. 

Why you should measure the impact of your brand purpose:

1. Keep yourself accountable: 

As a purpose-driven brand, holding yourself accountable for the impact and change that your brand creates is essential. As a purpose-driven brand, your goal should be to make positive change in society, or your community. Using your campaign as a measure of your brand’s ability to drive change is key to improving and refining your purpose as a brand. 

2. Optimization: 

The great part of marketing, especially digital marketing is that it allows us to gather data. By tracking key data metrics such as engagement, reach, and conversion rates, brands can identify areas where they are performing well and areas where they can improve. This information can be used to refine future campaigns and make them more effective.

3. Stakeholder engagement: 

Measuring your impact lets you communicate your challenges and successes to your stakeholders. This communication creates a sense of trust, especially for internal stakeholders who have a strong connection to the brand’s purpose. 

How to measure the impact of your purpose-driven marketing campaign:

So that’s WHY you want to measure the impact of your brand, but HOW do you measure the impact of your brand specifically? Well.. here’s how!

1. Using metrics: 

Having sensible and well-thought-out KPIs such as increased website traffic, social media engagement, or increase in sales is a great first step toward measuring your brand’s impact. This data lets you know how your campaign performed. 

2. Social media: 

Using social media channels and other online platforms can give you a first-hand look at how people are responding to your campaign. This could be via engagement levels, comments, likes, impressions, ect. People aren’t shy on social media and will let you know if they like what you’re doing. 

3. Media coverage: 

Tracking your media coverage, being shared, earned, or paid, is a great way to see how well your campaign is doing. Seeing what blogs, news sources, and social media posts are talking about your campaign is a great way to see how people are reacting. 

An example of a brand that measures impact:

An example of a brand that does a great job of measuring its impact is Ben & Jerry’s. Ben & Jerry’s had made a strong commitment to helping the environment and having sustainable business practices. The company tracks metrics such as greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction, and energy use. The company also conducts regular audits of its supply chain to ensure that its ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced.

Measuring impact is the final step of running a successful campaign because it gives you direction and valuable feedback for your next campaign. It’s also a chance for you to rethink how you’re presenting your idea and check in with your stakeholders. 

Conclusion: Get Help Building Your Next Purpose-Driven Marketing Campaign 

Putting together a purpose-driven marketing campaign isn’t easy and there is a lot that goes into it. Granted there is no one strategy fits all approach, but these tips are here to help you get started and for you to keep some key things in mind as you build out your campaign.

Again, these tips don’t cover everything, and there are many things you can do to craft a good purpose-driven marketing campaign. 

Migrante specializes in helping brands drive effective purpose-driven messages. Contact us today to get started.