In this guest post, Smartsheet’s APAC vice president Nigel Mendonca (lead image), says organisations are committing to purpose-driven initiatives within communities that align with their business objectives.
People’s expectations of companies have changed–the bar is higher than ever, and organisations are no longer solely evaluated by profitability, but by their values and how they are positively contributing to issues that are important to consumers.
With 90 per cent of Australians agreeing that corporations will be expected to be more socially and environmentally responsible in the future, companies around the world are now turning to purpose-driven initiatives.
Businesses are committing to achieving change within communities that align with their overarching goals and business objectives.
At the same time, marketers are still responsible for driving revenue. So how do businesses ensure that they are leading with values, while also being effective marketers? By developing initiatives that integrate company values into marketing efforts.
Changing the way the world works means, in part, helping the world work. Establishing a shared mission across the organisation and building a purpose-driven campaign that aligns with these shared values can result in flow-on benefits both internally and externally, and demonstrate the overall importance of knowing your purpose as a company.
Know Your Purpose
Doing something different that’s aligned with your company’s purpose can be so much more impactful than a standard brand campaign on so many levels. How purpose-driven marketing is executed is critical to success. It’s about doing the work behind the scenes to benefit a worthy cause, and stepping out of the spotlight to let others shine.
In a survey by Harvard Business Review, only 28 per cent of respondents said they felt connected to their company’s purpose. Establishing shared goals and missions can help employees, as well as customers, feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Before developing a purpose-driven marketing campaign, business leaders must first look at the core issues affecting their employees, customers and the wider community, and ensure their own company values and policies are aligned with addressing these problems. From here, leaders can develop objectives and policies that will build a solid foundation for brand equity as well as business longevity.
Show Don’t Tell
Once the company’s values and policies are established, leaders need to clearly state their organisation’s common goals and mission. This information should be transparent and readily accessible to employees and customers so they can use it to drive their decisions. This mission should form the back-bone for developing a purpose-driven marketing campaign, and all activities and execution must align accordingly. According to research from EY, 78 per cent of Australians say the behaviour of a company is as important as what it sells.
For example, Smartsheet’s Sponsor X campaign saw a McLaren Racing sponsorship at the Australian F1 Grand Prix used in a more impactful way, as the sponsorship benefits were donated to a small, lesser-known local nonprofit, Deadly Science. This recently continued at the United States Grand Prix with The Hidden Genius Project.
Deadly Science saw a massive increase in its social engagement and public presence, grew donations by 400 per cent and it gained new partnerships and resources to help it further its work and reach across 220 schools. Smartsheet also benefited, with increased employee engagement and excitement, an uptick in candidates that sought the company out for employment, and increased requests from marketing leaders approaching the company to learn more about its brand.
A values-first approach has a mutually beneficial wide ripple effect.
The Domino Effect
Doing good is good for business. Organisations that stand for something bigger than their products or services typically deliver higher levels of commercial success and growth, all the while achieving higher employee and customer satisfaction. While traditional trends, such as pricing and accessibility, might dominate purchasing behaviour, purpose-driven initiatives are a new and highly-engaging way to connect and build loyalty with existing and potential customers, as well as employees.
Purpose and profit are not mutually exclusive. Prioritising transparency and authenticity in how they do business and showcasing this in purpose-driven marketing initiatives allows businesses the flexibility to respond to trends and, ultimately, thrive in a competitive marketplace.
At the end of the day, being clear on what your values are as a company is key to purpose-driven marketing—and marketing in general. When you act consistently based on those values, everything else is easy.