Marketing with a Purpose
It is easy to lose sight of what really matters in business, and most importantly why our customers should care about what we do. Amidst day to day operations, managing numerous campaigns/channels, pricing strategies, setting promotions, and so on it becomes hard to step back and see the bigger picture.
Whilst we focus on knowing more about our customers or what our competitors are doing we rarely spend as much time defining why we exist, what is our purpose and most important what should our customers (prospective and current) look to gain from us?
Often, we get caught up in the here and now; the need to drive short-term impact that we compromise on long-term growth. Having a clear purpose is the thing that connects it all and reminds your customers time and again on why to choose you. The saying goes “familiarity breeds contempt”, but with customers in reality “familiarity breeds contentment”.
What is a purpose?
Well, there are two layers to this:
- Brand Purpose: this is what branding consultants talk about. A statement that defines you, about why you do what you do
- Relationship Purpose: this is often overlooked and is totally about the customer; what do they gain from the relationship at a human emotional level. Do you want them to feel empowered, supported, valued or rewarded?
Your purpose is key to unlocking growth by marrying what matters to you (your strategy) with enablers (people, solutions, channels, data). It goes beyond marketing activity and should be in an integral part of your culture.
Your purpose needs to align with your customer reality
Sanj Badhan, Merranti Consultant, was recently working with a leading national retailer who was trying to unlock greater sales from existing registered customers. Historically they had offered heavy discounts as a way to drive sales, resulting in a strategy and culture that meant every sale was the result of a given promotion run at any given time. This retailer was specifically looking to create a customer relationship whereby they could wow and inspire customers with rewards and content that they felt would place them front of mind.
On average customers would make a purchase at most twice a year. Sanj initially helped the retailer undertake customer research as well as look to their own customer data to identify trends. What emerged was quite obvious given the historical marketing strategy: a value-driven customer base that was likely to shop around to find the best deal, with very little affinity to the retailer. Whilst the retailer felt they had a relationship, customers were apathetic. In addition, the retailer was attracting lower social demographics vs the rest of the market.
Sanj, helped the retailer understand that there was a real disconnect between the kind of relationship they wanted (their purpose) with that of actually what customers wanted/were behaving. This was restricting revenue growth and was seeing a gradual decline in marketing campaign effectiveness.
A change of strategy was needed… To truly become a ‘wow’ ‘inspiring’ brand the retailer would need to look at a change in acquisition strategy, i.e. who they were looking to acquire.
Alternatively, it would be far more effective for them to build on value, and see this as part of their brand heritage. They could do this by introducing other product lines (grabbing a greater share of wallet) or/and exploring ways to hack the buying process of existing shoppers (rewards, enhanced perceived value and easier buying). Ideas included monthly payment plans; creating a subscription plan with no need to shop around and easier ways to re-order; via simpler app/web based journeys. As Sanj would describe: “value/rewards as a core relationship purpose are about customers feeling clever, that they are winning, beating the system. The more you can make someone feel like they are on a good deal the closer you’ll be to creating a value/rewards-based relationship. It’s not about being cheap, but about perceived value”.
We can help you create more purposeful marketing
Here at Merranti, we help you define your purpose (brand & relationship) and build strategies and plans that reinforce it across all touch points and as an integral part of your company culture.