PATH TO PURPOSE by Carolyn Butler-Madden An ever-increasing number of consumers are linking their purchases to purpose. They feel that when they purchase a brand, it should play a meaningful role in uniting people in a favorable and profitable way. Brands that ‘say and pray’ are outdated and belong to the past. Brands that promote a clearly defined purpose are the growth engines of the future. One can transform a simple purchase into a powerful act by choosing a brand that leverages its marketing power and social media reach to affect social and environmental issues. This creates more business as winning brands are the ones that do will inevitably do social good by simply doing well. Cause marketing is about what a brand does rather than say what it is. A cause marketing campaign can be a credible and important first step on the path towards purpose. In this world trust is the new currency and actions speak louder than words. Above all, what matters is social impact which is the driving force behind every successful cause marketing campaign. To create brand awareness and brand health, cause marketing offers a strategy that goes beyond pricing offers and other short-term initiatives. It solves the problem of focus on short-term sales especially if budgets are cut every year. Lastly, it deals with the challenge posed by employee disengagement which makes it harder to deliver a credible brand purpose. Butler-Madden is passionately involved in her work which is evident from the eloquence of her language. She describes 14 case studies which will motivate you and give you the confidence to make such marketing work for your brand. She outlines a six-step methodology which shows the ways you can go about developing a proper approach for your brand 1. Strategic foundation A strong strategic foundation creates the floor plan for a cause partnership that is strong, believable, genuine and clearly aligned with your brand position. It also lays the basis of a purpose approach for your brand. 2. Internal alignment and engagement Getting aligned and seeking input from key stakeholders is an overriding necessity for a viable cause partnership. 3. Marketing activation plan Build a marketing plan that creates brand engagement by participation of social media. Incremental sales should be quantified and brand health measured. You should monitor social impact in terms of brand awareness and fundraising as well as delivery on your social purpose. Lastly, the social returns on investment should also be quantified.
4. Public relations plan (PR) PR can prove to be an important piece of your cause marketing communication plan especially if your budget does not allow recourse to TV, radio, print or outdoor advertising. 5. Leverage opportunities A cause marketing campaign offers a distinct opportunity to leverage assets and other resources of partner businesses. 6. Evaluation A reporting process should be implemented that will be able to report positive tangible results. This is crucial to unlocking ongoing investment to build a purpose-led brand. Butler-Madden just about sums up whatever there is to be said about cause marketing in this nifty volume. She has had a 30-year long distinguished career working with the world’s best brands. She is the owner of Sunday Lunch – a brand consultancy that specializes in cause and purpose-led markets. Indeed, hers’ is a handy and useful book for all those who are into cause and purpose-led marketing.