Based on Spark chapter: “A Marketing Love Story – Ideas to change the game”
By Dannie Cadavid
Our world needs more conscious people and businesses. How are you planning to impact the world? – This was the final statement of my first-ever intervention in public before becoming officially a Brand Consultant at The Ideas Factory.
The year was 2015, the audience was predominantly male, the subject: “Build your brand strategy for sustain growth”. It was an epic fail. In the eyes of the audience I was young and too romantic. Why would I ask them to think about value & impact when all they needed were some quick hacks of the recently batimized digital marketing? I embarrassed myself.
I changed careers a few days after that presentation. Found a space in one of my dad’s social projects, went back to study Physics and got a gig at a local bar to support my “in-between”.
I didn’t think about marketing for months. Nothing improved in my life. It turned out I missed marketing, at least the part where I could tell stories that tap into people’s emotions. To me marketing is all about love, joy, nostalgia and excitement.
Challenging the norm
I see our roles in marketing and advertising as a great responsibility.
The need to sell and the ability of marketing professionals to influence people’s behavior has shaped the world for hundreds of years, today we are living in the result:
- Destructive consumption habits affecting health, emotional wellbeing and the environment
- Unhealthy beauty concepts
- Gender stereotypes
- Group identity replacing self awareness
- Culture of impatience and instant rewards
- Self-centered brands & self-centered online content
- Materialism above personal growth
- And, my new personal favorite, green washing and the world of empty promises
All of this old and new, set the current dynamics of our society.
Then, if with one single decision on our business model, piece of advertising or product attributes we were powerful enough to create those, we should be equally able to re-shape the world into a more sustainable, respectful and fair version.
That’s precisely what we aimed to do everyday through our version of marketing: Purpose-led branding & purpose-led marketing.
Purpose-led branding & purpose-led marketing.
An act of insurrection to the typical “win now, fix later” of our digital era
Crafted upon the concept of value creation all over from the story, identity and communication assets up until the business model and giving back factor of a company or brand. The process behind it is mostly scientific & academic and its founded in the following concepts:
- Put strategy back to Branding: A brand is not a logo. Is a perception that lives on people’s minds. A Brand Strategy is the conscious process of defining what that perception could and should look like. It encompasses the learning and finding of the purpose and difference, the articulation of both into structure, form and format and the integration with a marketing & business model to ensure the economic benefit and the possibility of creating a positive impact.
- Integrate sales process with value generation: At the center of every need in marketing and communication, are the results in sales. In purpose-led marketing the process goes from understanding a customer’s actual needs to developing the right type of solution and adding value to their lives. The sale is just a natural consequence of that pairing. That is a difference you can create, tell and deliver.
- Helping people vs selling to people: Learning how the mind works and how to influence behavior shouldn’t be used just to increase consumption. Understanding the socio-cultural and psychological context of an audience could help us identify potential dangerous paradigms to develop the right type of communication that transform them into more positive dynamics.
- Redefining the competitive landscape: We need to stop comparisons. We no longer compete, instead each brand and company work within the market group (tribe) most suited to who they are and what they represent. The only true value is on building relationships. The difference is in the way we connect and make our clients feel. The key is on building empathy.
- Avoid the aspirationalism of expectations: As in love, in marketing and brand communication, we have also hurt ourselves by setting expectations in the minds of users that can only lead us down the path of a poor product experience. It is always better to surprise, establishing realistic measures, delivering honesty and differentiating ourselves through a story that connects with their own history and sense of identity.
- Always expand the impact for the long term: Highlight the social impact and commitment of each brand in the world.
- Make it sustainable in the short term: Understand that financial resources are necessary even for supporting a greater cause. Develop smart tactical plans to allow the economic benefit in the short term and ensure growth.
- Make it tangible through business structure: The results of marketing efforts depend more on the business model than on the right selection of tactics and channels. This is the step most business owners forget in the heat of the short term focus.
We love making things fun and easy so we summarize it with 5 simple pillars:
The rules of purpose-led marketing
- Act like you give a damn!
- Look beyond the obvious
- Replace competition for collaboration
- Prioritize ethics and actions with purpose
- Unleash the crazy: break the tradition, be unapologetic, keep it real.
I would love to see in two generations from now how our small revolution has impacted people like us. I would love to see a world of purposeful brands. I would love to see the world allowing them to be their highest-self.
Ideas to change the game
Since that iconic first presentation, I learnt not only how to love marketing but how to put love into marketing.
After seven years, I’m ready to ask again:
Our world needs more conscious people and businesses. How are you planning to impact the world?
From my side, I’m dedicated to nurturing, guiding and supporting purposeful brands to become meaningful and successful. And, in the process I’m co-creating with the next generation of marketing professionals to make sure this love story continues for many more iterations.
Are you in the process of building your own purposeful brand? Jes & I will love to hear your story. Let ‘s have a cuppa!
About the Author
Dannie Cadavid is the Co-founder and senior Brand Strategist at The Ideas Factory Marketing Agency. Developing a game-changing mindset towards a more human, conscious and respectful approach to marketing, sales & advertising. She truly believes that brands have the ultimate power to shape and reshape the world, and that business can be run with an ethical, humanized approach and still be profitable. In the past six years Dannie and her group of brand professionals have worked with over 30 business leaders across the globe to transform their companies into purposeful and competitive brands.