Original article published in German:
The extent to which doing good also benefits the company's balance sheet is the subject of a recent study by the organization Werbungtreibende in Markenverband OWM. The results show that purpose-driven marketing is worthwhile.
On behalf of the OWM, the strategy agency Diffferent, examined which affects a defined purpose has on the company's economic results, which needs consumers have and how they actually consume. In addition, the survey examines the role of marketing with regard to finding, implementing and communicating a purpose.
"The current Purpose-Discussion is a mixture of zeitgeist, future worries and an awakening sense of responsibility. Companies ask themselves the legitimate question about the entrepreneurial effects of purpose-driven action. Our study clearly shows purpose is worthwhile. And not only for companies that want to address young, educated, urban and high-income target groups," says Joachim Schütz, Managing Director of OWM.
Jan Pechmann, Managing Director of Diffferent, adds: "Do good and talk about it! This sentence has never been more correct than it is today. Purpose has changed from an optional free program to an elementary duty in the fight for consumer attention. Doing good and not talking about it is just as wrong as superficial purpose washing. Purpose is business-relevant. It must be taken seriously and consistently activated by marketing."
The purpose defines the inner attitude of a company in the context of time. It describes how a company wants to change the world through its actions.
Ideally, the purpose provides answers to three essential questions: How do I as a company meet the social and ecological requirements of society? Which moral compass do I follow? What price am I willing to pay voluntarily?
Purpose pays off - the most important findings
Every company has a purpose that serves to secure its existence. For a purpose to be effective, it must be translated into concrete actions. This is exactly what more than four-fifths (83 percent) of the consumers surveyed demand. They expect companies to act responsibly - and the trend is rising. This shows that the current Purpose debate must change its focus. The issue is not whether a company needs a purpose, but how to operationalize and communicate it in a business-relevant way.
Purpose is revenue-relevant
Purpose brings brands into the relevant set, increases the recommendation rate, increases customer loyalty and creates a willingness to pay extra. Regardless of age, level of education or income, around two-thirds of the consumers surveyed try to consume 'well' and sustainably. They want companies to educate and support them in expanding their own purpose-competence.
Purpose can be targeted
Purpose then unfolds its effect on business success when companies succeed in fighting for the right things - and talking credibly about them. When communicating a company's purpose activities, the same rules apply as for all other marketing activities: they are perceived as particularly authentic when companies openly deal with the fact that they are not yet perfect in all facets of their actions.
Purpose-success can be planned
An inner attitude must be supported by the entire company in order to be effective. The marketing department can therefore not be its "owner", but rather its protective and supporting force. The study clearly proves that acting but not communicating is just as harmful as not acting at all.
The journey to successful purpose communication does not only begin with the perfectly formulated success message and does not end with the efficient channel selection. It only works if it is presented for and with the consumer. At the same time, however, marketing managers must above all keep an eye on the interaction with their product portfolio and the overall corporate strategy and continuously adapt these to the constantly changing framework conditions.
For the study "Purpose: From Buzz to Business - The Impact of purpose-driven Marketing" by OWM, eleven expert interviews of 60 minutes each was conducted with decision-makers from the retail, FMCG, industry and SaaS sectors.
The consumer perspective was qualitatively examined by ten qualitative remote interviews and a target group workshop with representatives of Generation Z and then validated by a quantitative online representative consumer survey with 1017 participants.
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