What does it mean to “live with purpose?” (wow, I know, it’s a loaded question to bring up right out of the gate). When you do something on purpose, there’s meaning behind your action. But, not all things are done on purpose.
Let’s rewind back five or six years. I am newly married and living in Boston. I work the typical 9am-5pm day, and then rush home to walk the dog, change into my workout clothes and head off to Pilates.
Pilates was my adult-life “sport.” I was in the best shape ever and I actually enjoyed doing it. I realize now that Pilates was a lot more than a “sport” for me mentally. I’m giving my Pilates instructor full credit here because, JPPilates, you are totally amazing!
The main thing Pilates taught me is that there’s not a mindless form of movement. Every movement in Pilates has a purpose, and you learn to move with purpose. I was planking and pointing my toes with conviction. My workouts were hard and I was seeing results faster than I had ever seen before. It was eye-opening in a way. Shouldn’t everything you do in life be “with purpose?”
Easier said than done, right?
Now what does this have to do with marketing? Let me explain. Last week, VentureBeat wrote something that caught my attention. The article said —
“In the past decade no other department/component in the enterprise has changed more than Marketing. What used to be a function based on creativity and an almost comical lack of measurability is now a complex, multi-discipline, metrics-driven, function with direct bottom-line impact.”
The problem today for startups and small businesses is that the job of the marketer requires a wide variety of skills that range from product management to IT. The article goes on to discuss a new marketing model called “marketing-as-a-service (MaaS).” It’s a three-phase approach that requires a separate strategy and owner for each stage.
Genius I thought. Now that is marketing with purpose.
The knowledge and skill set of a product marketer could be totally different from an SEO expert. The key is understanding who you need in each phase of your marketing strategy.
Marketing as a Double-edged Sword
Further in the article, VentureBeat covers the key principles of implementing MaaS at your company. My favorite point was actually this —
“Contractors in disciplines such as demand generation, video, design, and digital marketing are cheaper, usually better at their job and more up-to-date than their in-house compatriots.”
I like this because it gets at the other side of purpose-driven marketing (not just behind the scenes and strategy). Purpose-driven marketing is also about connecting with your target audience. It’s about generating content and messaging that creates a bond between your business and your following. Hiring a content marketer for this phase is a smart way to not only create content that engages your audience, but drives them to take action.
Whether you’re a startup launching a new product or a small business offering a service, purpose-driven marketing is an essential component to a successful business today. The reason? Customers can see right through a business without purpose. In fact, 91% of millennials would switch brands to one that is associated with a particular cause.
The nature of digital marketing and its competitiveness have made results all about the numbers. Don’t get me wrong, I use data every day to make decisions; however, data should support your overall strategy and purpose for marketing in the first place.
Marketing can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, the growth of digital marketing has leveled the playing field. Small businesses and startups can get away with spending less while still reaching a large audience.
On the other hand, channels like social media have given every organization a soapbox. We are fighting globally (not just locally) for our customer’s attention.
The result is less purpose-driven marketing.
Take some time to think about your overall marketing strategy. Can it be broken up into phases? Should you allocate each phase to a different owner? Can you apply the MaaS model?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’m eager to hear if anyone has implemented MaaS and/or a different strategy to ensure you are practicing purpose-driven marketing.