We know that consumers want companies to be aware of the long-term impact businesses have on their lives. Whether you describe what people…
We know that consumers want companies to be aware of the long-term impact businesses have on their lives. Whether you describe what people are expecting from brands as empathy, or social purpose, or emotional engagement, or, simply “heart,” it is happening with companies around the world.
That was a recurring theme during an August 12 webinar “Marketing Re-imagined: A New Global Purpose,” linking leaders of three top marketing agencies — Imprint’s Managing Partner Andy Seibert in New York, Magenta Co-Founder Munni Trivedi in Mumbai, and Wardour Executive Chairman Martin MacConnol in London. They explored commonalities and subtle differences around the subject of heart and marketing across the globe. There was consensus about the need for authenticity, trust and social purpose. “All data shows that it’s here to stay,” said Seibert.
Moderated by Immediate Past Chair of The Content Council Jacqueline Loch, who was in Toronto, the event was bookended by a pair of polls. Up first: Do you think consumers will be more judgmental of brand behavior in 2021 than in 2019? To that, 93% of webinar attendees said yes. The 50-minute event ended with the second poll: Will heart take more prominence in your marketing plans in 2021. A whopping 96% of attendees said yes. (That left the principals and moderator intrigued by the outlying 4%.) Here are three key takeaways from the webinar:
Changing consumer habits and expectations are driven by India’s demographics. The country is home to 440 million millennials, who exhibit an increased sense of purpose and are more likely to be driven by a brand delivering on its promise than their price-sensitive parents and grandparents, she noted. Millennials have expectations and are less likely to settle. “They push back,” said Trivedi.
Brand behavior, along with authentic social purpose, “will have a massive impact on how firms will articulate messaging,” said MacConnol. If you ignore that reality and the public mood, you do so at your peril. Companies that show they understand their challenges and offer insights that solve customer needs rather than just selling products stand to reap rewards. Among the companies he mentioned were Nike, whose campaigns have transcended pure sales strategy to embrace social purpose.
Bringing heart into communications can dovetail with business goals. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Life tapped into their heritage and history dating back to the Spanish Flu to bring credibility and emotion to its messaging. The insurance company also launched a fund for frontline workers. A brand’s purpose can infuse into its work culture as well, he added. Need proof? Based on a Cone Study (conecomm.com), 75% of millennials are willing to take a pay cut to work for a company with purpose, he pointed out.
For the full webinar, which was recorded, go to this link.