Purpose and integrity are 2 of the most important ingredients to successful marketing in the modern day.
They are vitally important to building your business for the long term and have a profound effect on short term results as well.
These principals have a mutual goal; consider the following:
A person /company without purpose will dawdle ineffectively, not having the substance or foresight to navigate the often uncertain waters of business.
Without integrity, the person / company is ill equipped to make sound decisions in their business and will be subject to the temptations of potentially unsavoury practices or in some cases outright deceptions.
These are 2 potential problem areas which should always be avoided in business.
Word and popular opinion spread virally. In this day of technology, it could be but seconds after a purpose or integrity snafu that a business reputation becomes tarnished beyond repair. Knowing this, it is especially prudent to operate with consideration of these facts and to ensure that purpose and integrity are at the foundation of all marketing endeavours.
Purpose and Integrity: How are they connected?
Having Purpose and Integrity in all that you do throughout your day-to-day business activities has become the vital link to connecting the consumer with the marketer or business they prefer.
In the endless sea of choices, our consumers are flooded with opportunities to select their ideal business connections.
Ask yourself, how do you stack up against your competitors?
Consider these 2 criteria which consumers have moved onto their wishlist:
1.) A company which they feel is “trustworthy.”
Consumers want a level of transparency in terms of what their dollars ultimately fund. – What is the company they patronize really about?
Over the recent years, much attention has become directed toward “politics” and “practices” of companies.
Due to the rate of rapid information exchange in the world, consumers are becoming more aware of how they individually affect the global community.
Is your business giving something back to the community? – Do you support charities? Is your business on a loud political mission that your consumer base may find polarizing? If you have personnel, are you conducting practices that may be construed as unsupportive?
2.) A purpose driven with integrity.
Integrity may present itself as different things for different people. Ultimately, it has the massive potential to unite people because they want to feel like they are included in something important. They want to know that they aren’t implicated into something they do not care to be associated with.
EXAMPLE: In 2007, global news headlines informed consumers of dangers to pets worldwide due to lethal doses of specific life-threatening compounds in previously well-trusted pet food brands.
People panicked. Pets died. Consumers remember.
Some companies resorted to the complete abandonment of their brands due to tarnished reputations they suffered; hopeless that they could resurrect their companies now that they had been proven irresponsible in some defining way.
Companies driven by integrity and purpose stay on the “straight and narrow path,” right?
Consider famous political icons such as Abraham Lincoln, Betsy Ross, and Martin Luther King, Jr. who created movements in their time. What they had in common was focused purpose behind their words and actions.
These people will forever be remembered as pillars in society, so much to the point that they are still referenced today in the marketing of some brands.
Why would this be? – It is because people believe so deeply in their purpose and this made their actions important enough to follow. Because of this, these names evoke trust and feelings of camaraderie even after so many years have passed.
Take an important clue from history by considering these questions:
- Do you think if Good ol’ Abe was a habitual liar (as many involved in modern politics are today) that people would have cared about his “4 score and 7 years ago” speech as much as they do?
- Would we still be flying the stripes on our flag if Betsy Ross’ purpose was not to help unite the States?
- Many a wo/man wanted what Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted. There were many who talked about it, but why do you think that so many people followed and listened to this one man with such conviction and trust?
Companies who have managed to articulate their own purpose as a driving force in their business and marketing present themselves as the kind of companies that consumers will gravitate toward because people want to feel like they are a part of something important.
Marketing with Purpose
Now that we’ve established why Purpose and Integrity are important to achieving personal and business success, let’s take a look at what companies are doing today to reach out to the consumer and how they are using their purpose as a way to build their customer base.
Contributing a portion of overall company revenue to worthy charitable groups and organizations fosters goodwill and attracts attention from consumers. This has been especially pronounced over the past several years due to strained economies.
The truth is that many people who have given freely in the past have found themselves living under conditions where they can’t affort to support worthwhile causes out of their direct pocket due to the recession. This has awoken tribes of consumers in communities who are seeking to stretch their dollars in as many ways as possible – and one consideration is what exactly gets done with the dollars they spend.
EXAMPLE: A company that is building relationships with its customers while helping others is: Tide laundry soap.
Tide has started a mobile laundry service that services communities devastated by natural disasters. One such place was New Orleans, post Hurricane Katrina. Tide has also come to aid other states that were decimated by tornadoes.
Tide promotes community service by contributing funds to run mobile laundry centers. Consumers love being able to buy something and know that part of their purchase is going to a “good cause.” They are much quicker to part with their money because it feels good to do it.
What if my business budget is small?
This is, of course, a valid question.
Small business owners might not find it logical to do this on the same scale as a major company. They may still; however, demonstrate their purpose and integrity to their community and to their customers by getting creative in how they present their business.
In other words, make sure consumers know you value honest business tactics and they know your “why.”
Be transparent about the things you care about. Support grassroots causes that are accessible to you.
Some small businesses I’ve seen promote things like “highway clean ups” in their company’s name. Other small businesses, such as my own support local animal rescue and rehabs, as well as carbon offset programs to minimize our global footprint.
Knowing your purpose
Of course you need to know your why before you will be able to convey it effectively to others. If you don’t have a defining why you are in business, or haven’t defined what your purpose is, I encourage you to take time to figure it out.
Write it down, make it your mission.
Many influential business and personal success mentors have shown us that writing down “your why” is a crucial variable in the overall success quotient.
Tying your Purpose and Integrity to your Why
I always say that a good why will save your behind on a bad day.
It’ll keep you moving along the moral high ground during those times when business is sluggish, when you’ve been up all night with a screaming baby, or your energy is low and you can’t seem to self-motivate.
Holding your why closely to your heart will focus you and snap you back to center when temptation attempts to seduce you from your purpose and mission.
It will keep you honest and help you circumnavigate the subtle complexities of day-in-day-out business encounters. It will give you compassion for those demanding customers that test your patience and grace.
A TIP TO THE WISE:
Consider all these things as you are deciding how you wish to handle your business in these respects: how you intend to diffuse conflicts, how you wish to be perceived by onlookers who do not yet know or trust you. In these considerations, you’ll find the substance needed to bridge your why with clarity of purpose and integrity which people will experience simply by watching your actions.
My Momma shared invaluable advice to me as a child: “Honey, your actions speak louder than words.”
This little slice of motherly wisdom continues to prove true! I hope you will accept Momma’s advice and use it as a barometer to guide you in your business pursuits!
And I invite you to connect if you would like some help in constructing a good why for your business to help promote your own values in purpose and integrity in your marketing efforts. Be sure to reach out with me today if you are still “stuck” in some aspect of this process, I’m here to help you succeed!