The Power of Purposeful Marketing

Your marketing should create the right outcomes.

Are you happy with your marketing?

I ask this of CEOs, executive teams, small business owners, investors and entrepreneurs. The answer I hear isn’t just no, but NO!

A common CEO sentiment: “I keep putting more and more money into marketing, and I’m not seeing the impact.”

The better question to ask: Is your marketing purposeful?

Sometimes the business model is fundamentally flawed and no amount of marketing can solve it. Examples include Kmart, Peapod, Blockbuster, Al Jazeera America and many more.

Sometimes the marketing strategy isn’t in alignment with the business strategy, like JCPenney adding appliances, Burger King selling low-fat fries or Chevy Silverado focusing on quiet cabs.

Most often the company is doing “activity” in lieu of purposeful marketing. Lots and lots of activity that might look like marketing, but is really just miscellaneous stuff, annualized year after year without any ROI analysis, with a staff and budget that continues to grow.

When my MBA students write business plans, the first drafts of their marketing sections are full of many clever ideas, but unrelated to a larger strategy. Unpurposeful marketing in real companies consists of many ideas, activities, events, promotions, deals and ads—many of them clever, but unconnected to really driving the business model.

Purposeful marketing connects your company’s reason for being, reason for profit and reason for belief into a larger strategic thesis, vision, strategy and plan.

You can tell your marketing is purposeful if it …

» Leverages knowledge gained from your customers

» Communicates your brand promise

» Answers the question: Why should I buy from you?

» Goes beyond the item and sells the idea

» Is relevant, compelling, believable, persuasive

» Causes action

» Creates real demand

» Drives your company’s business model

» Delivers measurable results

» Generates more business than your marketing budget

As you begin to build your 2017 marketing plan, go beyond the conversation of “let’s keep what’s working, and kill what isn’t.”

Instead, ask what will get us to purposeful marketing that creates customers, value, demand, revenue, traffic, growth and profit.