Purpose or Perish

A little while ago, we talked about the difficulty of predicting where the customer would focus their attention. Now, let’s granulate that view to better predict the type of media that will produce real conversions.

Everybody talks about how they produce media with impact. It’s an easy cliché to pull out for a pitch. Managing impact that will motivate potential customers takes a deep understanding of where your end-users are today. So much marketing material gets produced… so much media in general gets produced… that you cannot possibly hope to get significant attention by producing media just to occupy people’s time by jerking a few tears or doling out a little chuckle.

There are a few things you need to think of for your message to punch through:

  • Get the purpose of your business straight, not just the nature of your product
  • Be genuinely useful with your information in regards to that purpose
  • Activate your customers to carry that banner forward

Rediscover Your Purpose

Even if you manage to land your information in front of a customer’s eyeballs, it’s not a very good indicator of money coming your way. Consumers languish in media like a bathtub full of NO MONEY. So how do you get to that money-tub you’re looking for?

In the simplest terms, the marketing has to shift from trying to create interest in your product to putting your product where the consumers’ interests are. That doesn’t mean shifting your actual product (necessarily); it means stating the purpose of your product in a way that lets them know its intent is aligned with theirs.

For instance, if you produce a health and wellness product but your audience is interested in the late-night life, you may want to remind yourself (and them) that the company founder invented your product as a cure for the deleterious effects of an over-jubilant lifestyle. They’ll probably want to know that tomorrow morning.

It’s a facile example of how purpose creates an emotional connection but I think it illustrates how purpose is the driving force in aligning a brand and a market.

Put Yourself to Good Use

Have a look at how consumers are really linking themselves to a brand in this graphic from Google.


Right up top there. 73% connected to a brand that gave them useful information.

Since the dawn of YouTube, companies have been fetishizing the viral video. “You know, what we need is a viral video. We’re gonna need you to make our video go viral.” (Two very different things, by the way.) Listening people regurgitate tired internet buzzwords is like watching a grandma rap. It’s cute at first but it gets tiring very quickly and you want to hear from somebody more familiar with the medium. It doesn’t help to put your product in front of millions of eyes that have no use for it. Both your and their time are too valuable to spend on media that isn’t of use to them.

Take a Pass on Passivity

The problem with these big splash campaigns that shout at random passers-by is they are hitting passive consumers who watch passively then passively move on to the next video, billboard, etc. If all you’re looking for is brand awareness, it’s not the worst thing that could happen. The best thing that could happen, though, would be to activate those viewers into end-users of your product then into people who can speak to their specific use of your product.

The key to activating those viewers is clearly in practical content aimed at their interests. Don’t just throw out a hashtag or generic ebook and hope for the best. Cynicism and sarcasm will eat you alive. Make an honest effort and give consumers a real reason to talk about your brand.

Word of mouth isn’t just something that happens in casual conversation anymore; it’s sought out from those activated consumers who make themselves ambassadors for your brand. Marketing isn’t just about pushing a product anymore, it’s about helping people see how it fits into the way they live and work. Both will see significant improvements if you’ve clearly stated your core purpose in a way that is relatable and useful to your end-user.

Contact us for help positioning your purpose to shine through a crowded marketplace.

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