Targeted advertising is the key to brand success
Today, business and marketing have acquired new complexities. It’s no longer just about reaching the masses with the idiosyncrasies of your product, but about conveying a clearly articulated goal. Consumers cannot be reduced to people who simply buy products but must be recognized as vigilant citizens who want the world to be a better place. Therefore, what a brand represents and how it defines itself plays an undeniably important role in the agreement it strikes with consumers. This is where targeted advertising and marketing becomes a most crucial intervention.
A report by Epsilon, summarizing several surveys, attests to the relevance of placing purpose at the heart of marketing. Sixty-four percent of consumers say they will buy or boycott a brand based on its stance on a social or political issue, according to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer.
And communications agency Zeno Group’s 2020 Strength of Purpose study found that when a brand has a strong purpose, consumers are four times more likely to buy from the brand. Additionally, active-minded brands outperformed the stock market by 134% and saw their share of wallet increase ninefold, according to Meaningful Brands 2019 by Havas Media Group.
So, advertising your brand in alignment with the purpose your brand is aligned with can have the most direct consequences for your business success.
To begin, we need to think about the meaning of “goal” itself. A brand’s purpose is defined by the core values that drive its efforts, the impact it wants to have, and the social causes it believes in. For example, a clothing brand’s goal of selling clothes to people is a business necessity. However, its purpose is defined by the type of clothing it wishes to sell, the value it creates for its consumers, whether it invests in sustainable production and supports the community that contributes to it or not.
On a related note, we need to rethink the importance of conscious advertising. In today’s era of digital marketing, your brand reach is more important than ever. Although this is an unprecedented opportunity, it should be noted that your marketing campaigns are now open to huge amounts of reception, comments and reviews. An online consumer has the means to discern and report problematic elements of a campaign instantly.
Therefore, it would be short-sighted to think that the key purpose of advertising is to make consumers aware of your product. Marketing today needs to build credibility for your brand to stay in the game.
There are several examples of brands that successfully combine purpose, publicity, and effort. Cheryl Baldwin, writing for WSJ, takes a look at the range of Adidas and Parley products in this regard. Adidas’ targeted marketing efforts for this particular collaboration focused on the plastic epidemic in the oceans.
Their campaign video took us on a journey and gave us an in-depth look at how ocean plastics are negatively affecting the ecosystem of our oceans. Adidas has effectively realigned its efforts on its brand by turning the problem into a solution and creating high-performance plastic sportswear. As Baldwin points out, the lesson here is that the cause you support becomes part of your brand narrative, which is a driving factor that determines who will support, buy from, and invest in your business.
Such combinations can be carefully crafted with strategic recalibrations of your marketing efforts. First, the content you create should be a tool to communicate what you do as a brand, instead of just telling people what you offer. Second, you need to articulate the mission you are on and what you stand for. Third, to integrate branding and advertising, transparency is needed. As a result, marketing campaigns can demonstrate a company’s real impact and commitment to the values it claims to uphold.
In the words of Seth Godin, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, explain a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. ”
Targeted advertising is about the expectations consumers may have of your brand, the stories you weave by documenting the impact you have had, and ultimately the relationship you have as a result with your customers. All of these undoubtedly also have financial rewards in the end. So, in an age of a more alert population and more conscious business efforts, targeted advertising can be the instrumental step towards a more conscious market that drives incremental change.
(The author is Chief Impact Officer at the Recykal Foundation)