Cengage Learning Inc.

05/08/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/07/2021 19:22

The 5th P of Marketing: Purpose

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'The 4 Ps of marketing'-product, price, placeand promotionstrategy-have been the foundationsof industrythinking and introductory Marketing coursesfor the past sixty years. Other Ps, such as peopleand processes, havetried to make their way into the mix, but theoriginal4 have remainedas foundations.

I propose a new foundational P- a P that transcends, impactsand sometimes uprootsthe original 4 Ps.It goes beyond customer-centricity, cause-related marketing, corporate social responsibility andechoing cultural sentimentsto fit in and make you look good. The 5thP of Marketing is purpose.

Purpose: It's no longer optional for marketers

Over 90% of millennial consumerswill 'switch from one brand to another because it champions a cause.' Fuse Marketing says that Gen Z has a 'purpose filter' to choose which companies they support. Consumersexpect brands to speak out against injustice, encourage mindful habitsand participate with us in creating change.

To quote Seth Godin, 'Marketing is the most powerful force available to people who want to make change.'I believe in a much more powerful force, but in the context of business impact on social change, this statement is not hyperbole. In a world wrecked by pandemic, racial injustice, human trafficking etc.,marketers have a responsibility to use their power to change beliefs for the good of others.

How is purpose manifested?

If your purpose is simply an addendum to your mission statement or donating money and tweeting about it, you're doing it wrong. Purpose is not reactive to what's going on in the world-it's about guiding beliefs that shape your entire organization. For some organizations, purposeis embedded within the business model (what Cengage authorsrefer to as a 'Strategic Philanthropy Approach'):

For other organizations, purposeis ingrained within the culture and values statements,so product strategy and marketing messaging reflect that purpose:

Whatever your purpose is, your brand say must match your brand do. Authenticity is required to create consumer trust. When Coke put a social distancing messagein Times Square, their message was genuine and consistent with the purpose-driven story they've been telling us. McDonalds, however, faced backlashwhen separating their golden arches.

Purpose requires a shift in mindset

My challenge to marketers, instructorsand students: injectpurpose intoyourmarketing plans to impact the rest of the 4 Ps. Is the purpose of your organization defined? What organizational core competencies support your purpose and how can you hone those to make a greater impact on the world?

Let's make purpose stick as the new foundational Pof marketing thinking.

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