Is the 5th P of marketing PURPOSE?

Yes, according to the following study Citizens Engage! Edelman goodpurpose® Study 2010 from Edelman.

According to global findings, customers are more likely to engage with a brand that has a cause or social purpose including but not limited to:

– Sharing the brand’s message or otherwise assisting it in its promotion

– Recommending the brand

– Switching to the socially aware brand from a competitor with a similar product offering .

Social media seems to be a main driver behind social purpose, and emerging markets are more likely to exhibit the behaviors outlined above than established markets.

An interesting question would be where Romania falls on the spectrum? Do consumers here behave more like those in India or those in Italy?

Regardless of the answer, the findings of the Edelman study are a compelling read. Also worth a look is the following take on these findings from “cause marketing” originator Carol Cone, who pioneered the term and the approach in the early 2000.

Companies and brands will increasingly realize that Purpose is no longer optional; it’s critical.

says Carol Cone in this article from the Huffington Post, while admitting that cause marketing as she pioneered it is dead, because brands are doing what I was advocating since 2004 that they should do: consistently engaging with customers on issues that are core to the brand’s values and to the business objectives.

This, as I see it, is just part of a larger trend where a spectrum of tools are reevaluated and used creatively and unexpectedly to contribute directly to the bottom line. Debuting with marketing and OR, this trend has reached CSR as well.


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Filed under Communication, Consumer behavior, Management thought, Public relations

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