Social Purpose Marketing for Behaviour Change

By Rachel Adrian

Recent years have seen a huge increase in companies getting involved in social purpose marketing. Rather than solely throwing money at a cause, companies are taking a stand and educating the public about underlying social issues. Advocacy and educational campaigns add authenticity and a personal connection to community investment initiatives. Social purpose marketing isn’t just about doing good for the community, it has also been shown to have unique business benefits.
 

Incorporating Advocacy into Your Community Investment Strategy

Why should you incorporate advocacy into your campaign? Here are three benefits that it can bring:

A Common Purpose: Advocating for a cause infuses purpose into your strategy. People don’t want to see your company just throwing money at a cause, they want to see you advocating and leading a movement. Edelman’s Trust Barometer has routinely found that people especially like to see the executive team, especially the CEO, championing the social issues they represent.

Increased Sales: Many companies can tie what they do in with a social issue. Show people the social importance of your product or service through your advocacy. Highlight the benefits of your product over others and tell the story of how your product fits in your customers’ lives.

Improved Efficiency: As you advocate for a cause, you can also apply the learnings internally. Whether you are advocating for specific health issues like diabetes, promoting energy efficient practices or encouraging employees to spend more time with their families, there are many opportunities for your workforce to become more efficient.

There are many significant business benefits to adding an element of advocacy to your community investment strategy. Mainly, customers will feel that your campaign is more authentic and likely to make a difference than when you are just throwing money at a cause. Changing behaviours can be difficult, but has a very big impact on the community and will transform the impact of your campaign.

Look at the Bell Let’s Talk campaign. Advocacy is a main focus of their campaign and it has been incredibly successful. Not only has public awareness of mental health increased greatly, but Bell has been able to apply many of their learnings to their own workforce, in turn increasing efficiency and reducing costs. As the campaign progresses, people are starting to adjust their behaviours and are more aware of mental health issues in the workforce.

How have you worked advocacy into your own community investment strategy?