There’s plenty of content that can tell you how to launch an email marketing campaign or format your blog, but when it comes to highlighting the benefits of a values-driven business, the advice can get murky.
How exactly does a company dedicated to using business as a force for good share with customers their purpose, passion projects, commitment to sustainability and good governance?
It’s a question we get a lot. And we’ve thought a lot about it, too. As we’ve shared our own values with the world and worked with companies that want to do the same, one thing became apparent: the best way to share your company’s purpose and resonate with others on an emotional level is to weave your values into your messages, like an ongoing story, and using well-tested, customer-focused marketing tactics.
In this post, we’ll cover some of those tactics and offer a few tips for marketing your values-driven business.
What’s different about marketing a values-driven business?
Most digital marketing strategies today follow the inbound marketing philosophy of “attract, engage and delight.” Here’s how inbound marketing pioneers HubSpot explains it:
The inbound methodology can be applied in three ways:
- Attract: drawing in the right people with valuable content and conversations that establish you as a trusted advisor with whom they want to engage.
- Engage: presenting insights and solutions that align with their pain points and goals so they are more likely to buy from you.
- Delight: providing help and support to empower your customers to find success with their purchase.
This works for most companies–including purpose-driven businesses. What makes marketing for values-driven companies different, however, is that they have to market not only what they do, but also convey the values behind how and why they do it and why that’s valuable to the potential customer.
“The challenge is to talk about this purpose in a way that’s authentic and trustworthy,” says MAYO Founder Carrie Mayo. “Purpose-driven companies don’t want to cross the line into preachy. You have to have a strong sense of who you are, your values, and down-to-earth language that reflects this.”
So once you know how you want to talk about your purpose, how do you get that message out in a way that feels natural? Glad you asked!
5 tactics for marketing your values-driven business
Here are some practical steps you can take today at your company to share your purpose-driven message.
- Collaborate – Join up with other values-driven businesses to share content, do a day of service together, or launch initiatives your marketing departments can use to cross promote the great work you both do.
- Be efficient – Part of being kind to the Earth is reducing what we use, reusing items, and recycling when we can. Same goes for marketing. Look for ways to repurpose quality content in new formats or on a different platform, such as breaking up longer mission statement video into shorter clips for social media, or pulling stats from a blog post and using it as an enticing lead-in to a marketing email.
- Share the secret of your success – Write blog posts or guides showing people how you achieved sustainability goals or became the first majority women C-Suite. For people aspiring to do good in the world, they love reading stories about how others did it too.
- Focus on results – When you conduct a day of service, it’s nice to get a shot of the team getting their hands dirty. But the reason you’re there is to help a non-profit. Show the results of your efforts on social media first.
- Invite customers to engage – Customers choose you because you share the same values. Create ways for them to get involved with your causes or encourage them to do good, such as listing ways to volunteer or inviting them to donate to one of your favorite causes.
Customers want to know your purpose
Business leaders and marketers are laser focused on promoting the company and the value it provides the customer. Your purpose is one aspect of that value. Consumers seek it, a new study has found, because it makes them feel good and inspires them to do more for people and the planet. This study, from the Wharton School of Business, looked at what customers get from buying from values-driven business and found it boosts a sense of well-being and builds company loyalty.
“When I feel a sense of moral elevation, it makes me want to go out and be a better person,” said one of the study’s co-authors, Patti Williams. “When I feel grateful, I want to make somebody else feel grateful. These are emotions that cause humans to be their best selves. If we could live in a world where brands inspire people to be their best selves, that’s a pretty good world.”
Such a great goal, right?!