When I studied marketing, we were taught about the Marketing Mix, which originally comprised the four Ps – product, price, promotion, and place. As marketing evolved, these four Ps also changed.
Physical evidence, people, and process were the last three components, totalling seven in the marketing mix. All these components are essential to the development of a company and accomplishment of marketing objectives. As was previously noted, marketing should adapt as people, consumer trends and global markets do.
If a brand created amazing brand experiences and delivered excellent customer service, it undoubtedly had consumer loyalty locked down 10 years ago. However, it is no longer enough. We have witnessed a big increase in consumers seeking to engage with businesses beyond their pricing, promotion or product, which has pushed brands away from the ‘selling’ type of marketing. The pricing of a product/service may be reasonable, the product itself may be functional, and the promotion may be innovative, but there is one P that matters that I believe should be included to the marketing mix – Purpose.
A cultural shift is on the horizon, and businesses are increasingly expected to assess, control, and leverage the influence they have on the globe. It is no longer enough to be lucrative; it is also necessary to contribute to a more sustainable earth and a more equitable society; and it is critical to have a purpose. A purpose is a framework that serves as a guide for business decisions and thought processes. It’s all about harnessing the power of your why to build competitive differentiation and emotional engagement.
Why Purpose should be part of the Marketing Mix
Ideally, the purpose should be present from the start. It is not recommended to glue a purpose angle on top of an already created product to make it meet a specific set of criteria. Customers will see right through you. So, if it is established from the start, or if it is something that the brand has evolved to stand for over time, it lends more authenticity and credibility to the brand. Nonetheless, the following are reasons why Purpose should be part of the marketing mix:
- Purpose-driven businesses benefit the community and the lives of their customers.
- It sets brands apart from the competitor.
- Employees are more empowered and motivated, fostering a strong company culture.
- It improves a brand’s reputation, hence creating brand equity – consumers will value a brand more when they know that they are more than just their products or services.
Being Purpose-led businesses means being concerned with more than simply profits. It means directing your company decisions toward the greater good and judging their performance differently. This will result in an increase in consumer support because, as previously stated, consumers are more inclined to support organisations that are indifferent about profit. It also enables organisations to generate better results and position themselves as leaders to be reckoned with. Everyone wants to make money, yes, but everyone also wants to make a difference – which they can if they have a noble Purpose.
Mascom Wireless, Botswana’s leading telecommunications company, announced their purpose statement, Powering Connections That Inspire Change, in February this year to commemorate their 25th anniversary. This has nothing to do with what businesses offer but with how their existence is intended towards inspiring communities, individuals, employees and the like.
This is an example of an organisation that is purposeful in the way they engage their customers; which is what all organisations should be striving towards – creating purposeful relationships based on value for customers beyond their needs. The brand purpose must be relevant to what the brand sells or provides, which means a brand mission should be inextricably linked to the brand’s reason for being. It should not only be the purpose behind the product that a company sells but should also be a part of everything that the organisation does.
Bottom line: People will select brands that enable them to make a difference versus brands that are exclusively concerned with profit. Therefore, including Purpose in the marketing mix will ensure that future generations of businesses remember that consumers align with a purpose-driven brand and that they should strive to build purpose-driven businesses.