Social Purpose: The Fifth "P" of Marketing

Nov 8, 2010 2:33 PM ET

Paul Klein's Blog

“Purpose is now the fifth P of marketing. It’s a vital addition to the age-old marketing mix of product, price, place, and promotion,” said Mitch Markson, chief creative officer, Edelman, and the founder of Edelman goodpurpose.

Last week, Edelman released the 2010 Goodpurpose Study. The study conducted in 13 countries (Brazil, USA, UK, UAE, The Netherlands, Mexico, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China and Canada) with 7,259 consumers, reports that 86% of consumers globally believe that companies need to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as they do on business’ interests.

Here in Canada, 67 per cent of consumers say they are more likely to buy products and services from a company if they know it has brands that support good causes – up 7 points from 60 per cent in 2009. “Canadians seek deeper involvement in social issues and expect brands and companies to provide various means of engagement. We call this the rise of the ‘citizen consumer’” said Carol Cone, managing director, Brand & Corporate Citizenship, Edelman.

What does this mean for you? Regardless of the business you’re in, here are the questions you need to ask yourself:

Your Social Context: Do you know what social issues matter most to your customers? Do you know what your competition is doing in the social arena, What social issues are the best “fit” with who you are and what you do as a business?

Your Social Purpose: When your customers think about your company or brand, to what degree is your social purpose clear, compelling, and relevant? What will it take to establish a social purpose position that is seen as authentic and genuine by your customers?

Your Social Action: What are your social objectives? What non-profit organizations are you/should you be partnering with to achieve these objectives? Are you able to measure results in a way that is consistent with other aspects of your business?

The Goodpurpose Study shows that social purpose is here to stay and will be contributing to the success or failure of your business. Is your company ready?


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