TechTalk Recap: Navigating Purpose-Driven Marketing in Tech


TechTalk Recap: Navigating Purpose-Driven Marketing in Tech

To be purpose-driven as an organisation means having a broader mission than simply offering a product or service. Typically, a purpose-driven initiative attempts to bring social, economic, or environmental benefit to an area or group that sorely needs it. Successful initiatives mean businesses get to be part of positive change, as well as improve their reputation and empower employees and customers alike. 

The latest CopyHouse event held at the London Chief Clubhouse, in partnership with FINITE, looked at common challenges in purpose-driven marketing. Expert panellists from a variety of backgrounds offered insightful contributions to attendees - the speakers included:

Read on for a full breakdown of the event:

The Increasing Popularity of Purpose-Driven Marketing

One of the opening questions for the panel reflected on the fact that purpose-driven narratives have become key to the marketing strategies of many tech companies. It’s tough to pin down exactly what’s caused this trend, but the panellists offered a range of interesting theories: 

  • Ease of spreading awareness: Easy internet access and social media mean that it’s easier than ever to get a message to a huge audience very quickly. Higher awareness prompts more frequent action from audiences, particularly if they can act online.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): DEI is a huge factor in the modern workplace, following events like MeToo and Black Lives Matter. With the awareness of social justice at an all-time high, organisations have had no choice but to refocus their marketing efforts.
  • Standing out from the competition: Some companies struggle to break free of the  sameness that impacts corporate values and messaging. By building purpose-driven marketing rather than sales-focused ones, these companies stand out from the crowd. 

Getting Your Purpose-Driven Messaging to Your Audience

Choosing a cause for your organisation to champion is one thing, but it’s another challenge entirely to get that narrative out to an audience, especially in the contemporary business environment. 

One of the key ideas from the panel was the idea of top-down values. If an organisation is to be purpose-driven, it’s important for the leadership to appreciate and understand that purpose. Otherwise, you risk any related content coming across as inauthentic. 

Unsurprisingly, action is also a key factor in purpose-driven messaging. Any campaign becomes that much more effective when an organisation follows up on any publicity with concrete action. 

In order to determine successful initiatives, the panel also stressed the need for measurement and reporting. Tools like monitoring forms, open communication, and simple progress trackers were cited as ways to check how many people a purpose-driven campaign was reaching.

The Importance of Critical Thinking and Sensitivity

The topics of greenwashing, purposewashing and pinkwashing came up in conversation a few times throughout the discussion. If you're unfamiliar with these terms, here's what you need to know:

  • Greenwashing: This is when a company claims to be involved in an environmentally friendly action (planting trees, reducing energy usage, etc.) when in fact, the action does not have any significant effect on the environment, or the company’s involvement is very minor.
  • Purposewashing: Purposewashing is a general term for using a purpose or cause as a marketing tool rather than fully devoting resources to making a change. Organisations usually purpose-wash to increase customer loyalty. For example, 79% of Americans say they’re more loyal to purpose-driven brands, and 73% are more willing to defend them. 
  • Pinkwashing: Pinkwashing is the promotion of LGBT-friendly marketing by a business that’s not actually invested in these communities, and is only using LGBT-centric marketing to seem progressive. Businesses are commonly criticised for pinkwashing during Pride Month, particularly if they do not acknowledge or accommodate LGBT groups at any other time of the year. 

The panel had some thoughts about how to navigate these sensitive issues as both a brand and a consumer. For brands, the panel emphasised the need to understand your audience as a first step, then remaining authentic and consistent as key components to gaining and keeping trust.

Read on for the panel’s advice on effective messaging:

Knowing What Resonates

When talking to your audience about your purpose, it’s important that you understand what language resonates, as well as which issues they're passionate about and why. Information like this can be gleaned from reading reactions to your PR releases, engaging on social media, or even speaking with consumers directly.

It’s also crucial to learn from others in the industry. Examine the successes and failures of top brands to avoid PR nightmares, such as the infamous Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad. One of the key issues in that incident was the disconnect between the product and the purpose. In the tech industry, products and services can often contribute to a variety of social issues. 

Authenticity and Consistency

Dedication equals authenticity. So make sure you’re not rushing into supporting “trendy” causes, or you’ll risk appearing like you're just jumping on the bandwagon rather than being genuinely invested.

Additionally, be prepared to be transparent. Back your words up with actions and be ready to demonstrate the progress you're making on your initiatives. This is why it’s crucial to measure the effectiveness of your purpose-driven initiatives: the data can be used to improve later initiatives as well as prove your success to your customers. 

Finally, be sure to hold yourself accountable. While you should always strive to avoid mistakes, to err is human. Learn from your slip-ups and publicly make it clear that you’ll do better next time.

Amplify Your Messaging with CopyHouse

CopyHouse is an award-winning global content marketing agency specialising in technology brands. Our expert team of writers can help you build content that achieves more than just selling products. Backed up by our design and strategy specialists, we can help you to create a successful purpose-driven marketing campaign.

We have years of experience in supporting market-leading brands with SEO strategy and content ideation, cementing our clients as thought leaders in their fields. Regardless of your marketing goals, we can help.

Get in touch today to learn more. 

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