Leveraging Your Purpose for Good
By Lyn Wineman
I want to start by sharing a quote that I heard this week. And honestly, it was a brilliant quote. It came from Ian MacDougall, founder of Corporate LifeCycles Associates, in a presentation to my Vistage cohort. And Ian said, “Don’t tell me you love me, bring me flowers.” Let me say that again. Don’t tell me you love me, bring me flowers. Now, some of you might think that I am launching into relationship or marriage advice, and I am not. But it is interesting how much marriage and dating actually parallel marketing, because we’re wooing and forming relationships with our audiences.
So, here’s the interpretation for marketers. Don’t just tell me your mission, show me. Give me a sign that you mean what you say. So in business, how do we do that? Because now more than ever, businesses of all shapes and sizes are focusing on corporate social responsibility; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and sustainability initiatives. And now more than ever, clients, including B2B, consumer, healthcare, and finance are making decisions based upon companies that align to their own personal values.
This goes back to another one of my favorite quotes from Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” And the danger of just talking about our purpose and not backing it up is that it’s often not believable. Big surprise. Sometimes advertisers and marketers talk about things that aren’t exactly true. I’m whispering because it’s not me, and it’s not you for sure. But because some people do that, it hurts the rest of us. And now that everyone’s talking about corporate social responsibility, DEI, and sustainability, it’s also not differentiating unless you show people how you are doing it. Just like sometimes throwing out, I love you, love you, love you, love this, it might feel hollow if the actions do not match.
So how do you bring the flowers with your purpose? At KidGlov, we get to see this every day with organizations that we work with. Immanuel, for example, in the senior living and retirement space, they have a mission of Christ-centered service to seniors and community. How do they bring the flowers? By providing free resources to seniors who have been isolated during the pandemic. They have landing pages, blog posts, they do media interviews. Additionally, they are waging an all-out war on the epidemic of senior loneliness.
Another organization that we get the pleasure of working with is Farmers and Merchants Bank. They have a mission of supporting the Nebraska communities that they serve. They bring the flowers by donating towards community projects, by providing volunteer hours within those communities. They maintain a strong physical presence in the communities and they supply a load of free mobile services, so people don’t have to drive in to the bank all the time. Lancaster Event Center and Fairgrounds and the Lancaster Agricultural Society, another example. They have a mission to educate and engage youth in agriculture. They do this by hosting hundreds of events per year, supporting 4H and FFA. And in 2019, during historic flooding, they became an impromptu center to support farm families who were suffering.
Member’s Own Credit Union brings the flowers, I have to keep showing them to you, they bring the flowers by fulfilling their mission of service to members by promoting free educational meetings to help people improve their credit scores, and by providing a multitude of free resources. One more. Verdis Group brings the flowers to their purpose of creating a thriving and resilient world by hosting Green Eggs and Bam. These are conversations that help people understand sustainability issues, and they provide a stipend to their employees to support sustainable transportation options.
So, at KidGlov, our mission is to help the organizations who are changing the world by putting a megaphone in front of those who are doing good, like you. And we bring the flowers by sharing stories through our Agency For Change podcast. Give it a listen if you haven’t. Shameless plug alert there. And through these Marketing Monday sessions as well, this is how we bring the flowers. So my question, then, to you is, how is your organization bringing the flowers? What actions are you taking beyond your product or service offerings to demonstrate authentic purpose? What are you doing to let people know why you do what you do?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I am a demanding person. And honestly, I want the flowers and I want you to tell me you love me. And honestly, that’s what we all want. And if you demonstrate your purpose, like the organization examples I just shared, it will make it much, much, much more believable when you speak the words, when you share about your mission. So if you’re looking to really leverage your purpose, I’m going to recommend that you get your marketing experts involved early. Whether that is your in-house team, a consultant, or if you have an advertising agency like KidGlov, bring them in early. Because this may not look like a traditional advertising or marketing assignment, but yet, you can tap into these experts in many ways.
For example, start by having them use their creativity and strategic skills to help you identify and develop consistent strategic messaging around your purpose. Then have them create an internal communications campaign, because everyone on your team needs to understand your purpose and they need to live that purpose. Then have your marketing experts develop a content strategy that draws audiences into your work. Have them highlight authentic examples of you living the purpose and your team living the purpose. Social media and blog posts are perfect for this. And last but not least, and let me say that again, last but not least, incorporate your purpose into your marketing efforts. You want to do that last because you want to make sure you’re living it first . . . you want to make sure your team fully understands it. And that is how you do both. That is how you bring the flowers and say I love you. That is how you leverage your mission in a meaningful and heartfelt way.
Now, if you would like to learn more about this topic, you can check out our website at kidglov.com. That’s kidglov, without an E. And under the expertise page or in the link that goes along with this live, under the expertise page, you’ll find an entire landing page dedicated to purpose-driven businesses with blog posts, with thought leader interviews on our Agency For Change podcast, as well as helpful case studies from other like organizations. And the content from this conversation will be added to that page as well.
And of course, if you are ever looking for a marketing partner, KidGlov would love to give you a hand. So thanks for joining me today on Marketing Monday, and don’t forget to bring the flowers.