Today’s marketers face a bevy of misconceptions about their craft . One of the harshest is that it projects desire onto consumers in a manipulative, self-serving way. Great marketers ensure that the opposite is true, making the effort to not only understand consumers’ needs and wants, but also the state of their lives and that of their communities From there, marketers have a responsibility to go beyond brand or product marketing to also reflect their commitment to the consumers’ voices and communities’ well-being. They need to put brand values into action and contribute to building a more positive society that serves all people.
When marketing is done right, it is a continuous journey of listening and acting in a way that benefits peoples’ lives; it is essential for a thriving society. And that is what will differentiate brands for success in the impending future, which I call the Fifth Paradigm of Marketing.
The Essential Truth
As marketers, we have the privilege of significant influence and access to substantial resources. That privilege comes with a responsibility to use them to contribute to positive change that supports the communities we are a part of and serve.
When brands listen, hear and act authentically to make a positive change, it generates trust between the consumer and the brand. This trust is critical for brands to succeed, particularly in an environment where there is an unfortunate and incredible level of trust deficit – from daily fake news to deceptive trade practices to racial discrimination. Brands need to focus on building direct trust with their consumers and customers, but also with the communities and the society at large.
- Marketers have the power to make real, impactful change.
- Consumers demand authenticity. Meaningful action speaks louder than a well-intended marketing campaign.
- There’s a symbiotic relationship between gaining trust through authenticity and using that trust to power further marketing efforts to drive positive societal change. Positive change engenders trust and trust empowers change.
- Marketers have influence and access to resources that can benefit many, and with this power comes the responsibility to contribute to positive societal change. It is indeed an honor and a privilege to be a marketer. I cover this in detail in my recently released book, “Quantum Marketing.”
Long Story Short
Marketing leaders must foster a culture where marketing will be both a force for growth, but equally importantly, a force for good.