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The Source of Advantage is no longer about Differentiation, but all about making a Difference

We are at the dawn of the 4th Industrial Revolution and there are many debates around this topic and what it holds for the future.

This year the World Economic Forum announced the first drone highway will launch in Rwanda, 2025.   Just last week we saw two very strong opinions from Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg regarding the future of automation and the bold predictions of technology and how it will influence our lives.  It’s fair to say that good and bad lurks behind this era.

By 2020, almost 8 Million skilled people will lose their jobs and be replaced by knowledge workers and this is a very scary thought for the industry.

What does this mean for Marketers? 

 As public access to the Internet, they become more tech savvy.  Our consumers are more resourceful, smart, they don’t buy into our campaigns, don’t trust our brands and they too much choice to process. Then if you add the increase of Ad Blocking into the Mix, our roles as marketers are becoming almost impossible.

Can I tell you why?

Marketing use to be about differentiation as a source of advantage but now in a hyper connected world it is no longer about differentiation but about making a difference.

If you are not making a difference in your consumers lives, it is a matter of time, before you hit turbulence and will have a business that spirals out of control.

Richard Branson says; “If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business- It’s that simple”

You might argue with me, these predicitions are not relevant to Africans and we are very far from this growth.  You might have a point, but if you look back at Forbes 500 in the year 2002, there are over 52% of those companies who are no longer around because they were out innovated.

 Chance favours the connected Mind:

 Steven Johnson said this once.

Our role as marketers is to understand how to connect the dots between our brand values, our consumer behavior, needs and worries.  There is no singular connection, but a multiple of connections that make us the human beings we are.  Yes, very complex, but beautiful if you know how to bring it all together.  That is the difference between brands that are vampires and those who are quantum leaps ahead of your competitors.

What is the Solution? 

I believe Simon Sinek hits the nail on the head.  “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.  It is now all about Generation Why.  Brands with purpose lead the way.  It’s been proven.  More than 60 % of growth came from sustainable brands last year.

Brands have the power to Unite People, bring people together and help solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

Below I unpack the anatomy of Purpose, the 5th P of Marketing:

  1. Head : This is all about awareness. You need to understand what is on your consumers minds?  What keeps them up at night?  What do they hear, see, think and do? Look closely, do neuro science studies.  Start with the consumer in mind rather than your product and it will all come together for the good.
  2. Hand: It is one thing to say you are going to do something good, but put your money where your mouth is.  Are you working hand in hand with your consumers to make their lives better?  How many times have you heard, buy our product and for each product sold we will contribute towards a charity.  I have seen very few companies showing a case study and making a public announcement of money accumulated and where it has gone, and the lives it changed.
  3. Spine: You need to have back bone to stand up for something you believe in.  If you are backing gender equality for example, you need to understand why it is important to you and your brand.  You will always have a few people that will give you slack for it, but you have to stand your ground.  A brand with integrity is far more appealing than a brand who just take their customers money and manipulating them with promotions  and stroking ego’s.
  4. Heart: You need to start inwards and allow for your staff, the beating heart, the blood that flows through the veins of the organization, to breath purpose.  This way people feel part of something bigger than themselves.  Then you can make impact outwards.  I quote Marcus Tullius Cicero: “If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words”
  5. “Soul”of the Feet : Don’t wait for everyone around you to impact society.  Take the lead by being a beacon of light.  Leave Footprints in the sand so that you can lead the way.

Put humans First.  “If you are lucky enough to do well, you must send the elevator down.”  Kevin Spacey

That is exactly what I intend to do.

I am offering a 90 minute Free Masterclass on this topic and it already reached 2,000 marketers to date.  There is still space available, and I urge you to Book your FREE Masterclass: Fundamentals to Delight and Disrupt by activating Brand Purpose. You will be left inspired and excited about the possibilities and witness some of the best case studies across the globe.

Written by Carmen Murray.

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