What Brands Should Learn From Non-Profit Marketing

As Purpose-driven brands become more prominent, marketing strategies carried out by non-profits can provide us with some useful guidance. Non-profits focus on how they make us feel. They want us to feel like we are a part of something, something bigger than ourselves.

A cause, a movement, a transformation.

This type of thinking about how advertising makes people feel is a cornerstone of marketing that too often gets overlooked in our industry today. We’re all thinking about numbers and about the technologies and distribution networks at our disposal. Reach. Segmentation. Conversions. And the list goes on… We’re making adjustments based on these numbers, but the approach non-profits take should remind us that what ultimately delivers long run results is creating deeper emotional connections.

The challenge is then, every time a new piece of brand content is being delivered, to ask ourselves:

Is it fostering a more meaningful connection between the brand and consumer based on shared values?

This is especially critical for digital content. Think of it like this, what kind of advertising gives us the chills, makes us smile or makes us cry? TV ads mostly because there’s more time and tools to convey the shared values that trigger our emotions.

Those that do this well see greater trust, brand adoption, retention, advocacy and lifetime value. Consumers don’t feel they’re buying a product, but rather feel they are buying into a movement that they feel aligned with. They’re proud to represent. They’re proud to share.

This age of infinite supply is a vicious cycle, as every good or service imaginable is commoditized.

Deeper connections around brand Purpose or mission is thus the key for brands to be different, so that they aren’t just compared based on the price/quality decision set.

Not only is this important, but it’s become necessary due to the shift in consumer mindset. Consumers are no longer buying based on price and quality alone, but also on the brand Purpose and mission. Consumers see the purchasing decisions they make now as a central element to conveying their values as a person to the external world. They seek out brands that make them feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

Overall, brands are taking this into action. Brand purpose is one of the most important competitive differentiators that can be created. But when it comes to the application of brand purpose to advertising, especially digital advertising, these ideas tend to dissipate. Instead, the numbers and technology take over. And the result is bad digital advertising experiences across the board. People see it as intrusive. They don’t trust it. They don’t click. They don’t engage (unless they’re forced too, that is). And that means missed opportunities in the places where we are now spending the most of our time. With every brand advertisement created on digital, we should always ask ourselves, “Is this creating the emotional connections that non-profits do so well?” If we as an industry think like this, the feedback on digital and mobile advertising would be a lot more positive. And the results for brands looking to effectively drive adoption and engagement would far exceed what we are seeing now.

Also, this article was published on our Jukko Medium Page. Follow us there for more content related to mobile advertising for purpose-driven brands and publishers.