10 Reasons Your Brand’s Local Marketing Campaign Needs a Purpose

 In Blog, Brands

Several years ago, local marketing for national brands was the “next big thing.”  Media buyers scrambled, new marketing platforms emerged and when the dust settled, national advertisers were forecast to spend  43.4% of local media budgets  — $68.9 billion — by 2018.  As local continues to climb within ad budgets, marketers typically look at it as a better way to target and leave it at that.  However, local marketing offers one more feature that is often overlooked: the ability to directly connect with a customer on one of their passion points.

When you reach someone at the local level, you are likely reaching them in their community.  A community they care deeply about.  If you can show an individual that your brand also cares about their community and supports it, you have now added a layer of purpose to your campaign.  And purpose, as it turns out, is quite the buzz right now.  In fact, some people are even claiming we are in a purpose economy, where doing something greater than yourself is the primary driver of output.  Every local campaign ROI has the opportunity to be maximized by establishing a purpose. Here are 10 reasons why a purpose is exactly what your campaign needs to succeed.

#1. You’ll Be Viewed as a Supporter, Not an Advertiser

Every community has something that needs funded.  Whether it is a high school program, parks & recreation, or a new community initiative – there are always costs to cover.  Include an element where a certain percentage of sales goes back to benefit the communities in which you are advertising.  Your customer will now see you as much more than an advertiser – they will see you as a community supporter.

#2. You Will Differentiate Yourself From Your Competition

According to Havas Media Group’s 2013 Meaningful Brands study, only 20% of brands worldwide are seen to meaningfully and positively impact people’s lives. Competition in your industry is likely fierce and one way to cut through the clutter is to lead with a meaningful purpose that consumers are not used to seeing a brand embody. Help them with something they care about and they will care about you.

#3. Your Message Will Be Shareworthy

How often do you hear your friends or family raving about the latest business or advertisement they saw? Probably not too often. But according to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, 71% of consumers would help a brand promote their products or services if there is a good cause behind them. And once a close friend is recommending your business, your message couldn’t be coming from a more trusted source. In fact, 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family and friends about products (Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising, 2013).

#4. You Will Open the Door to Developing Personal Relationships

One of the most underrated parts of a community “give-back” campaign are the opportunities to be on-site with volunteers, key community figures and those who will benefit from the revenue generated from your company’s donation. For example, our company (Home Team Marketing) sells high school sponsorships where the brand is giving a portion of the media revenues back to the school. There is often a game or an event during the high school year where a representative from the brand goes to the high school to be part of a check presentation. The feedback we’ve received is that the face-to-face interaction and handshakes that occur at these events tend to add a relationship layer to the campaign that humanizes the brand for the end consumer.

#5. Customers Will Be More Likely to Switch to Your Brand

According to the 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study, 89% of Americans are likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality. By creating a campaign that gives back to an individual’s community, you are creating a “no-brainer” choice for them as they compare your Brand to a competitor.

#6. Customers Will Be More Willing to Pay a Premium

In some cases, price becomes an afterthought for the consumer if they know their purchase will benefit a good cause. As reported by the 2014 Nielsen Doing Well by Doing Good study, 42% of North American respondents reported they would pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.

#7. Customers Will Stay More Loyal to You

As expected, when a customer buys a product or service from a company that supports social or environmental issues, they tend to continue to buy from that company. According to the 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study, 88% will be more loyal and continue buying a product or service.

#8. Millennials Want Businesses to Get Involved

Did you know that 80% of millennials want businesses to get involved in addressing societal issues, and believe businesses can make a greater impact? (2014 MSL GROUP Future of Business Citizenship) If millennials are not your target market today, they WILL certainly become your target market tomorrow. It is important to understand the shift in buying behavior in millennials so your business has time to implement a long term plan that centers around purpose.

#9. Your Company Will Attract and Retain Employees Better

According to the 2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study, 81% consider corporate social responsibility when deciding where to work. And 68% do not think businesses do enough to instill a sense of meaningful purpose in their work culture (2013 Deloitte Core Belief and Culture Study). Simply put, giving your company a sense of purpose gives your employees a sense of purpose – something that is becoming increasingly important to them.

#10. Your Company is More Likely to Have a Higher Share Return

Naturally, if you see your company improve in all of the areas listed above, the company’s overall performance would also be positively impacted as well. Meaningful Brands outperform the stock market by 133%, with the top 25 brands delivering an annual share return of nearly 12% according to the Havas’ Meaningful Brands 2015 study.

It is important to add that many of the studies referenced in this article address a brand’s overall support on societal/environmental issues, not necessarily specific to hyper local efforts. That is the X-Factor that potentially makes the upside here even greater. People feel very strongly about their home, their neighborhood and their communities. Very few businesses have cracked the code on extending their brand purpose at this important and extremely personal level. Our clients have enjoyed success in this space for more than a decade and it’s time for more businesses to follow suit. What meaningful purpose will you include in your local marketing campaign?

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About the Author:

Jeff Lillibridge has helped lead Home Team Marketing’s digital and marketing strategies since April of 2013. He also leads the charge on integrating digital, mobile and social media into client campaigns at high schools across the country.