Your Marketing Strategy and A Culture of Health
The Power of Purpose-Driven Marketing
Building a culture of health for an organization includes the pillar of consumer health, as explained by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For the record, the other three pillars are employee health, community health, and environmental health. Consumer health is defined as:
The healthfulness and safety of the products and services that a company sells.
The focus of consumer health is to create positive change for consumers. At the same time, it is fair to acknowledge that changing the product(s) or service(s) of an organization is no easy or overnight task. In the short-term, changing a formulation, design, or packaging can raise production costs during the change and delay profits.
This article presents a solution for organizations of all sizes for fulfilling consumer health and therefore building a culture of health, without changing the formulation, design, or packaging of their product(s) or service(s). Although changing the product(s) or service(s) of an organization has been the thought-of method for fulfilling consumer health, a new method could be through an organization’s marketing strategy. What is within the influence, the circle of control, for an organization to fulfill consumer health and therefore build a culture of health could be their marketing strategy.
Before this article continues, we will take a step back for a moment to discuss what effective marketing is in the first place. Effective marketing and the associated marketers don’t begin with a solution or ‘the thing’ that makes them more clever than everyone else. Instead, they begin with a group they seek to serve, a problem they seek to solve, and a change they seek to make. Effective marketers:
- don’t use consumers to solve their company’s problem, they use marketing to solve other people’s problems
- are curious about other people (finding out what they are struggling with, what makes them tick, or what their dreams and beliefs are)
- take people on a journey, and help them become the person they’ve dreamed of becoming, a little bit at a time
Above all, effective marketers know they cannot change everyone, and therefore ask ‘who’s it for?’ Reaching out to the right people with the right story is paramount. Effective marketers zone-in on their smallest viable market.
Now that we have established the potential for an organization’s marketing strategy fulfilling the consumer health pillar to help build a culture of health, the next phase of this article turns to how an organization can act on this. Visiting an organization’s marketing strategy can be done through the following methods:
1) Defining the smallest viable market — evaluating what the characteristics of your organization’s smallest viable market are to establish the notion of ‘good people serving good people’. Along these lines includes being purposeful in who the smallest viable market being targeted is.
2) Transparency — helping employees know who they are actually helping by working for your organization by consistently communicating the value they are delivering to the smallest viable market. What this allows for is employees to know they are making a social or environmental impact.
It is by visiting these marketing strategy methods of defining the smallest viable market and being transparent through communication that employees can feel a greater sense of purpose, fulfillment, and connection through their work. This is important because employees who feel greater purpose at work:
- are happier
- have more self-clarity
- are more satisfied with work
- feel more personally committed to work
- work in cohesive teams
- trust in management more
Evidence-based research from a 2012 survey of US employees shares that the surveyed employees who say they have the opportunity to make a social and environmental impact through their job report higher satisfaction levels (tied to employee engagement) than those who don’t, by a 2:1 ratio. Additionally, evidence-based research has also found that 83% of US graduate students are willing to take a 15% salary cut for a job that makes a social or environmental difference (tied to talent attraction and retention).
(UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center, 2018)
How exactly can the smallest viable market be defined? Here are three relevant marketing exercises:
My product is for people who believe _________.
I will focus on people who want ________.
I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get _________.
Find the empathy to fill this sentence: For people who want what you want (_____) and believe what you believe (_____), your choice of (_____) is exactly correct.
Healthy Business Problem Statement
We are doing [what] for [who] and [why], or more evidently:
________ (the health issue) is a big challenge for our ________ (focus population) because
of ________ (unmet population needs) that continue to cause ________ (significant negative impacts).
Our organization can make an important impact because with our
________ (core competencies and resources), we can develop new solutions to address
the ________ (root causes of the issues) that affect our ________ (focus population).
(Healthy Business Coalition, BSR, 2019)
To wrap up, once the smallest viable market is clarified, communicate, communicate, and over-communicate. Achieving transparency for employees to consciously know who the end-stage consumer of their product(s) or service(s) is and how they are delivering value to the lives of the end-stage consumer can be a source of purpose.
Nathan Kolar, www.reachworldwide.ca