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Why being purpose-driven goes hand-in-hand with being profit-driven and resilient

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Why being purpose-driven goes hand-in-hand with being profit-driven and resilient

Diane Primo, CEO of Purpose Brand.

“For us, it’s about working on things that are focused on making money – that’s really important – but also on improving the world in some way. And we don’t think there’s a conflict in that, by the way. Making money enables you to do more good, to be honest – the two go hand-in-hand.”

Diane Primo, CEO at Chicago-based digtal content marketing and PR agency Purpose Brand, was reflecting on the values that drive the agency’s mission of helping brands put purpose into practice. A framework for doing just that is set out in detail in Primo’s new book, “ADAPT: Scaling Purpose in a Divisive World.”

Picking a purpose

A purpose-driven brand could be a brand driven by one single purpose — health, housing or the environment, for example — or it could imply an embrace of multiple purposes. For Primo, there should be a single focus, although it can manifest itself in a variety of ways.

“You’ve got one overall purpose,” she said. “How you bring it to life might be segmented into other areas, but you generally have a singular area of focus. You might bring that to life by doing educational programs or volunteer work or in the way you run your business.”

She gave the example of BlackRock, the financial planning and investment management firm that has taken financial well-being as its primary purpose. “They’re one of the largest asset holders in the world — trillions of dollars — and how they can bring that to life in many, many ways. They can speak out on issues that relate to long-term financial value like ESG (environmental, social and governance criteria), but it’s all around that singular purpose.”

Engaging with customers — and employees

There is little question that we’re living in the age of purpose-driven customers. “Social justice and the environment are reaching rock star status,” said Primo. “Bigger than professional sports, bigger than fashion, or video games, or tech. They’re becoming things that people care more and more about. And because of that, there’s this emotional switch in people’s minds. They gravitate towards companies that align with their own personal values.”

But don’t overlook the importance of getting buy-in from employees. They’re the engine. You cannot be a purpose-led company without having people that believe in it, and your employees are really the outgrowth and implementation arm. Unless they believe in what you’re doing, unless they’re engaged, unless you have a culture that’s built on that, you will miss steps in the marketplace. They’re the way your purpose actually comes to life.” What’s more, a well-chosen purpose can be an effective recruitment lever.

The five parts of purpose

In simplest terms, becoming a purpose-driven brand breaks down into five parts (not necessarily consecutive stages): Assess, define, amplify, perform and transcend.

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Assess

This is the stage of reflection, homework and research. “Make sure we understand the cultural issues, make sure we understand who we are, it’s a time of self-reflection and evaluation.” She continued: “What I want to be clear about is that that should never go away.”

Definition

“You have the statement that everybody focuses on from a purpose standpoint, but that’s not really the definition stage. It’s all the other things that come with it: How you position your company for that; how you create a strategic and operational framework; how you put in place the alignment mechanisms; how you get really clear about the metrics. That purpose statement may stay the same, but the strategy is always evolving.”

Amplify

Amplification implies integration and alignment. “People forget about this. Do not forget to align your board.” Again, part of that is that having a purpose is consistent with being profitable. “Align your employees, align your clients, align your suppliers.”

The next step in amplification is a “story-telling” phase. “What is your manifesto and what does it mean?” Along with alignment comes the need for conversion and persuasion.

Perform

ESG, for example, need not just be an investment strategy — it can be a long-term performance strategy too. “As you look at ESG,” she explained, “you need to think about your own company, your own values, your purpose, and make sure that KPIs are pulled into that from a measurement standpoint.”

Transcend

The final part of the framework relates to transcendence. There can be a moment when the company actually feels “elevated,” said Primo — but it depends on culture. “Have you built a culture that embraces this and operates using unspoken rules? I think that’s really important. We all get it, we all get it naturally.”

Primo offers examples of companies that have transcended the rules and just become naturally purpose-driven. “Microsoft is a company like that, Patagonia has long been a company like that. I believe Nike is a company like that.”

What it means for marketers

Because reputation is so valuable to brands, encroaching on issues like social justice does carry risk. “From a marketer’s standpoint, this is significant,” she said. “You’ve got to think about how you take your purpose and do this authentically. But you also want to future-proof your marketing strategy for if the purpose fails.” That can happen, Primo admits.

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“You also need agility. The culture is fluid, it’s moving on you. You’ve got an incredibly diverse population; 31% is white male and the rest is something else. You have to understand different points-of-view — and empathy has never been more important than it is today for marketers.”

At the end of the day, purpose builds resilience, Primo argues. “At its essence, my book is about how you make a company more resilient, able to withstand the ups and downs that are going to happen in the reputational market-place in an environment that is shifting at an unbelievable rate.”


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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MARKETING

8 Effective Ways to Ensure Ecommerce Business Success

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8 Effective Ways to Ensure Ecommerce Business Success

It is a known fact that the global consumers are favoring ecommerce, and the reasons for ecommerce business success are many. 

According to a Statista forecast, the retail ecommerce revenue in the US is expected to cross 1.3 trillion dollars by the end of 2025.

Image via Statista

While brick-and-mortar stores are gradually losing their dominance, the digital marketplace is blazing. More and more ecommerce brands, big and small, are coming up and gaining a foothold in this ever-expanding landscape.

If you are one such ecommerce business striving to taste success, you know how demanding and competitive things can be. And you only beat the fierce competition with aggressive ecommerce marketing strategies like digital advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, etc.

In this post, I will be sharing 8 key factors you need to focus on to ensure your ecommerce business success and sustainable business growth. 

Let’s get started.

8 Key Factors for Ecommerce Business Success in 2022

The future of ecommerce is bright and the small businesses that jump on the bandwagon early will reap great benefits. But what does it take to taste this success? 

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Here are the 8 key success factors for ecommerce businesses.

1. Target a Niche Audience 

The secret to ecommerce business success lies in understanding your target audience and focusing all your efforts on engaging them. Instead of trying to attract a broad audience on the search engines, select a niche audience specific to your small business, understand their pain points and interests, and position your brand to meet their needs. An SEO tool like Semrush or Ahrefs can help you with your research to build a strong marketing strategy based on real insights.

The goal is to make your product unique and market it to a relevant audience that is more likely to make a purchase. This strategy can increase customer loyalty and win repeat customers for your small business. Therein lies the secret to your ecommerce business success. 

2. Go Mobile-First 

The pandemic has accelerated our shift to ecommerce and given rise to m-commerce. Insider Intelligence estimates that by 2025, m-commerce sales will account for 44.2% of total ecommerce sales in the US.

So it’s clear that the success of your ecommerce business relies on the mobile-friendliness of your site. Having a mobile-friendly online store can help you deliver a seamless online shopping experience to customers on the go.

You can begin by running Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and building a progressive web application (PWA) for your online store. A responsive design for your website will help boost sales and pave the way for your ecommerce business success.

3. Choose the Right Distribution Channels 

Your audiences are active on different channels and if want your products to be visible to them, you need to choose the right distribution channels. 

If your business model focuses solely on your ecommerce website, you should broaden your perspective and consider other sales channels. There are several other options to sell your products like Amazon, eBay, social media, affiliate marketing, and so on. You can manage your sales process effectively with the help of sales CRM tools. These tools integrate your different sales channels and makes your sales process more efficient.

Conduct extensive research to figure out which of these channels are preferred by your target customers. Showcase your products in an attractive way to boost your ecommerce sales. This digital marketing strategy can contribute to your ecommerce business success.

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4. Create Unique Content

You heard that right. To ensure that your ecommerce brand stands out in the crowd, you should invest in high-quality and diverse content. 

Today internet users are flooded with content and to grab their attention you need to think out of the box and create content marketing strategies that truly grab their attention. Remember, video content is ruling the landscape delivering great results. You can use Premiere Pro Presets to create unique and impressive videos and stay ahead of the competition.

Gather insights from customer data analysis, see what your competitors are doing, and learn from your previous digital marketing campaigns to create a more targeted content marketing strategy for your small business. 

5. Continually Update Your Email Marketing List 

Marketers rely on email marketing to achieve diverse marketing goals. Emails can be used to generate leads, nurture them, build relationships with customers, ensure customer satisfaction and boost ecommerce sales.

But to leverage the power of email marketing, you need to be smart about your email lists and use the right email tools to manage them. There’s no point in sending a thousand emails when only a couple of hundreds of recipients are your target audience. 

That’s why segmenting your email lists and keeping them updated is crucial to your ecommerce business success. An effective way to manage your email lists is to ask for the recipients’ feedback on your emails and the information they prefer to receive.

By analyzing the responses, you can make more strategic decisions and ensure the success of your ecommerce business.

6. Deliver a Great Shopping Experience 

The expectation of customers in terms of customer experience has skyrocketed and that’s why you need to work towards improving customer satisfaction.

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Personalized communication could be one of the biggest game-changers, be it in recommending products, reminding them of abandoned carts, or introducing them to your latest offerings. Creating user story maps can go a long way in making your personalization efforts more effective.

Right from the moment customers land on your page to when they make a purchase, you should strive to create a smooth customer experience. You can also consider incorporating an AI-powered chatbot into your website to take your customer service to the next level.

To make your customers happy, offer them special deals and discounts. Such moves will surely boost your ecommerce business success.

7. Invest in Social Media Marketing

Social media, can be immensely effective in creating brand awareness, extending customer service, and generating leads for your ecommerce business. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are all marketers’ favorites to reach out to niche audiences and drive traffic for their sites.

Having said that, it is a crowded market, and winning big on social media isn’t easy. As an ecommerce brand, you need to use social media analytics to create digital marketing campaigns that not only generate engagement but also fill your sales funnel with quality leads.

Ecommerce brands should also leverage social selling as it is growing into a prominent trend. This shoppable post by Macy’s allows its Facebook followers to buy what they like instantly. 

Image via Facebook

If invested strategically, selling on social media can act as a profitable sales channel for your business. 

8. Leverage Ecommerce Tools

Your team need not struggle to ensure the success of your ecommerce business. A variety of advanced ecommerce tools are at your disposal to optimize your efforts. 

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Some of the must-use tools for you are: 

  • Website tools – to design, set up, and manage your ecommerce site
  • Ecommerce marketing tools – to help strategize and execute your campaigns with ease 
  • Competitor analysis tools – to understand the gaps in your planning and improve it
  • Analytics tools – to help you gauge the performance of your digital marketing campaigns
  • Business tools – to help you manage daily operations, finances, logistics, inventory, and customer service 

Choose the ones that can boost the success of your ecommerce business. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it, a list of 8 key factors you need to work on to ensure the success of your ecommerce business. Gaining this success is hard work but it is worth it. 

If you want to fuel your business growth, I strongly recommend building your ecommerce marketing strategy to enhance customer experience and build your brand identity. Go ahead and give them a try to beat the competition and establish a successful ecommerce business.


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