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Marketing on Purpose in a Data-Driven World

Chris Sullivan

November 8, 2016
Chris Sullivan

I spent a couple of days in New York City last week attending ad: tech 2016. Walking into the Jacob Javitz Center, I was ready to learn, ready to connect and ready to be inspired. 36 hours later, my mission was accomplished.

ad tech      Ad Tech

If I can take away 2-3 great insights from a conference, tradeshow or even a business book, I consider the time and money spent as a good investment. In this case, I walked away with 10-12 very good insights and am eager to share them over the coming weeks with clients, colleagues and prospects.


But one insight rose to the top; and it was barely discussed at all.


Marketing on your brand’s purpose is the most important thing you can do in a data driven world.


Let me explain my rationale.


The speakers, panelists and exhibitors spoke with great passion about the ability of today’s technologies. Artificial intelligence. Machine learning. Augmented reality. Virtual reality. Fraud detection. Omni-channel lead and sales attribution modeling. Audience targeting options. The list goes on. But today’s tech could be the worst thing for a company that does not include their purpose within the narrative of their story.


Imagine having the ability to (almost) perfectly target your audience at the right time, at the right place … with the wrong message. Imagine putting time and money into an advertising campaign that pulled all the right data levers, yet pulled no heartstrings?


Research shows that people still buy on an emotional level, then justify it through logic post-purchase. Which means that crafting your brand’s story around its purpose is still the most meaningful exercise you can do from a marketing standpoint.


Marketing on purpose should always come first. Applying the benefits of ad: tech to reach the right people comes second.