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June 22, 2021


The importance of value-based marketing

In Deloitte Digital’s recent report, “Navigating Uncertainty: The Protector, the Pragmatist, and the Prevailer,” 16,000 people were surveyed about the motivations that matter to humans. Utilizing yet another fancy algorithm and a tidy acronym (HXTM), they determined that it is critical for organizations to understand the human experience—and the nuances emerging in today’s landscape.

Data and algorithms have a place in this world, but any marketing mind probably doesn’t need to validate what they inherently know—great companies are addicted to understanding what matters most to people. The best marketers have a deeper understanding of the marketplace that goes beyond the antiseptic demographics that dominate segmentation.

The past year has underscored the need to shift focus from demographics to value-based marketing. In other words, connecting deeper with clients and prospects has taken on a new level of importance in a world that seems much less trustworthy. If marketers truly want to have an impact then they have an opportunity to galvanize the entire organization around a single mission of trust-by focusing on the values that matter to the customers and employees.

Historically, marketing has considered demographics such as location, age, and gender as key inputs while segmenting audiences and crafting messages that resonate with the customer. But demographics are really a “best guess” method of meeting people’s needs and spurring action-they are, at best, a proxy for how the customer may behave or what they value. On the contrary, by speaking directly to what people value, marketers can inform the entire organization of a more meaningful way of addressing the needs of the people they are built to serve.

It is an amazing time to listen better and great marketers are all about listening. And the vehicles of authentic listening might be a bit retro. Utilizing print as a part of a content strategy is a wonderful way to engage in the heavily diluted digital world. Forming advisory boards or focus groups are not just a wonderful way to listen, they also offer you the chance to create some depth to some of your most important relationships. Regardless of the platform, finding a way to uncover what people value and the underlying emotions that dictate their decisions is critical.

Empathy has become quite the buzzword these days but marketers have always found that changing focus from what people look like to what they value creates a stronger link to customer behavior. They understand that values inform our feelings and, consequently, our actions. That is, when a brand connects on a humane, empathic level, people are more open to trusting its intentions and believing that their needs are truly being addressed. Further, by understanding people’s values, brands can ensure that the promises they make actually align to what their audiences care about most.

Values matter to each of us. And if we really want to matter to clients, their values must matter more.

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