Council on Advanced Marketing Is Seeking a Few Good Advertisers

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Recently I reported helping to launch the Laboratory for Advanced Marketing with Anne Bologna and John Zweig. Since then, we decided that measurement is important to the advancement of marketing, but it isn't the entire thing. So we started to think about how we could best shift marketing to a company's focus on how to improve people's lives through the medium of the products they produce.

Hence the creation of the Council on Advanced Marketing within which resides the Laboratory. We are now seeking a few good advertisers for the Council. If you are interested in helping to shape this effort on behalf of humankind and marketers, please contact me at bill@humaneffectivenessinstitute.org, which has been developing ideas such as these for years and will now have an outlet through which to activate them.

There are three things marketers can do which are incremental to their latest good efforts, and likely to have even more positive effects on brand growth and quarterly ROI.

  1. Ask each of your employees individually to think about it and come back and tell the company what it could do to make it an even more inspiring place to work, even less frustrating, and offering that person even more of a chance to express their own creativity. Create and distribute content from this process free to the world so that it may be emulated.
  2. Use brand content on television (in ad pods) as well as in digital, where it is already one of the highest ROI digital media. Create inspiring content of all kinds, food for positive thought, quotes from uplifting thinkers, "brought to you" by your brand. If it catches on, also create a free app by which people can tune in to your channel whenever they need a boost. Other brands may be doing the same thing by then, but each brand will have its own flavor, and people will spend more time with the flavors they like best, and you'll want to be on their short list. People all browse to find content that will give them a boost, and today many settle for cute cat videos or solitaire. Your brand can and should have its own channel as a content creator. There are no natural barriers like silos in a company: all people and organizations do marketing, and therefore all can use the whole spectrum of marketing tools, including publishing unique original content that helps identify the emotional and ethical levels of your brand.
  3. Discover what it is that you can teach young people of all ages, what are the most important learnings your company has made. Create and distribute content around that. But go further: offer your content and your people to speak virtually in schools at all age levels. Share what you believe will be helpful from what you've learned as a company and as individuals. Go even further: create work/study programs where people from very early ages can see what it would be like to become a member of your team. Give them first opportunity for employment when they are ready. Start with summer internships, at even earlier grade levels.

"As corporations have arguably become the most powerful economic and social forces in the world, the impact of marketing must be taken seriously," says John Zweig. "It is after all the means by which corporate value is communicated and therefore plays a vital complementary role linking companies' products and services to the needs and aspirations of people. It is a fascinating and important discipline in its own right, as it melds advanced technologies with creative expression; it fuses the commercial with the aesthetic; and it combines the empirical sciences with the art of intuition. 

"There is no category of knowledge or field of inquiry that falls outside the context of marketing -- from the broadest societal levels of thinking to the most profound depths of an individual human psyche, marketing touches and must embrace everything," he continues. "We are really talking about the collective, synergistic manifestation of the fundamental rhythm of civilized life. In simpler terms, and from the point of view of the customer, marketing is everything."

Anne Bologna agrees. "Great brands realize their promise from the inside out (consider Apple, Nike, Glossier and Amazon) so it's imperative for corporate leaders to start by igniting their own workforce," she says. "The pandemic has been a catalyst for elevating personal purpose and values. Gartner surveyed more than 3,500 employees around the world and 65% said the pandemic had made them rethink the place that work should have in their life. Fifty-six percent said it made them want to contribute more to society. It's no surprise then that as of March of 2022, 44% of the workforce is actively seeking a new job.

"The era of workers providing services purely for monetary purposes is over," she adds. "Employees want a place that shares their values and provides a sense of purpose in their lives -- especially among Gen Z, the cohort that represents our future. They want employers to recognize their value and provide value to them on a human level. While compensation is essential for survival, deeper relationships, a sense of community and purpose-driven work is essential to thrive. This is the value that employees expect their employers to provide. Among the proof points of that is that in 2022, organizations are adding new measures that assess employees' mental, physical and financial health. A Gartner 2020 survey of 52 HR executives found that 94% of companies made significant investments in their well-being programs.

"But all this still isn't enough. Which is why John and I fully endorse Bill's positive and productive suggestions for involving and engaging the employees of your company. Companies serving customers are not merely staffed and run by people; but rather companies are their people, supported by the resources, structure, systems and -- most important -- the real as opposed to the stated mission and values of the business. No organization can rise any higher than the capacity of an individual to use his or her own creative power."

"The first task of every marketing company is to provide access to opportunities for its people to express and integrate their own unique powers to know, to help, to create, to persist, to win and to become," Zweig concludes. "This is the reservoir from which flows the motivation to work in teams that cut across the boundaries of organizations, cost centers and functions; and from this derives the power to launch, sustain, renew and reinvent brands that tap the enormous potential for human benefit and business growth."

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