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Purpose-driven marketing conference encourages students to market for good

Featured Events | Feb 26, 2018 |

Panelists at the Seizing the Leadership panel, part of the ANA and Center for Positive Marketing conference.

What’s the purpose of marketing? Depending on whom you ask, the answer might include concepts like relationship-building, brand awareness, or even simply making money for a company.

At a recent Association of National Advertisers (ANA) member conference, held over two days at Fordham University in conjunction with Fordham’s Center for Positive Marketing, the focus was on a different kind of purpose.

In purpose-driven marketing, according to William Comcowich, founder of Glean.info, “the product brings meaning to the customer’s life, beyond its obvious use.”

Dawn Lerman, professor and associate dean of graduate studies at the Gabelli School and executive director of the Center for Positive Marketing, adds to that description, saying “it also brings meaning to the company and its employees and, if done well, helps serve society.”

Lerman uses KIND snacks as an example. “It’s on a mission to ‘make the world a little kinder,'” she says, by offering food that is marketed as “kinder to our bodies, kinder to our taste buds, and kinder to the world.”

The ANA notes that this drive to serve a greater purpose has “prompted many companies to evaluate how they as employers are acquiring and retaining younger talent who are looking for more meaning in their careers.”

Throughout the first day of the ANA conference, representatives from major brands shared stories of their experience with purpose-driven marketing and how it can be used to drive growth in businesses. The day ended with a student session geared specifically toward younger members of the business world.

This final session featured Debbie King, VP, strategy, NFL; Keenan Beasley, co-founder, Blkbox; Seth Goldberger, VP, marketing, Marchon Eyewear; and Mel Clements, VP, digital marketing, Mastercard.

Debbie King, VP, strategy, NFL.

Below are some takeaways from students who attended the conference:

“It was eye-opening to discover how purpose-driven marketing at BNY Mellon, the New York Times, Mini, and Whirlpool [has had a] strong positive effect driving revenue and actively engaging every level and department in the business.

A successful campaign will not only connect with clients but it will also actively engage employees and the wider community—both locally and globally—and help stimulate innovation [and] futurist thinking and become the platform for the strategy and direction of the business for years to come.” —Jessica Wade, MBA ’19

“I found the common themes of the panel—curiosity, data, and entrepreneurship—really resonated with me as they are part of my background, given that I’ve launched my own company and worked closely with entrepreneurs and startups. It will be helpful as I apply for jobs in the coming weeks, as it has opened my mind on how I can apply this background to my career and my next challenge.” —Kelly Davis, MBA ’18

“From the NFL to Beyonce’s fragrance, these speakers gave so much wisdom, advice, and stories that kept my excitement growing.” —Ashley Silvers, MS ’18

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