The credit card offer in the mail wasn’t addressed to me; it was addressed to my 16-year old daughter. As a parent, I was definitely put on edge, mentally starting a whole new list of “lessons” I need to impart before she leaves the safety of home – like fiscal responsibility, and how to avoid mistakes I’ve made.
I already see the influence of consumerism on my two teens. From fashion to music to technology, they are confronted with a long list of “must-haves” that are an everyday part of this teenage life.
As a marketer, I have to pause, asking myself – how do I contribute to the “buy-now” economy that puts individuals, businesses, and governments into no-win scenarios of financing purchases? Do I share in the responsibility for irresponsible spending?
I tossed out that direct mail offer and began an impromptu evaluation of my marketing values. I’m sharing a few insights here with the hopes that my musings might inspire the continued movement towards conscious spending.
Market people and products you can believe in.
Over the past 6 months at Allegory, we have helped launch several entrepreneurial businesses, including an organization that creates music programs for young children, a design firm that specializes in one-of-a-kind Safari tents, and an investment firm that works to advance senior living opportunities.
We have helped a well-established transportation firm showcase innovations that have landed them on the front cover of prominent industry publications. And we are rebranding another transportation firm, helping them turn their commitment to customers into a story that helps them grow.
Great stories are about the people and passion behind their business. Are you working on projects aligned with your principles?
Make sure it’s about more than money.
There is a huge cultural movement towards the meaningful. In her book, Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism, Patricia Aburdene describes why the new consumer who no longer weighs buying decisions on product and price alone. Rather they consider the company itself and ideals it represents through its business practices.
She says, “Organizations need to understand the importance of positive uplifting values, and “how to live their values” through their brand.
Authenticity is a powerful strategic advantage. What does your brand stand for?
Spend a client’s investment wisely.
Many clients come in with big goals, but little idea about what it will take to achieve them. They are putting their trust in us to create a plan that will move them forward without breaking the bank.
We must approach their marketing as if it were our money we were spending. Understanding all of the possible options, we need to help them prioritize and narrow down to an approach they can afford. Sometimes this means encouraging a client to spend more on certain aspects of a project because we know its an investment that will pay off.
How would you spend the money if you ran the circus?