Marketing - Using your powers for good

There are so many depressing and distressing news stories at the moment but this is being countered with an increase in feel good news items. From the reports of people shopping and cooking for elderly neighbours, to the 99 year old war veteran who hoped to raise £1000 for the NHS by doing 100 laps of his garden, leading to £29m (and counting) being raised worldwide ( These acts of kindness led us to think about how Marketing can and should play its part in creating a happier, kinder world.

In this age of social media, for any business the holy grail of a marketing campaign is to see it go viral. One person sees it, likes it, shares it and this is repeated by others, creating something that is talked about in pubs, offices and restaurants (when they are open, of course!). But in reality, very few businesses will ever achieve this and focussing on new sales or product range isn’t going to inspire much more interaction than from employees and a few customers.

The stories that people relate to and want to share are those where an act of kindness, or for the greater good, has happened. And the more positive behaviours are shared, the more other people want to do the same. So instead of more products being sold off the back of a campaign, more acts of kindness occur leading to a happier, healthier society.

That’s not to say that businesses shouldn’t promote their products and services, after all they need to generate revenue and profit to employ staff and keep the economy going. But if marketeers put kindness at the heart of their strategy, they would find they receive more engagement.

Look at what your companies are doing to support local and national charities. Talk about the innovations to reduce environmental impact and engage with your staff. Chances are many of them have been silently carrying out random acts of kindness, so highlight their stories. Most of all be genuine, truthful and transparent. Don’t jump on a bandwagon that you can’t substantiate because that will do more to harm your brand than sitting back and admiring others’ achievements.

Above all be kind to everyone!

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