Purpose is Profit: Create a Sustainable Strategy

There are many factors to consider when creating a successful brand. Some include an invested audience, creating a product or experience that engages that audience, great marketing and ad experience, and much more. But how often would you say you consider what greater purpose your brand could play in the grand scheme of things? 

At PubForum Nashville, Lior Shvo, VP Marketing, Primis discussed this very thing.

In her session, “Doing Some Good: Purpose as a Business Strategy” she uses her company Primis as an example to highlight how defining a greater purpose for your brand is an essential component of creating and sustaining a successful business. 

“Deloitte research shows that brands who prioritize workers across all their businesses go higher or better than other brands,” said Shvo. “because it also affects the business messaging and employee decision making — not only the brand’s consumers.” 

No Purpose = No Long-Term Future

Shvo first encountered purpose as a business strategy back in 2013 when Dove created a campaign centered around women’s empowerment. 

“That purposeful agenda was all about making women feel comfortable in the skin they’re in and to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety,” she said. 

At that time, Shvo was Vice President, Client Relations at UM Worldwide, and one of the brands she worked with was Unilever. She was inspired by a woman she met on the B2C side who led with a product strategy that was quite unconventional at the time. She decided to focus on the consumer instead of the product and really determine how to find a purpose for the product in the consumer’s lives.

This led to the launch of the Dove Real Beauty Campaign. Utilizing the insight that only 2% of women find themselves beautiful, Dove wanted to portray the realistic body type examples of women rather than portraying real women as models.

In 2013, the campaign asked women to describe themselves to a forensic sketch artist who did not see them before drawing them. Those images were compared to sketches where other women described those women to the artist. The images described by other women were more flattering than the ones in which the women described themselves. A video featuring these comparisons shared the message: You are more beautiful than you think. The campaign went on to have great success. Similar Dove campaigns run to this day and have inspired many others to follow suit. 

In fact, that business strategy was so successful that in 2019, Alan Jopa, CEO of Unilever, declared that “brands without purpose have no long-term future.” 

Purpose-Driven Strategies in Ad Tech

In addition, statistics show that purposeful strategies are profitable for every aspect of the business. That includes revenue, employee satisfaction, and brand equity. “High-growth brands prioritize purpose across the organization,” shared Shvo. 

Brands using this strategy saw 42% positive growth for brand messaging, 58% positive growth for guiding employee decision-making, 58% positive growth for driving corporate social responsibility investment strategy, and 66% positive growth for product and service delivery. 

There are companies in ad tech who are capitalizing on this message: 

Scope3 measures end-to-end emissions from across the media and advertising supply chain. Businesses from every side of the industry – both buyers and sellers – use them to help facilitate their data use to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Good-Loop serves adverts for brands while raising money for charity. Brands that work with them choose which charity partner to support, offering an opportunity to be philanthropic while executing a great ad performance. 

Ad For Good is a community of brands and media agencies that want to use advertising as a force for good. Similarly to Good-Loop, advertisers can choose a cause or charity of their choice and donate to them through the ad-selling process. They also have a focus on environmental sustainability. 

Sellers.guide and Sustainable Stream

Primis also focuses on doing social good.

For example, with Sellers.guide, the ad tech company saw a need to improve what they called the “injustice of transparency.” Remember the mysteriously missing 15% uncovered in the ISBA Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study two years ago? Beyond how that data highlighted the lack of transparency in the programmatic supply chain, Primis also realized that many publishers do not know how to properly manage their ads.txt files

With Sellers.guide, the company’s mission is to “help publishers and buyers gain insight into the authenticity of the parties who mediate between them. By doing so, we hope to promote transparency as well as curb ad fraud and other malpractices casting a shadow over the AdTech ecosystem,” said Shvo.

The results speak for themselves. Primis has helped 31,640 domains in 183 countries. 

There’s also Sustainable Stream, launched in partnership with Magnite, which is a video marketplace connecting environmentally conscious content creators, with publishers and brands. The initiative will generate funding for the production and distribution of content related to combating climate change and provide publishers and advertisers with high-quality content on this topic.

“As a video platform company, we already know that content, video content especially, is a key factor in driving change,” said Shvo. “We know that awareness, education, and emotion shape consciousness and behavior.” 

Already, in only four months since launching, Sustainable Stream brought in $1.4 million in ad spend and accrued 690 million views. This is proof that purpose-driven campaigns are not only beneficial for the larger society but are also profitable for brands.

“So I urge you not to ask yourself to be the change which is something that is kind of privileged and I think maybe works best for nonprofit organizations,” says Shvo. “But just ask yourself, How can you be the profitable change?”