Opinion
June 26, 2020

Top tips for marketing professionals trying to make a difference

We are currently standing at the crossroads of our planet’s future.

The climate emergency is at a critical point, social justice is at the forefront of our global consciousness and we, as a species, have some major choices to make soon.


AM+A in partnership with General Assembly hosted a panel talk on: how we can improve the world using communications and digital marketing.
From the need to tell stories and writing from the heart, to the importance of creating conversation and knowing your audience.

Here are five top tips for how you & your organisation can help make a difference and improve the world through marketing.


1. Create a conversation

The development of digital media over the last decade has made a huge difference in the way we receive campaigns. For a long time communications had been very one-way and broadcast to audiences. Now, it’s essential and even expected that audiences are engaged in conversation, especially campaigns that have some form of social justice element. If your company has expertise, this may mean holding back slightly to engage people in conversation.

Tip: By empowering people to come up with their own answers to problems, you increase the amount of people who form an opinion and become actively involved.


2. Know when you have won

When creating a campaign, aim to work backwards from a single goal. You can never have a good campaign with multiple objectives, you need to know when you have won. For an issue like climate change, for example, you can’t just have a climate change campaign, you’ve got to define what it is in the short and medium term that you are going to achieve.

Tip: Think about the ‘photograph moment’, whether it’s a piece of legislation being passed or a number of sign-ups to a petition, you have to have a clear idea of what that ‘winning moment’ looks like. Then you can focus on achieving it.


3. Tell stories & write from the heart

The human angle is always the strongest way to form a connection between the consumer and your campaign. The new digital age makes storytelling easier and more immersive than ever before, meaning we can form deeper connections and mobilise people in huge numbers.

Tip: Whether you are writing copy, creating visuals or designing graphics, your passion and the story have to cut through the noise.


4. Identify & know your audience

It may seem obvious, but the starting point of any kind of communications initiative has to be ‘who is it we are trying to reach?’. The approaches and messaging that will work for one segment of your audience will almost certainly not work with another. However you decide to segment, be it social class, age or income, it’s vital to understand what each of these groups want to hear.

Tip: There’s no right or wrong, you just have to know which audience you are talking about and not generalise too much. Once you have done this, you need to really get to know that audience and learn what makes them tick.


5. Be an activist

Be an active part of the story. As a marketing, PR or digital person you need to immerse yourself in what the story is and capture it for yourself. Be an activist in the sense of ‘being active’, whether it’s rebuilding, rewilding or marching, get in there and tell the story for yourself.

Tip: There are plenty of brands that tag along with the ‘make the world a better place’ attitude, but they don’t always walk the walk. It’s important that as an organisation or as an individual, you really live that mantra if you want to make real change.


A big thank you to our wonderful panel for taking part:

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