BMA annual: Purpose-inspired marketing crucial to winning business

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Chicago—Marketers need to move beyond the traditional “four Ps” (product, price, place and promotion) to a higher one—purpose, veteran advertising agency executive Roy Spence said Wednesday in his “scene-setting remarks” at the BMA annual conference here. Spence, co-founder and chairman of GSD&M, Austin, Texas, said marketers need to “get out of the selling business and into the business of helping others be successful. In purpose-inspired relationships, there is no "them,' only "us.' ” While in the past, having a purpose was considered “nice,” it's now crucial to winning prospects' business, said Spence, author of “It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purpose” (Portfolio, 2009). “They're not going to do business with companies that aren't in the business to make their lives better,” he said. Spence cited several purpose-inspired clients of his agency, including Motorola Solutions and Southwest Airlines. In Motorola's case, the purpose is succinctly stated: “We help people be the best they can be in the moments that matter most.” Southwest's purpose is captured in its slogan: “We give people the freedom to fly.” Spence said this was borne out in the carrier's response to competitors' decisions to charge for checked bags. Southwest decided to pass up this additional revenue stream because it flew in the face of the airline's purpose, he said. Instead, it launched its “Bags Fly Free” campaign created by GSD&M. The move ended up paying off handsomely, Spence said, as the decision to not charge for checked bags resulted in $1.2 billion in new revenue.
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