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Purpose drives performance

News, 02 November 2015

ORLANDO, FL: Marketing efforts at "overperforming" companies are typically purpose-led, data-driven and consistent across touchpoints, according to initial results from the Insights2020 project being led by Millward Brown Vermeer.

Marc de Swaan Arons, Millward Brown Vermeer's cmo/executive board member, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Masters of Marketing Conference.

More specifically, he reported that organisations which are "overperforming" in terms of revenue growth tend to have a set of characteristics in common.

"Eighty percent of the people in those [overperforming] companies told us that they linked everything that they do to a very clearly defined brand purpose," he said. (For more, including further tips for brands, read Warc's exclusive report: Insights2020: Are marketers "truly" consumer-centric?)

Among these leading firms, purpose represents "the North Star for all decisions", as well as providing the basis for "societal movements" and consumer-concentric engagement.

By contrast, the study - the founding partners of which include the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), ESOMAR, Kantar, Korn Ferry and LinkedIn - revealed that the laggards often lack an equally definite vision.

"Within the companies that had self-identified themselves as 'underperforming' organisations over the last three years," only 32% had linked their entire marketing function to a brand purpose, said de Swaan Arons.

Insights2020 was based on 325 interviews with business, marketing, insights and analytics leaders, alongside survey responses from 10,000 practitioners in 60 countries, behaviour analysis by LinkedIn and crowdsourcing efforts led by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

And it also discovered that data-driven customisation and touchpoint consistency - two complicated tasks at a time of digitally-driven change - were hallmarks of the "overperforming" group.

This study follows on from Marketing2020, which was supported by the ANA, Spencer Stuart and Adobe, and aimed to ascertain how marketing strategies, structures and capabilities could best be aligned.

Agency2020, headed up by the 4A's, drew on input from marketing and agency thought leaders to look at how the agency ecosystem is evolving and outline valuable next steps.

Data sourced from Warc