Purpose marketing was one of the buzz phrases of 2014 and marketers exploring this area were pretty much starting from scratch according to an analysis of popular articles on Warc.

The most-read article on this subject, In pursuit of brand purpose, set out what purpose is, why an organisation would aspire to one, and how a business should go about creating purpose.

In second place, a Havas Worldwide Prosumer report, The new consumer and the sharing economy, outlined how consumers are looking towards 'smarter consumption' and making purchases based on social values as a solution to the choice they face between overconsumption or a weakening national economy.

An Admap Prize-winning paper was the third most-read piece on purpose marketing. In The age of less: How brands are built in the digital age, Megan Averell of GalKal argued that consumers want different things from brands, which need to be restrained in their marketing, sticking to truths about the brands and not making false emotional promises.

In fourth, Brand meaning: Brand equals Image, saw consultant Paul Feldwick discuss the interaction between a brand's image and its values, arguing that the relationship is often not as expected. Instead of brands choosing values and then creating imagery to communicate these, many successful brands have chosen a visual identity with little thought, by chance, or just because they thought it looked nice.

Finally, Gareth Kay of Zeus Jones called for a new approach to advertising that places purpose and experience at the centre of activity. His article entitled The post-disruptive advertising era argued that brands should move towards serving people, reducing friction and doing things rather than saying things.

For more details about the most read papers on Warc in 2014 on other topics, visit our Most Read page.

Data sourced from Warc