Can marketing really help change the world for the better?

You don’t have to look too hard to see the world’s challenges. You also don’t have to look too hard to see that marketing doesn’t always have the greatest image as a profession currently.

Aug 27, 2021

By Neil Davidson

With that in mind, it might seem far-fetched to suggest that marketers could be a driving force in changing the world for the better and make marketing more appealing as a result. But is it really?

What difference can a marketing mindset make in the world?

It’s too easy to focus on the negative perceptions about marketing and forget the unique attributes of marketers. The best marketers have a structured approach to problem-solving, a focus on understanding people, and are focused on creative solutions. We shouldn’t take these attributes for granted, along with the capability to just make things happen. These are marketers’ secret powers that are underutilised in a world that is struggling to solve big issues that will affect all our futures.

Mark Ritson talks about the marketing process being focused on three stages (diagnosis, strategy, and tactics) and it’s this approach that helps marketers look at the world’s challenges differently. We also shouldn’t underestimate the power of looking at a problem through the lens of what makes people tick, that we are rarely as rational as we want to believe and that approaches such as emotions or nudges often trigger changes, along with truly understanding mindsets and emotions over demographics.

And let’s not underestimate the power of creativity in changing the world. If you agree that a definition of creativity must have both originality and effectiveness at its heart, then that definition itself shows that bringing creativity to problems greatly increases the chances of making a difference.

Most marketers are frustrated changemakers.

Based on speaking to many marketers, there are peaks in our desire to make a difference in the world at the early stages and later stages of our careers. This involves a questioning of whether there isn’t more to marketing at the start of our careers and a wish that there was at the end. As a result, many marketers are frustrated change makers.

It’s also clear that there is a desire to tackle different problems amongst marketers, particularly those that make a real difference, and it could be a virtuous circle. Marketers are more rewarded by maximizing the impact of their skills in the world and the image of marketing is improved as a result, bringing more people into marketing who want to make a difference.

Some marketers are doing this already as part of, a membership community of marketers, brands, and causes launched to bring us together to create positive change. MarketingKind does offer marketers an opportunity to be part of a movement to trigger change by using their unique skills and energies. HeyHuman was delighted to support MarketingKind by carrying strategy and insight work leading to its launch campaign.

Even if you don’t take part in a cause or a marketing community driven by doing good things it’s worth remembering what marketers can and should be doing when they are their best, and how they can make positive change in the world happen.