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  • Writer's pictureLynn Tan

Why Marketing Conversations Must Switch from "Profit"​ to "Purpose"​

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

2020 closed with a glimmer of hope as businesses resumed operations in multiple markets, and global vaccination rollouts were announced. While we are not out of the woods just yet, what I’ve observed this time is the boundless perseverance of humans. Digital technologies have also bridged the gap between people, places, and processes in a way and speed that most of us had not anticipated.

Gartner reflected this in their 2021 predictions on top strategic trends, including anywhere operations, saying that “By the end of 2023, 40% of organizations will have applied anywhere operations to deliver optimized and blended virtual and physical customer and employee experiences.” To this point, I believe that beyond digital technology, investments in knowledge-sharing and an intrinsic understanding of human perspectives will be critical to progress in 2021.

Mind the Gap

If you talk about digital transformation for industries like banking, and telecommunications, they are the early adopters and well-positioned to maintain a sustainable and competitive pace of change right into the new normal.

But not all industries or businesses can do the same. While thinking about capabilities, how do we facilitate knowledge exchange and provide equal opportunities to businesses and communities that are willing to change? I believe it starts with an openness to share and continue to pool resources for the collective.

I’m privileged to work with partners within the community and our global partner ecosystem to drive such possibilities. For example, we announced that as part of our global TIBCO4Good™ initiative, we began work on a program called "Back on Your Feet' with Singapore Management University (SMU) and She Loves Data to educate individuals affected by the global pandemic.

As part of its first phase, She Loves Data offers a series of workshops and training modules, with course content developed by SMU's School of Information Systems, to individuals who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. The workshops provide participants with the skills and techniques to design, develop, and deploy analytic dashboards.

Working with the university, students, and community, individuals who complete the workshops are certified as dashboard and forecasting specialists and receive a free Spotfire license for a year. e2i, Employment & Employability Institute, also highlighted this workshop series via its LinkedIn page. What’s more, participating in “Back on Your Feet” offers all the opportunity to apply for the paid Dashboard Specialist Badge to add to their CV and profile on LinkedIn for better opportunities within the data analytics space.

According to EDB Singapore, data analytics services are expected to reach $37 billion by 2022. With our collective resources invested, we’re hoping to narrow such skill gaps, while also supporting market demands.

So how does knowledge-sharing and understanding human perspective relate to #BetterMarketingTogether? This boils down to innovating together. We’re all familiar with the proverb, “Two heads are better than one.” Its meaning holds true in organizations and communities alike. Professor Jane E.Dutton wrote about how creating quality connections within an organization makes for better learning, so why not expand this to internal and external partners (i.e. your communities)?

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

By sharing knowledge, you learn from each other and also amplify opportunities for growth through cultivating such high-quality connections. Another happy “by-product” of creating and nurturing high-quality connections is for us to gain insights on how others perceive you as an individual, professional partner, your value to them, and in effect, what you can bring to the table as a vendor or supplier. Over time, you can build a network of knowledge connections whom you can tap on for specific counsel to achieve the best outcome of any given challenge, in my case, the goal of doing #BetterMarketingTogether.

New Hopes for Tomorrow

For #BetterMarketingTogether to work, we need both aspirations and investments. Investment in time, people and more importantly, openness to collaboration. Investing in building meaningful connections will take a lot more work than it used to. We’ll have fewer opportunities to build rapport through face-to-face interactions, we’ll have fewer opportunities to gather international partners in a single location to inspire and motivate each other, we’ll rely a lot more on a willingness to be present (virtually), to be authentic, and to deliver on the promise.

We’ll rely a lot more on a willingness to be present (virtually), to be authentic, and to deliver on the promise.

A collaborative many-to-many relationship with a common purpose can drive greater successes, but all parties need to see a benefit to getting involved, with the obvious and increased investment of time and resources required. A win-win situation then is where all partners are actively engaged, regardless of investments.

I believe that this approach fully aligns with how marketing will evolve in a post-pandemic world. Besides gearing up towards a fully-digitalized world, we need to move from a “Profit” conversation to one about “Purpose”. This is not something new. In 2018, almost two-thirds of the world’s consumers make their purchasing decisions based on beliefs. We can only assume that this trend will persist and prevail in the days to come. Marketing, as the custodian to the voice of our customers, needs to be the vanguard of any organization to push forward for a future that’s #BetterTogether.

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