Skip to content
All posts

Why Intentional Marketing Versus Traditional Marketing?

But first, What is Intentional Marketing?

If branding is built on the emotional bond between you and your audience, matched with rational brand positioning and differentiating features to set your brand apart. Then intentional marketing is the strategic approach that aligns your brand’s messaging with deliberate actions, programs, and purpose-driven efforts. It is a strategic approach that goes beyond simply executing a marketing or business development plan. Intentional marketing aligns a company’s marketing efforts with a clear and meaningful purpose to build a deeper connection – and trust – with clients and prospects.

Intentional, purpose-driven marketing resonates with clients who value companies that stand for something, often communicated in branding. It is this authenticity that enables the creation of a deeper emotional bond with the client. All of which ultimately leads to increased brand loyalty, referrals to others, the retention of clients, and business growth.

How Does Intentional Marketing Differ From Traditional Marketing?

While the goals of traditional marketing dovetail with intentional marketing, they are not the same. Traditional marketing is charged with the promotion and sale of products and services. And of conveying messages to persuade consumers or prospective clients to act. Intentional marketing prioritizes the education of the audience on the product, service, and company – and focuses on brand to foster trust. Intentional marketing utilizes thought leadership efforts to deliver the knowledge and insights to target audiences and to demonstrate expertise, address client needs, inspire, empower, and foster that trust. And sell products and services.

While both traditional and intentional marketing attempt to build long-term, high value relationships, intentional marketing focuses first on trust, a vital asset that takes time to establish. Instead of bombarding audiences with a high volume of marketing messages, intentional marketing emphasizes the delivery of high-quality, relevant content with genuine benefit. And at all times, these messages are aligned with the company’s purpose and values, not disconnected from the company’s broader purpose and mission. Intentional marketing is about getting behind your brand, in word and deed.

The Benefits of Intentional Marketing

The benefits of this approach include:

  • Enhanced brand loyalty. Clients are more likely to support and remain loyal to brands that align with their values and beliefs.
  • Differentiation. Intentional marketing can help a company stand out in a crowded marketplace.
  • Enhanced reputation. Companies that engage in intentional marketing are often viewed more positively.
  • Attraction of other, like-minded clients. Intentional marketing can help attract other clients who share similar values, resulting in more engagement and long-term relationships.
  • Employee Engagement. Intentional, purpose-driven marketing helps not only to define your company to your employees but can help boost their morale and satisfaction. As first ring ambassadors, and internal brand champions, your employees play a crucial role in promoting and embodying the company’s brand values and messages both within the organization and to external stakeholders.

Who Does Intentional Marketing Well?

Companies across the Virgin Group don’t just market their products and services, they fully promote their brand’s values and commitment to entrepreneurship, innovation, change for good, building something they can be proud of, and providing incredible experiences. And this resonates in all aspects of their marketing: they develop and nurture businesses, they focus on the customer experience, and they are vocal about social and environmental causes – both as they relate operationally to their businesses and in their support of charitable causes within the community. This focus on a shared, common purpose goes beyond transactional relationships with their customers and has helped them to build long term brand loyalty and connect to their consumers on a deeper level. Virgin is often open about their challenges and progress in pursuing their purpose – and it is this transparency and authenticity that also builds trust among their audience.

But it is not just Virgin. Patagonia has long been known for its strong brand identity focused on building the best product, providing the best service, and constantly improving everything they do. Environmental activism is intertwined with their product strategy: their products are designed to be useful, versatile, long-lasting, repairable, and recyclable. They align their purpose, branding, and marketing efforts by promoting sustainable practices and encouraging customers to buy less and recycle more. The shoe company TOMS has also integrated intentional marketing. Their ‘One for One’ model, where they donate a pair of shoes for every pair sold, is at the core of their brand. This purpose-driven approach not only shapes their marketing, but also establishes a strong connection to their customers who want to support socially responsible businesses.

Over the years, professional services firms in law, accounting, and management consulting have also embraced intentional marketing. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), one of the "Big Four" accounting firms, has demonstrated a strong alignment between branding, purpose, and marketing. Their brand is built around professionalism, integrity, and a commitment to delivering quality services. Their purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. They emphasize their purpose by focusing on societal and environmental issues through global initiatives including sustainability efforts. And via intentional marketing thought leadership, PwC provides expert analysis and data driven insights via their 'strategy + business' publication that educates and engages their audience.

Intentional marketing can make a lasting impact on long term brand equity. By consistently delivering on its purpose and values, companies like Virgin, Patagonia, TOMS, PwC, and yours, can create a strong sense of emotional connection with clients and prospects. And it is this loyalty that goes beyond the quality of products or services as customers identify with the brand’s larger mission. Turning brand equity into brand sales.