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Driving Authentic Connections: The Earned Mindset Advantage

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Someone sagely once declared, “you can’t buy love,” a nugget of wisdom applicable not just to the mysterious realms of romance, but also to the bustling world of marketing. It might sound surprising, but marketers try to buy love daily, their strategies increasingly suffused with data-driven intricacies.

This one’s for you, marketers: Love, loyalty, reputation, respect – you might try buying these treasures, and occasionally you may succeed, albeit momentarily. But the surefire way to snag these golden grails of business isn’t by buying them; it’s by earning them.

And no, this isn’t another dreary dialectic on “earned media.” Rather, this is an invigorating appeal for something more substantial and influential — an earned “mindset.” Because to earn value, you need to provide value. Let’s unpack why this is essential.

Why An Earned Mindset Matters?

The world as we know it has undergone significant transformations, and amidst our most sophisticated technologies that eerily mimic humanity, real human-ness has become our behavioral compass. It’s a silver lining in a world constantly aflame with crises.

We’re living in the age of the permacrisis – a ceaseless fusion of health, social, climate, economic, and geopolitical issues that render the backdrop of life an ever-burning stage. We’ve been stretched thin, each hour a potential scroll away from the next heart-wrenching situation. We’ve reached a point where we seek the guidance, wisdom, and comfort that only human-ness can provide, even as we engage with cutting-edge technologies.

Our media landscape is a vast, fragmented sphere. Gone are the days of a single, trusted source of information. Instead, we’re navigating a dizzying digital maze influenced by algorithms, polarized views, and ever-changing content that’s equal parts brilliant and chaotic. Navigating this labyrinth takes skills. Skills born of an earned mindset.

The Reality of Today’s Content Landscape

Imagine yottabytes (a septillion bytes) of content. It’s an intimidating, near-infinite volume of content, most of which goes unnoticed. To put it simply, that’s an endless trail of content disappearing into oblivion.

A sobering reality for us in the marketing world is that despite generating gigabytes of content to tell compelling brand stories, people often don’t seem to care. A staggering 77 percent of consumers claim to have no relationship with brands, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Consumers do care, however, about not feeling marketed to. A report from Blockthrough’s 2021 PageFair indicates that hundreds of millions are paying to block digital advertising. Governments worldwide are also stepping up to regulate the use of personal data for commercial purposes. By 2023’s end, Gartner predicts that data privacy regulation will cover 65 percent of the world’s population’s personal information.

Now, we’re faced with a unique dilemma. 8 billion of us on this planet are grappling with never-ending crises, seeking information and entertainment from various sources in a churning media eco-system. The more data brings the commercial world closer to us, the more regulation is imposed to protect us. It’s time for a new approach.

The New Golden Rule: Earn Value by Contributing Value

The answer to our conundrum? Do something. Contribute value.

As brand custodians, we can earn value by contributing value to the communities and stakeholders vital to our brand. Whether it’s speaking out on an issue, co-creating culture with a community, evolving a product to align with a company’s beliefs or unmet needs, reimagining a business model to better serve emerging communities, or disrupting long-standing taboos or stale protocols, making a move is essential.

Remember, this action need not be grandiose, heralded as audacious or heroic. Your most significant action might be simply to listen more intently, to understand more profoundly, and to commit to delivering differently for those who depend on your brand or product, be they users or employees.

Activating Your Moves In-Culture

No matter the moves we make, it’s crucial to activate them within the culture, crafting campaigns that earn coverage and conversation. We won’t add lasting value by momentarily reflecting culture or piercing it. Instead, we must fluidly interact within culture, offering enduring value.

I can hear your thoughts – “Wasn’t this supposed to be more than a discourse on earned media?” It is, indeed. The concept of an “earned mindset,” the understanding that we have a responsibility to contribute value to earn it, doesn’t nullify the use of paid media. In reality, the optimal approach to crafting an effective campaign blends the enduring brand-building of “earned” with the rapid, short-term impact of precision marketing.

The sphere of influence of your “earned mindset” transcends any conventional earned media tactical plan. It’s when we successfully align with cultural salience that we create meaningful impact.

The Power of Cultural Salience

Research by the Weber Shandwick Collective in collaboration with the IPA, a leader in advertising standards and effectiveness, revealed that culturally salient campaigns—those with core elements that spur coverage and conversation—are 53 percent more likely to drive significant business effects. These effects include increased sales, market share growth, and heightened customer loyalty, resulting in profit growth that is 2.6 times more likely to be substantial.

A beneficial outcome? Without a doubt.

The Way Forward: Embracing the Human Touch

So yes, everything has changed. However, perhaps the silver lining is the reaffirmation of the primacy of human-ness. The time-honored philosophies of reciprocity, integral to any civil society, should form the bedrock of every marketing strategy.

To recap, the message is simple yet profound. We have to contribute value to earn it. To achieve this, we need an earned mindset, a deep-seated understanding of our responsibility to add worth if we hope to gain it. This mindset isn’t just about the media we use; it’s about our entire approach to marketing and how we engage with our audience.

So the next time you’re crafting a marketing strategy, remember this: You can’t buy love, but you can definitely earn it. With an earned mindset, you’re not just a marketer; you’re a value creator. Make your move. It’s time to earn the love your brand deserves. Drop us a message or schedule a call with our marketing experts today and let’s propel your business to new heights!

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