The Clarity Group’s Craig Wood on Values-based Marketing
Over the last few years, Craig Wood, like many of you, has noticed a disturbing current in the direct marketing world: Response is down, costs are up and the result is a decrease in the productivity of marketing efforts as a whole. Wood, who recently left his position as group president and head of the database division at Yankelovich to become founder and CEO of Chapel Hill, N.C.-based consultancy The Clarity Group, attributes much of this troubling trend to a rise in consumer resistance. But he also sees another emerging force, one with the ability to reverse some of this resistance: values-based marketing.
Values-based marketing is an umbrella term of sorts for marketing that builds on consumers’ beliefs, faith, social causes—in short, their core motivational drivers. He now pauses to reflect on the importance of values for today’s consumer, the role they can play in your marketing program, and how this underrepresented niche may just be moving into the mainstream.
TG: What are the benefits of values-based marketing?
CW: The obvious benefit is one of emotional connection. People feel more passionate about their values and beliefs [than] they do about almost anything else. … And if you are able to connect with someone on the level of what they believe in and what their passion is, you have a greater likelihood of developing a longer-lasting bond, a greater likelihood of having them see you as more than just fulfilling a product, but helping them fulfill a cause.
Research we’ve done at Yankelovich, and that I continue to do [with Clarity Group], shows that more and more people are making decisions … in line with their personal values. They are caring less about what other people think and more about being true to themselves. So if you are able to connect with them on [that] level, then they are likely to associate your brand with who they are. And that, too, will engender true loyalty and retention. …