Enough with all the nodding around the need for diversity (especially nodding off through boredom). Here’s how we can make it more than just talk.
I spoke at the launch of the Jolt Academy the other day. Jolt is an initiative set up to support and nurture amazingly talented creatives from a huge range of backgrounds, representing real diversity. The audience, 30 interns discovered through partners such as D&AD and Scope, was purposefully almost equally women to men. In fact, there were more female interns than male.
The week before that I hosted the 14th Good Girls Eat Dinner – a non-profit initiative I set up over two years ago to provide kick-ass, female, creative role models across the creative industries. As always the buzz of inspiration and empowerment throughout the fifty-strong female audience was palpable.
Until recently, most discussions about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have been about the possibility of chaos; or more specifically, concerns global businesses won’t be ready in time. But, with less than eight months left on the clock, that’s starting to change says Ally Stuart, managing director EMEA, Sharethrough.
Governments are starting to update their policies to ensure stringent privacy procedures, such as new data bills in the UK and Germany. Companies are also responding and over the last few months Google, Lloyds Banking Group and Uber have made significant adjustments to their data practices to help better protect consumer data.
So could it be that for some companies at least GDPR has already arrived? And now that it’s started to take hold, how can we see the spector of these new laws impacting the wider digital marketing industry?
Whilst purpose is fundamental to these businesses in many aspects, interestingly, it often takes a back seat in marketing. Today's brands, it seems, are being built on actions, not advertising.
Voting with spend
The relationship between brand and consumer has changed. An explosion of new purpose-led brands to categories mean that, for consumers, once simple transactions, even for everyday items, is now akin to marking a cross on a polling card. An endorsement, or a rejection, of one worldview over another.
“Consumers now more than ever are voting with their dollars for brands that are doing good in the world" says Neil Grimmer, the co-founder of Plum Organics. Plum became the 3rd largest baby food brand in the US in ten years, and were built around a purpose of feeding the very best food to kids.
So what has caused today's consumers to become so motivated to make purchasing decisions, based upon a brand's purpose?
‘This story is about Howard Beale, who was the news anchorman on UBS TV. In his time, Howard Beale had been a mandarin of television, the grand old man of news, with a HUT rating of 16 and a 28 audience share. In 1969, however, his fortunes began to decline. He fell to a 22 share. The following year, his wife died, and he was left a childless widower with an 8 rating and a 12 share. He became morose and isolated, began to drink heavily, and on September 22, 1975, he was fired, effective in two weeks.‘
Haemophilia is a rare genetic condition that impairs the body's ability to make blood clots, a process needed to stop bleeding. This results in people bleeding longer after an injury, bruising easily and – most importantly – an increased risk of spontaneously bleeding inside joints or organs. It’s a lifelong illness, which people with the condition have to manage on a daily basis. Untreated, it can be fatal. However, effectiveness of treatment has improved markedly over the past few decades, to the point where, today, with proper management, it is possible for people with haemophilia to lead full and active lives. Nevertheless, despite the availability of treatments, a significant proportion of people with haemophilia do still experience long term, life-limiting consequences of their condition, such as irreversible joint damage and reduced activity levels.