Purposeful Marketing

What does Purposeful Marketing mean from your perspective? What potential role do you see yourself playing in it?

Dr. Hongli Joosten-Ma has recently been appointed as the professor for the new “Purposeful Marketing” research group at The Hague University of Applied Sciences within the Centre of Expertise “Digital Operations and Finance”. The research center aims at developing knowledge around Purposeful Marketing through applied research in collaboration with partners in academic, business and public areas, with participation of our lecturers and students. At IB THUAS, we would like to share the excitement we feel over her appointment and its significance for the program. The following blog is the outcome of an insightful conversation with Dr. Joosten-Ma. 

Marketing is always customer-centered: when the customer changes, so must the marketing. Whereas previously customers would respond positively to rational and emotional messages merely conveying the benefits of a product or service, nowadays, customers strongly consider a brand’s stance on social issues or causes that they themselves care about. Customers want to be able to trust in a brand to do the right thing. If not, they are very willing to take their business elsewhere currently. They are increasingly becoming so-called ethical or belief-driven buyers for which the values of a company must align with their own if they would like to receive their business. This is where purposeful marketing comes in. By addressing a changing society and capturing the attention of consumers weary of traditional marketing focused on profit maximization, purposeful marketing has emerged as the marketing of the future, for which the benefit for the life in its totality is at the center.  

Purposeful marketing is, simply said, all about creating a positive impact both for the organization itself but also wider society as it is generally tied to a social cause. Purposeful brands resonate deeply with customers who care about advancing social or environmental issues, brands that provide a compelling reason they are conducting their business beyond merely amassing profits. By marketing purposefully, organizations are able to add value to their own business and to society at large while fundamentally transforming customer and employee experiences. If a customer or employee feels that his or her social or environmental values align with that of the organization, their relationship develops from one where both are looking for merely their own personal benefits into a collaborative effort aimed at reaching a mutual goal that has positive and long-term impact on life.  

As an educational program, IB’s mission is to foster the development of ethically and morally responsible business professionals educated for tomorrow’s business world. As such, the purposeful marketing research group spearheaded by IB’s Dr. Hongli Joosten-Ma promises much to the program and its students. Purposeful marketing is prioritizing what is right over profits. It is marketing for a fairer and more sustainable future. Purposeful marketing is marketing ethically and morally responsibly. Additionally, it is shaping up to become a cornerstone on which the business world of the future will be built. Therefore, the opportunity to conduct research, gather insights, and work together with industry and educational partners to unlock and better understand an emerging field within marketing aligns seamlessly with the values and mission of IB and THUAS.  

Not only does the research group on purposeful marketing fit in perfectly with the program, but it also promises to open many opportunities and benefits for the program. Purposeful marketing is something people are passionate about as it aims to address needs and wishes many business professionals also feel inside themselves. Dr. Joosten-Ma envisions the research group as a collaborative undertaking in which people from all walks of business and education are able to work meaningfully engage in a theme, they identify is important as it has the power to unlock a lot of good for the world at large.  

In the brief time since her appointment, several business professionals have reached out to Dr. Joosten-Ma with a vision to contribute to the research and gain insights. Additionally, many students and IB graduates are likely to be equally passionate about marketing in a meaningful manner and to the benefit of society and therefore would benefit greatly from the opportunities opening up through the research group. Imagine the satisfaction a student could get from working on a real-life purposeful marketing project that they really care about. Moreover, as purposeful marketing is the marketing of the future, business partners should also be on the lookout for student talents who are not only passionate about this, but have also gained a deep, practical understanding of the discipline by applying it in their study projects based on real life cases. The marketing world will need young people to shake things up. 

Lastly, we would like to use this opportunity to extend an open invitation to all our internal and external stakeholders, students, graduates, education, and industry partners, interested in contributing to the research and working together on a concrete real-life level. Contact Dr. Joosten-Ma. There are many opportunities and success stories to be shared through the Purposeful Marketing research group! 

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