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Interview: Marketing with Purpose

From our friends at Microsoft Advertising


Purpose has never been more important to how brands engage with people than it is today. At Microsoft Advertising, we have been on a journey of inclusive marketing for a few years and the research and work that we have done has propelled our ability to help brands navigate these times. The result of this work is the Marketing with Purpose Playbook that is aimed to support SMBs, and all marketers in their purposeful marketing journey.

What is Marketing with Purpose?

Marketing with Purpose is about building trust between brand and people and therefore an authentic relationship between them. It starts with respecting the right to privacy, which has a positive impact on building brand equity, but it also goes far beyond that: it highlights marketing efforts that consider the role of responsibility, values, and inclusivity in corporate advertising to make people feel acknowledged and respected - creating a "that's me" feeling, so to speak, when viewing ads. Marketing with Purpose is designed to help build a brand that is welcome in people's lives by helping companies respect the values of their target audience, advertise inclusively, and gain genuine trust. And it is this trust that ultimately turns into loyalty - when you integrate your customers' values into your corporate messages and act authentically in your communications

How do I ensure my Marketing strategy is inclusive?

Microsoft Advertising, define Inclusive Marketing as marketing that showcases and encourages diversity where exclusion exists. The aim is to fuel long term loyalty and growth. (Inclusive Marketing: Essential for your brand - Microsoft Advertising)

Our Inclusive Marketing research summary highlights key learnings that can be infused, not only in your advertising execution, but also into your product approach, content creation, and more. It calls for our collective creativity across the industry to uncover exclusions to drive innovation—to truly expand our thinking to create more possibilities in storytelling and inspire the world to be the world we want to live in.

Now more than ever, the demand for how brands need to show up for people apparent. Consumers expect companies to represent their values and want to identify with brand messages. Accessibility and inclusivity are particularly important here. In our study, we found that inclusive marketing increases purchase intent by 23 points. This puts the focus on marketing, on management, but also on every individual in the company to actively address these consumer needs in their jobs. Because only those brands that address the issue with integrity - in their internal communications as well as in their external ones - are recognized as trustworthy and retain customers through brand love. This is particularly exciting for small and medium-sized companies, because ultimately this can make or break market leadership.

What should SMB’s look for in a marketing campaign "with purpose"?

Authenticity should be the foundation of everything you do: In our Inclusive Marketing Activation Model, we present best practices on how to act with Purpose. Start with your products and services and make sure they are inclusive to your target audience, like the Xbox Adaptive Controller, or Tru Color patches for different skin tones.

  • Who is your marketing aimed at?

  • Are you paying attention to minorities?

Our survey found that 64% of people are more trusting of brands that represent diversity in advertising. Create the feeling of "this brand is made for me" in your customers.

Also, think about how you are engaging your target audience:

  • Is my brand communication accessible to people with lower mobility or with vision and heart impairments?

  • Are there specific local, cultural nuances you should consider in your marketing?

More information on the Inclusive Marketing Activation Model can be found in the Marketing with Purpose Playbook.

How do I get started with Marketing with Purpose?

To make it easier for small and medium sized businesses to get started with Marketing with Purpose, we have created a series of free materials.

  • Be a learn-it-all and have deliberate curiosity about others

  • Strive to uncover how someone might be excluded from a product, service or experience — then fix that!

  • You can download our Marketing with Purpose Playbook, an in-depth, step-by-step guide for helping you get started.

  • Take the Marketing with Purpose Course and earn a badge you can share on LinkedIn! We provide guidance that is grounded in our research and we break down Marketing with Purpose into actions you can take to build a more trusted brand experience to drive growth.

  • Learn to make your marketing inclusive and accessible with our on-demand Modern Marketing is Accessible Marketing webcast and eBook to extend your current media and advertising to people with disabilities.

  • Consider your brand’s mission and how it can empower a more sustainable, accessible or representative and diverse world.

No matter what stage you are in on your journey, invest in truly understanding people — go deep into diversity and be open to uncovering new insights and finding new audiences you may not have considered before. When you understand peoples' values, and you evaluate your brand’s purpose for how you can support those values, you find the sweet spot of shared meaning and ignite passion with your employees and your customers.

After all, Marketing with Purpose is the difference between earning a customer for a day and gaining a customer for life.


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