Go Beyond Product Promotion with Issue Marketing

Ariel India's commercial uses housework as a lens for examining gender roles.

Ariel India's commercial uses housework as a lens for examining gender roles.

 

Our cluttered world is filled with distractions, noise, and skeptical consumers. The intrusive advertising of the 20th century is increasingly ineffective, but many organizations are not adapting their communications.

Instead of trying to shout even louder, try focusing on the issues around and behind your product or service. Make sales a byproduct of achieving a larger public good or surfacing a much-needed debate.

Bringing in emotionally charged issues is a great way to attract and mobilize your audience. People don’t care about your financial success—but they do care about personal and philosophical issues that can drive your sales.

If you’re engaged in content marketing, you’re probably already incorporating some issue marketing into your efforts. So it will be a shift in emphasis rather than the creation of something entirely new. But that difference in effort can yield great results.

For instance, laundry detergent company Ariel India made this commercial, which beautifully addresses the issues of gender equality within the context of housework (including laundry).

Using the hashtag #SharetheLoad, Ariel has successfully tapped into a larger discussion and gained a huge amount of positive attention, including praise from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

How about you? What issues have you incorporated into your marketing?