In June 1966, the U.S. Congress was on the verge of approving two hydroelectric dams that would have flooded 130 miles of the Grand Canyon up to 500 feet deep. Arizona was looking for a back-up power source for its growing cities.
The story was huge (literally!). It wasn’t a secret; it had been developing for years. But by itself, it didn’t go viral, and it didn’t produce a citizen backlash. The legislation kept moving toward approval until a national advertising campaign by the Sierra Club stirred up public outrage and forced Congress to back down.
What finally stopped the dams? It wasn’t just the story; that hadn’t changed as the plans for the dams developed. It was the media employed by the Sierra Club’s ad campaign that finally delivered the story to its audience. Without the media – the less appreciated component of the campaign – the story might well have had a much sadder ending.
When you analyze effective stories, you find that they require both a compelling message AND an effective medium. In business, much has been said about telling great brand stories. Sustainable companies are, by definition, built around an inspiring vision of positive impact. But how will we make sure that their vision, and those inspiring stories, reach receptive ears, attract new customers, and grow sustainable businesses?
Finding the Right Medium Is a Challenge
This is a challenge, because businesses don’t get much organic distribution on social media platforms (which are trying to persuade them to buy ads). Likewise, organic visibility on Google searches can be a tough nut to crack. And PR can be powerful, but is tough to plan for. Finally, when sustainable companies consider paid advertising, it can be difficult to find media that economically reach an audience that is interested in their story.
We see a powerful way to overcome this challenge and help sustainable brands create real connections with the right consumers. It’s data. The footprints people leave across the Web every day as they read, share, and buy help us identify those with sustainable values and an affinity for particular products and brands.Sustainable companies are built around an inspiring vision. Data helps us connect that vision with the right consumers. Click To Tweet
Data Makes the Connection
We use this data to match the right buyers with the right sellers. Then we use data-driven media to deliver great brand stories to just those consumers most likely to respond. This results in a cost per new customer acquired that is lower, more measurable, and more controllable than alternatives.
As with the campaign to save the Grand Canyon, brand stories will only produce the actions they are aiming for if they reach the right audience at the right cost. And that’s what Sustainable Business Partners is all about.