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A picture of Matt Mee from EssenceMediacom hosting a session at Cannes on the GroupM rooftop

Purpose and Performance

The Cannes Essentials - Purpose and Performance: The Ultimate Balancing Act

Finding the right way to leverage purpose to drive a business forward is a challenge for many marketers and the session on Purpose and Performance: The Ultimate Balancing Act sought out answers from Bayer and Nationwide.

Richard Warren, Director of Brands, Marketing and Experience at Nationwide, noted that Lloyds Bank UK had a relationship with Mental Health UK, and these types of partnership needs to be part of the company internally not just externally if they’re going to work.

Purpose was simply table stakes if you want to be a progressive organisation. 

Jeff Jarett, NA CMO at Bayer, pointed out that the development of the company’s purpose “help for all, hunger for none” over the last five years had given the company an internal focus and something for everyone to rally around. 

This was being leveraged at a brand level, so Aspirin was able to encourage consumers to check their heart attack risk. In European football when home team score, heart risk doubles so Bayer’s Aspirin is official sponsor of teams’ hearts - and you can go online and check your heart risk online.  

“Purpose has to be tied directly to your brand’s business,” he said.

But while older audiences aren’t so convinced by purpose, it’s likely to feature strongly in the future. Brands need to manage the trade-off between societal purpose and what you do, a tricky balance said Richard.

The appeal, said Jeff, was that media and content world has got more busy and “purposeful work has a greater ability to open up [opportunity]”.