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Using Shared Purpose to Break Through the Noise

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Watching and sharing entertainment online has increased people’s sense of global connection, according to Edelman’s Global Entertainment Study. The internet has fundamentally changed the way we operate – people are digesting entertainment in more countries, on more devices and in more languages than ever before. A “viral” video doesn’t mean everyone in America is watching; it means everyone in the world is.

On a bad day for your brand, this means that no one pays any attention to your content. It simply gets lost in the clutter of media surrounding us every day in this oversaturated, multi-screen world. Worse yet, everyone is paying attention… but to your lack of transparency, poor sustainability program or disregard for your community. But on a good day, our new world of social sharing provides you with a huge opportunity: An audience who constantly wants to connect with each other over issues that matter to them. 70% of survey respondents in Edelman’s study enhance their entertainment experience by simultaneously using another device. (As I write this on my laptop, I’m watching The Bachelorette on TV and texting my friends. Efficient? Probably not. Connected? Absolutely.) This shift in visual-tainment is breaking down barriers and increasing people’s desire to share their experiences in an increasingly digital world. This is especially true for emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India, who are leading the trend.

In a world where everyone is constantly receiving and sharing information, brands must find a way to cut through the clutter and create something worth talking about. But how? The answer is simple: Purpose. Across the globe, Purpose has increasingly become a factor in decision making. In those same emerging markets I mentioned earlier (Brazil, China and India), the prominence of Purpose as a purchase trigger has risen an average of 59% since 2010. Globally, consumers are demonstrating their preference for Purpose across all facets of life: buying, sharing, donating, volunteering, praising and punishing. What’s more, 71% of consumers are willing to help a brand promote its products or services if there is a good cause behind them, and five times more likely to share positive than negative experiences.

Instead of seeing this globally connected world as a cluttered tangle of noise, see this as an opportunity to get your brand’s purpose in front of people who care about you and want to promote your product because it’s a story worth talking about. Be the brand that one everyone’s tweeting about while they’re watching television, because those peer-to-peer recommendations are worth their weight in gold. While you’re at it, make sure your brand is engaging with those fans on social media so they feel valued and loved. By doing so, you won’t just cut through the clutter, you’ll soar above it, creating a legacy of shared purpose and engaged communities.

Calisa Hildebrand is an account supervisor in the digital practice at Edelman’s San Francisco office. Originally a classical musician, Calisa is passionate about the power of social media to create social change and works to help clients integrate these two fields more closely. Find her on Twitter @calisajh.

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