Free Agent Anja Enggaard on Purpose Marketing

In a time where highly political global conflicts take up an increasing amount of focus in the media, purpose marketing has never been more important. Where profit maximization used to be the alpha and omega, trustworthiness and purpose is the big trend today.

Anja Enggaard is a purpose marketing specialist and brand strategist. She is also one of the freelancers who have signed up on Free Agents™ to get matched with exciting freelance jobs. Anja has previously held the position as Head of Marketing in Call me and helped the company to position themselves as a mobile operator with something important to say and someone with attitude and character who dares to challenge the world, they’re part of. She did this through the communications platform ‘speak properly’.

In Free Agents™, we had a chat with Anja about why purpose marketing is so relevant right now, and how the future of the freelance market can benefit from this. 

How do you define purpose marketing?

For me, purpose is a way to run a business. It’s a strategic choice, which needs to be taken, prioritized, and anchored in the organizational strategy, culture, business process, and communication on equal terms as other strategic choices. Furthermore, a purpose should provide clear internal and external business advantages. Otherwise, it’s purposeless.

To be purpose-driven is about being a responsible part of the community. To build and strengthen your brand and culture on responsibility. Responsibility towards employees, customers, collaborators, partners, and the society which you are a part of. Thus, purpose is not philanthropy, but legitimacy, DNA, and a firm guiding point in the direction of all activities. Furthermore, access to for example more loyal employees and customers, new and unique communications platforms, and strong strategic partnerships. In other words, a solid purpose can be the way out of “The Red Ocean” and towards a strong positioning. Purpose is a way of commercializing community spirit and it unites good business and community spirit.

What characterizes a good purpose marketing initiative and are there any pitfalls?

Purpose is not a marketing project. But marketing is the window into the culture where the purpose exists. The job of marketing is to translate the good case to stories and initiatives which is strengthening the brand both internally and externally. Because there is nothing wrong in telling that you’re doing something good when you are actually doing something good. Marketing can activate the purpose of the brand internally and externally. For example, in events where employees and customers play an active role, in partnerships which by translating words to action or in communications documenting the company walking the talk. Therefore, marketing is a catalyst for new initiatives and serves as a spokesman who ensures that the purpose is strengthening the position and the brand. 

Purpose is not a project which is performed only by marketing or another part of the company. If the purpose is not deeply rooted in the culture and strategy, the company risks doing greenwashing or good intentions without the desired return. Thereby, a campaign or discussion about a community spirit that is not making a difference for employees, customers, brand, and society. Contrary, purpose can also be an offer of so much philanthropy that new fear for communication and commercializing it arises, so it loses its businesslike value.

In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, what do you determine as the trend of time in purpose marketing?

The corona crisis has made purpose and community spirit very relevant. When almost all communication and marketing was put on hold, it proved that a solid foundation and clear value creation can be a decisive platform for legitimate speaking time and attention. Contrary, the crisis has also shown that the lack of community spirit quickly can turn the people into a court of justice and create shitstorms and customer defection.

I am sure that the corona crisis has shown and convinced many senior executives that purpose can be a fixed basis which secures employee and customer loyalty and speaking time – in good times and bad times. Furthermore, that it is necessary to represent more than just price and number.

Where do you find professional inspiration about purpose marketing?

I find inspiration about purpose marketing in popular books about the subject. However, this is only a fraction of it. The most inspiring learning is through cooperation and co-creation with other people – both partnerships and clients. But you cannot read yourself to success with purpose marketing. It has to be lived and owned, has a natural link to the core business, and be allowed to be developed organically with experiences, results, and the maturing of the company and society.

What is your biggest professional success?

My biggest professional success is that I’ve found my role in the translation of purpose into good business in order to help companies to build strong brands through community spirit to the delight of employees, clients, brands, and societies.

I carried this role out in Call me – speak properly, where I was privileged to be the Head of Marketing. With an amazing company culture behind me and a good portion of courage and dedication, we created a fantastic brand in Call me. It secured extraordinary results in terms of ROMI, customer base, employee loyalty, customer satisfaction, efficiency, prices, attention, and churn rate. Call me was the case that really kickstarted my purpose journey and convinced me that marketing as an area can make a difference for both the bottom-line, people, and society. Besides Call me, I am also enormously proud of the work I’ve done as an independent consultant for e.g. Ørsted, where the wish of a greener world has set the scene for activities involving more than 60.000 schoolkids in the fight for the climate. 

What would your dream project at the moment be if you could choose?

I am lucky enough to do my dream project right now with my business partner. Apart from the fact that the corona crisis is hindering many jobs and assignments, it has given us the time to conceptualize and develop our dream project in the form of a purpose education. This vision is that, through our many experiences with purpose marketing, chosen theory and practice-oriented work will make people able to think and act purpose-driven. This will leave a positive impression both internally on the business and employees and externally on the customers and society. We will educate purpose marketers who can lead the way in the company’s identification, anchoring, and cementation of purpose through the right mind-set, toolbox, and ability to translate thought to action.

The purpose education is my dream project as it gives me the opportunity to ignite the motivation in others who are driven by purpose and make them able to work purpose-driven. This for the benefit of companies, employees, customers, and society. Furthermore, I am so fortunate to be able to this with my extremely talented and qualified business partner.

However, the education will not take all my time. I especially need to continue bettering myself in the cooperation with companies and people as well as helping brands strengthening their position through purpose. Assignments which appeals to both my function as an independent consultant and as a freelancer with an affiliation to a specific company.

How do you see the future of the freelance market for you and Scandinavian companies?

I am convinced that companies need freelancers with different roles. And that a core of permanently employed employees mixed with freelancers is the best cocktail as it secures progress, efficiency and above all, new knowledge and innovation. As a freelancer, you’re not caught up in the everyday-operations and limited of the unwritten cultural ground rules, which consequently suggest one to be the optimistic creative ideas person securing new initiatives and directions. Likewise, you’re not attached to the company as a freelancer, so the work becomes both implementable and relevant. Freelancers are also a way to secure specialized resources on a less binding basis.

Apart from this, I actually believe that people who choose to become freelancers have a different mindset – thus, a good supplement to the culture and staff.

In relation to the work with purpose, freelancers are extremely relevant. While the purpose needs to be owned and driven internally, it is often very valuable to cooperate with external sources and freelancers who can provide clear-sight and objective ideas. The work with purpose demands dedicated performance and development, which is why a fiery soul can secure loose ends, energy, new insights, and progress.