This article, Summit Snapshot ‘18: Using Data for Social Good – and Really Terrific Stories, was originally published on Digital Advertising Alliance‘s blog.
Marla Kaplowitz, President and Chief Executive Officer, 4A’s, hosted a panel titled ADapt! at the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Summit18, which explored how data, advertising and social channels can be leveraged to make a world of difference, daily.
A Meal and Companionship
When the Ad Council engages the brand and agency community to help craft social good campaigns, partner companies recognize that volunteering in such efforts helps them do well by doing good, and it also helps with talent retention.
“The Ad Council fielded a survey among senior executives in tech, media, advertisers and agencies,” said Tony Foleno, Senior Vice president, Strategy & Evaluation, The Ad Council, “as to why they are involved in social good programs. A lot of them said they wanted to make an impact, they wanted to improve their brand image, and improve their business – but the number one answer is employee engagement and talent retention.” Many employees, particularly millennials, want to work for companies engaged in purpose.
Foleno (pictured above) then discussed the Ad Council’s long-standing work with “Meals on Wheels,” noting that purpose-driven work is crucial to every organization’s business model.
“We have this enormous capacity to really make a huge difference, and while we don’t necessarily have an obligation to do so, for many businesses today, purpose-driven marketing is not a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity,” Foleno said. “It’s not a PR overlay, it’s imbued in our businesses.”
According to Foleno, Meals on Wheels serves 1 million seniors, who are mostly homebound, everyday using 2 million volunteers. “It can be tough to be old in America these days,” he said. “In the U.S., there are about 15 million seniors living alone in isolation and 9 million are facing the threat of hunger daily. Meals on Wheels helps to combat this through daily nutrition, safety checks and human contact. The visits are enormously powerful and impactful.”
The Ad Council’s “America – Let’s do Lunch” campaign (agency: Anomaly) seeks to refresh its volunteer corps. The campaign has incorporated digital, television, content partnerships, and social media, Foleno said, that generated 1 million unique visits to the campaign web site, $57 million in donated media, and 37-percent public awareness, netting 100,000 new volunteer enrollments – many times over their goal.
Make Aware, Document, Intervene and Support
Jen Mojo, Vice President, Field, Partner & Experiential Marketing, Domo, Inc., a data analytics firm based in Utah, spoke of several different initiatives undertaken by her company.
One initiative Mojo spoke about was around homelessness, working with Mark Brand, a formerly homeless individual, who went on to become a chef and social impact entrepreneur – with an overall agenda of channeling resources more efficiently to mitigate homelessness and mental illness. His first step was to improve and modernize the data collection process to attain a more accurate read of homelessness.
“The government will give funding for the homeless based on ‘heads in beds’ in the evening,” Mojo said. “We are taking some of our best data scientists and pairing them with Mark’s team to build a better process for collecting and sharing data. We had brilliant people internally… raising their hand, feeling engaged, feeling rewarded, because they get to work on this project.”
By using actual photos in and around support facilities, a more accurate read of sheltered individuals can be documented, enabling more accurate resource allocation, Mojo said. It’s a process that can be replicated to other urban areas – small and large – to help measure, plan and aid populations accordingly at the policy level.
Labor of Love: YouTube Creators for Change
Lauren Bozarth, Brand Manager, YouTube, Google, discussed the Creators for Change program, an initiative to counter hate speech, discrimination, xenophobia, extremism and intolerance – and inspire positive social change on a daily basis on issues that creators care about.
“We felt it was imperative as a brand, as someone who is a container for all these voices, to figure out how to get behind them in a big way,” Bozarth said.
Bozarth (pictured above) reported that the YouTube Creators for Change program had just announced 50 new global ambassadors with 44 million followers. She shared with attendees one video example from an ambassador in the United Kingdom, combatting Islamophobia (Humza Arshad).
“We believe in the power of storytelling, and we believe in giving everyone a voice,” Bozarth said. “These creators want to get behind social causes, and they want to amplify and galvanize their audiences…. These are their own ideas and they have full creative freedom. They own the content. We [YouTube] just help market – and amplify them – to really get [their stories] in front of new audiences.”
Untapping the Power of Data, Marketing and Media to Make Change
The Summit audience truly benefited from hearing about these purpose-driven marketing efforts from inside the industry. We all have the power to influence, inspire and motivate – especially where data informs the story to create compelling content that effects positive change.