#SpendingForPurpose: Education – It’s ‘Ride or Die’ – By Niki Cronje
As marketing leaders, we have to ask ourselves how we use the lessons learnt from the pandemic to better serve our communities and ensure we place purpose-spend front and centre — where building up socio-economic efficiencies is so important in moving forward as a country writes Niki Cronje as she zeroes in on education as a ride or die issue.
In those early months of lockdown restrictions, I, like many others, often asked myself what the day would look like when things eventually returned to ‘normal’ — a day when people roamed freely again, when roads filled up, when holidays returned, when work slowed down! While it was what we all craved for months, as we sit here today, I’m not sure the craving was worth the meal.
I think we’re forgetting about the positive unintended consequences South Africa’s pandemic regulations brought and how their lifting is likely to undo, unintentionally, some of this positive change. Not only this but as we set out to normalise life again, many things will be returning to a version of what they once were — meaning investment in social issues may well be placed lower down on the list of priorities.
Investing in social issues
Education remains the catalyst
It’s all about education, driving it, investing in it and making sure it forms a central part of our purpose-strategy and -spend. In some areas, the pandemic has taught us that intentional strategy can be positive in the long run, and we need to identify those gaps and build up within them.
Grassroots-level investment for the win
Tomorrow’s leaders and parents are today’s children and, so, there’s no better place to start than at grassroots level. We have to invest in this as corporate SA; no matter what the subject, we have a fundamental responsibility to SA’s children and their future.
Consistency despite challenges
The premise remains the same (the proverbial golden thread that we so often speak about in marketing): consistency! As with everything in life, there’s no quick fix but every bit helps and, if we want to shift thinking, we need to invest in this shift, consistently over time. As we move forward, we need to ensure that consistency in purpose remains key; not only do communities need this for survival and betterment but so, too, do the people buying our products and services expect this of us. We need to invest in our purpose-drivers and keep them central to our business strategy.
Relevance through diversification
If covid has taught us one thing, it’s to be agile, to diversify, to find new avenues and remain committed and relevant; the purpose-mix is no different. In a time where communities need us most, corporates need to diversify programmes so that they’re relevant to the times we find ourselves in — shifting thinking, approach and spend to meet immediate needs.
Partnerships remain critical
Think AIDS, gender-based violence (GBV), and leading social aspects such as those: are they easily overcome? No. Can they be better addressed through collective efforts? Yes. Partnership is key to success and witnessing real change; today, more than ever, we need to come together as businesses and see how we can collectively meet the needs of the communities we serve. How we can put our purpose-spend together to create more impact and how we can lean on one another to drive true community development and leadership?
Make a difference
We’re heading into the dawn of a new age, a new age of working, living and giving, and together we need to stand tall, remain committed and put our money where our mouths are, consistently, with intent to make a difference and uplift our nation’s socio-economic status. Education – it’s Ride or Die.
Niki Cronje is is the VP: marketing, sponsorships and brand at Imperial and an internationally experienced marketing expert. #SpendingForPurpose explores the ins and outs of ‘money for good’ and aims to bring real-life issues closer to marketing priorities.
Culled from MarkLives