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Why You Need a Purpose-Driven Strategy: Common Misconceptions and Insights

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Way back in 2011, Harvard Business Review performed a survey to find out which business strategies boosted the most growth. And while many of the answers you’d expect came up—wider stakeholder needs, creating new markets, etc.—there was one that took everyone by surprise.


Throughout the history of business strategy, companies have recognised the role that purpose has to play in attracting clients and gaining public trust. But do we truly understand the potential this concept has in an increasingly chaotic world?

A purpose-driven strategy can help your digital agency experience happier clients, and more engaged employees, reduce retention, and improved overall performance.

But the notion of “purpose” is a lofty concept that few agencies truly understand how to implement into their business strategy. In this post, we’ll unpack what makes purpose-driven strategies so important and debunk some common misconceptions about what it really means.

What Is A Purpose Driven Strategy?

First off, let’s get the definition down. What defines a purpose-driven strategy? Put simply, purpose-driven strategies put a digital agency—or any company’s—values and overarching mission above its products and services.

This strategy implores an agency to focus on what it stands for as an organisation and to take actions that serve its greater purpose. In 2022, over 79% of business leaders believe that purpose is the central theme to long-term success with both clients and employees.

A purpose-driven strategy asks you to look beyond just profits or products. It encourages your agency to consider the overarching meaning behind what makes their business important to people and the greater community or system.

How Does A Purpose Driven Strategy Benefit Businesses?

There are many great reasons to put purpose at the helm of your business strategies. By cultivating trust and motivation, digital agencies with purpose-driven strategies can become significantly stronger.

#1. More motivated staff

We all know how important employee engagement is. And purpose is one of the most important components of a high employee satisfaction rate. When staff members feel like they are a part of the bigger picture, they can apply more meaning and dedication to their work.

#2. Improved employee retention

With high employee engagement and satisfaction rates comes improved retention. When people feel like they have a sense of purpose attached to their work, it becomes much easier to stay put.

Employee retention has been a huge concern for companies over the past few years. But implementing strategies that encourage staff to connect on a deeper level with their jobs means they have more incentive to stick with their company for the long haul. After all, purpose doesn’t grow on trees.

#3. Happier clients

Clients also like to feel like a part of something greater. After all, that is what most humans crave. By weaving purpose into your business strategy, you can invite your clients to play a role in the process of creating a better, more efficient, or more impactful world.

#4. Less vulnerability to market volatility

That’s right. A purpose-driven strategy doesn’t just benefit the lives of the people within it. It can also play a very practical, profitable role in the fluctuating world of global markets.

Purpose-led companies are less vulnerable to market conditions because their mission is not attached to passing economic trends and sways. This can make your digital agency more sustainable in the long run and protect your assets from getting compromised by weak relationships and public opinions.

Common Misconceptions About Purpose-Driven Strategies

There are a lot of misconceptions about what purpose-driven strategies can really offer digital agencies. But this is mainly due to a lack of proper understanding of what it means. We’ve debunked some of the biggest myths behind this type of strategy:

  • Purpose Is Just A Buzzword

The word “purpose” often gets thrown around on the internet and in social circles as a buzzword to attract the attention of younger audiences. Who, for the record, are becoming the world’s largest population of consumers and whose buying power is growing every day.

But purpose is so much more than just a buzzword. It has been incorporated into business strategies for centuries, enabling companies to tap into the natural draw that meaning has for almost every person on the planet. And as we’ve learnt today, it has many practical and emotional benefits for businesses.

  • Purpose Is A Marketing Ploy

This misconception exists because unfortunately, it’s often true. Many pseudo-companies use purpose as a front to dupe consumers into believing they have found something special.

But while this may be the case for a few sad, unsustainable businesses (who will not be able to keep up the ruse for long), there are plenty of other companies doing it right. Purpose-led business strategy is a powerful tool for business that is used by some of the most successful brands in the world.

  • Purpose Is HR’s Responsibility 

Purpose is about more than just adequate mental health and a sense of career fulfilment. But not every digital marketing agency understands this. While purpose is something that may come up in the HR department, its true conceptual power lies far beyond the world of human management.

Purpose-led business strategies can be used to increase profitability, secure market volatility, and build an audience that’s loyal and trusting of products.

  • Purpose Is Not An Essential Business Strategy

Some agencies overlook purpose-driven strategies because they don’t have as much business appeal as other popular strategies on the market. But this is mostly due to a lack of understanding of what it is, how it works, and how to implement it.

Purpose Is Not Essential, But It Is An Advantage

An integrated approach to combining purpose and strategy is one of the most current and effective ways to gain an edge over competitors in the 2020s. Executed mindfully, a purpose-led business strategy can create deeper client value and a stronger company culture.

It’s important to look beyond the four walls of your digital agency and consider the bigger picture. Allow your agency to transcend tired ways of thinking and implement strategies that centre on the one thing we all have in common…purpose.

  • 👉 Purpose-driven strategies prioritize a company’s values and mission over its products and services.
  • 👉 Purpose-driven strategies lead to more motivated staff and improved employee retention.
  • 👉 Purpose-driven strategies invite clients to play a role in creating a better world and are less vulnerable to market volatility.
  • 👉 Purpose is more than a buzzword or marketing ploy and can offer practical and emotional benefits to businesses.
  • 👉 Purpose is not just HR’s responsibility and is not essential but can provide an advantage when integrated into business strategy.