Award-winning entrepreneur and founder of Alt Marketing School, Fab is on a mission to help people make positive impact through marketing.
With an infectious energy and passion to make “marketing human once again”, she’s also working as a consultant, supporting purpose-driven brands to elevate their marketing strategies.
In this interview, Fab takes us on a journey back to the origins of Alt Marketing School. She talks about the driving forces behind her pursuit of ethical marketing and shares invaluable insights into purpose-driven marketing campaigns.
Photo courtesy of Fab Giovanetti
Q: Can you share a bit about your journey and background in the field of marketing? What led you to establish Alt Marketing School?
My journey into the world of marketing wasn’t a linear one. I have always been driven by a deep love for learning, and equally, I’ve had this innate desire to share and teach. It’s quite a unique combination that eventually led me to marketing, which rapidly became one of my greatest passions.
Before diving deep into the world of marketing, I began by studying and becoming a certified health coach and personal trainer. This experience not only exposed me to the essential elements of marketing but also the importance of community and genuine connection.
My first company, Health Bloggers Community, which later evolved into Creative Impact, was the perfect platform for me to combine my passions. Over the course of eight years, we organised over 30 events in the UK, hosted six award ceremonies, and positively impacted over 10,000 students. This experience furthered my understanding of the marketing world and showcased the areas that needed more attention, especially in terms of inclusivity and accessibility.
During my time teaching marketing at colleges and professional schools, I discovered that I had a knack for it. However, I also saw that the marketing education available to many was either too costly or not up to the standards that budding professionals needed.
This is what led me to establish the Alt Marketing School. The idea was to create a platform where professionals from various backgrounds could learn how to market authentically — targeting hearts instead of just brains. More than just a school, it’s a movement towards making marketing more accessible, inclusive, and impactful. Every day, we work towards levelling the playing field, especially for those in marginalised communities.
Q: Alt Marketing School focuses on “marketing for hearts” and is on a mission to make “marketing human again”. Could you explain these concepts and how they differ from traditional marketing approaches?
Traditional marketing often views consumers merely as numbers. It’s all about hitting targets, securing conversions, and often ends up being a race for improved statistics. Over the years, we’ve witnessed countless brands becoming ensnared in this numbers game, neglecting the genuine human connection that’s so crucial in the process.
“Marketing for hearts” is our way of highlighting the need to engage with people on a deeper, more emotional level. It’s not merely about selling a product or a service; it’s about genuinely connecting with your audience, understanding their desires and needs, and fostering authentic relationships with them. It entails conveying your brand’s values, stories, and missions in ways that resonate with the feelings and beliefs of your audience.
Making “marketing human again” is a rallying cry to reintroduce the soul into marketing. It’s about transparency, integrity, and authenticity. In a digital age where consumers are inundated with ads and content constantly, what genuinely stands out is an authentic connection and trust. Brands that champion these values are the ones that not only flourish but also establish long-lasting relationships with their consumers.
Then, we make sure we put this into practice. Scholarship programmes are a big part of how we support individuals and purpose-driven businesses. Each cohort includes complimentary places for a number of students from marginalised backgrounds selected by our partner communities. We also have a public scholarship for marketers looking to use their powers for good here.
We also make sure that our learning paths, our course content and internal systems are accessible and inclusive by taking the feedback from our students on board as well.
Q: What motivated you to shift your focus towards more purpose-driven and ethical marketing practices?
It’s been a deeply personal journey for me. At the heart of everything I do lies a set of core values, and I’ve always believed that businesses, big or small, should be an extension of one’s personal beliefs and values. As I delved deeper into the marketing world, it became apparent that there was a significant gap in the industry – the absence of teachings on purpose-driven and ethical marketing practices.
With the rise of consumer awareness, people are no longer just looking for products or services; they are looking for brands they can trust, that share their values, and stand for a cause greater than mere profit. Realising this, I felt a responsibility to champion a form of marketing that aligns with these principles – I even created a full certification around it!
Whilst there were many courses and teachings on traditional marketing techniques, there was a vacuum when it came to ethical and impactful strategies. I wanted to bring about a change in this narrative, to usher in an era where marketing is not just about selling but about creating meaningful connections, driving positive change, and making a genuine impact.
In essence, it was a combination of my personal values and the lack of representation of ethical marketing in mainstream education that motivated me to steer Alt Marketing School towards a more purpose-driven direction.
Q: In your opinion, what role can marketing play in raising awareness and support for social and environmental causes?
There are so many ways!
- Educate and Inform: Marketing breaks down complex issues, making them accessible to wider audiences, thereby raising awareness.
- Drive Behavioural Change: Through impactful campaigns, marketing can inspire consumers to support ethical brands and adopt sustainable practices.
- Amplify Voices: It can elevate stories of the marginalised and activists, ensuring their messages are heard.
- Mobilise Resources: Effective campaigns can channel donations, volunteers, and support towards causes in need.
- Foster Community Engagement: Interactive campaigns can spark discussions, uniting people around shared causes.
- Drive Accountability: Marketing shines a light on positive corporate actions, whilst pushing others to be more responsible.
In short, marketing, when used thoughtfully, can be a powerful catalyst for positive societal and environmental change.
Q: Can you share any insights or examples on effectively connecting with audiences on an emotional level through marketing efforts?
Absolutely, tapping into emotions is a crucial facet of impactful marketing. Whilst there are countless ways brands attempt to do this, I’ve always believed in drawing inspiration from real-world examples. In fact, we use examples in each session of our positive impact marketing certification!
This brings me to one of my personal favourites – Cadbury’s Illustrated Acts of Generosity campaign.
Now, for those familiar with Cadbury, you’ll know that they’ve been synonymous with evocative storytelling for years. Their “There’s a Glass and a Half in Everyone” campaigns have consistently woven narratives that resonate deeply with audiences. From tear-jerking stories like “Mum’s birthday” to the delightful moments in “Speakerphone”, Cadbury has showcased a profound understanding of human emotions.
Through highlighting everyday acts of generosity, Cadbury artfully emphasises the universality of kindness. It’s a reminder that even the smallest gestures can warm the heart and bridge divides.
A simple example of ways to inspire purpose and impact and stay true to your brand!
Q: How do you measure the impact of purpose-driven marketing campaigns beyond traditional metrics like ROI or engagement?
Evaluating the impact of purpose-driven marketing campaigns requires a shift from traditional metrics to more holistic, qualitative measures.
While ROI and engagement are valuable, they don’t always shows the deeper objectives of these campaigns. Here’s 3 ways we look beyond the numbers:
- Stakeholder Feedback: Engaging with stakeholders – be it customers, partners, or community members – to gather insights on their perceptions and feelings towards the campaign can be telling. It provides an understanding of whether the campaign resonated with its intended message.
- Long-Term Brand Perception: Purpose-driven campaigns are often about building a brand’s reputation and trustworthiness over time. Surveys and brand health trackers can be employed to monitor changes in brand perception and affinity over longer periods.
- Long-Term Commitment Metrics: If the campaign called for ongoing engagement – like continuous donations or monthly subscriptions to a cause – monitoring the retention and loyalty of these commitments is essential.
There are so many ways, these are just a few that jump out.
Purpose-driven marketing is as much about fostering genuine connection, trust, and positive societal change as it is about metrics. While it’s crucial to monitor the tangible outcomes, it’s equally vital to acknowledge and value the intangible impacts that ripple out from such campaigns.
Q: What advice would you give to freelancers or businesses looking to incorporate ethical and purpose-driven marketing into their strategies?
For freelancers and businesses keen to take this path, here are some key pieces of advice:
- Define your why. Before anything else, understand why you want to take an ethical, purpose-driven approach. Is it to address a societal issue, support a personal belief, or fill a market gap? Knowing your ‘why’ will guide all subsequent actions.
- Align with authentic causes. It’s tempting to jump on trending social issues, but it’s crucial to align with causes that resonate genuinely with your brand or personal values. Authenticity is discernible, and audiences can spot insincere efforts.
- Educate yourself. Ethical and purpose-driven marketing requires a deep understanding of the causes you’re championing. Commit to continuous learning, attend workshops, or engage with experts to ensure your campaigns are well-informed.
Often we encourage our students to work on their own brand manifesto to help with starting off on the journey. We have 4-day free training that takes you step-by-step on how to do this and you can access it here.
Q: Alt Marketing School empowers people to use marketing to make the world a better place. How do you envision the future of marketing evolving to prioritise social impact and ethical practices?
At Alt Marketing School, we’re deeply invested in sculpting a future for marketing that goes beyond just products and services to fostering genuine connections, championing ethical causes, and driving positive societal change.
Based on our ethos and the trends we’re observing, here’s how we envision the future of marketing (and hope for!):
- Values-led Branding. Brands will increasingly define and articulate their core values. The emphasis will shift from what companies sell to what they stand for. Consumers will be drawn to brands that resonate with their own beliefs and values.
- Transparent Supply Chains. With growing awareness around sustainability and ethical production, brands will be expected to disclose supply chain processes. Transparency will become a major trust factor.
- Consumer-driven Accountability. With the power of social media and instant information, consumers will have a more significant role in holding brands accountable for their actions, pushing them towards more ethical practices.
- Storytelling for Impact. Brands will leverage the power of storytelling to highlight their impact initiatives, sharing real-world effects rather than just statistics. This will make their efforts more relatable and human.
To dive deeper into the world of marketing for hearts, make sure to check out Alt Marketing School live and on-demand courses. Fab and her team also host a various marketing events throughout the year, so make sure to follow them on Instagram, LinkedIn and sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date. Don’t forget to connect with Fab on LinkedIn to freshen up your feed and start receiving weekly dose of ethical marketing tips.