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Marketing With A Purpose: Demonstrating Corporate Ethics In Content Creation

Jonathan Elliott

Mary Garefalaki has more than 20 years of experience as a Linguist and Content Manager and holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Amsterdam. In her current role as Head of Content Production at Orange Business, Mary is managing the content production needed to sustain communication programs, campaigns & events, within the Global Marketing & Innovation department at Orange Business.


  • Trust and integrity are critical to motivating teams and getting the best from customers.
  • In creating marketing content, it’s vital to show you’re aligned at a detailed level.
  • Content creators in marketing need to adapt to cultural and demographic sensibilities with care.
  • Purpose and profit can easily coexist if your work is intended to be beneficial.
  • When it comes to demonstrating purpose, metrics can only deliver so much. 

Jonathan Elliott: You’ve talked a lot about demonstrating purpose at Orange Business. How do you combine the need for profit with the need to show that you’re an organization with a purpose that is in addition to profit?

Mary Garefalaki: Yes, of course, there is the profit element, but lately, there has been a rebranding of Orange Business, and there has been a greater emphasis on purpose. It’s not just about profit and product but also about supporting what the customers need and finding innovative solutions for the future. We have to ask ourselves, “What can we offer in three or five years from now, especially with evolving technology?” 

For example, two of our initiatives right now are about hybrid ways of working, especially in the light of the pandemic. So what can we do to help our customers and, in turn, their customers and employees to work from anywhere? We keep hearing the term ‘digital nomads’, and we need to address this new class of workers. They’re asking, “What if I want to work from anywhere? How can I have the connectivity, the network, and the quality that I need at that level to be efficient? And how is my data protected if I work from anywhere in the world?”

Another initiative that I like a lot is our “Women in Tech” program, because there is still inequality in tech jobs, particularly. I like the fact that we’re able to go to remote areas and give women there an opportunity to use technology and tech products to escape isolation and build something for themselves and their community. The female leadership team at Orange Business is fighting for equality, equal pay, or inclusion in the decisions across the company. So, I think all these areas put together show that we really value the importance of aligning your purpose as you demonstrate it externally with what employees need internally.

JE: How do you communicate purpose to your teams?

MG: At the beginning, people tended to think, “it's just, you know, promoting the company, corporate messaging, whatever.” But I see that it's becoming important, internally for our employees as well, to drive this engagement and a sense of inclusion in the projects of the company as well. 

And I have been consistently impressed with how much our employees care about the products we offer. When we are creating a piece of content, an asset for a specific event or a specific campaign, they are really thinking about the outcome and the impact that it might have, and they are volunteering, as well, for specific causes. 

For example, initiatives at Orange Business around how technology can help tackle climate change in agriculture. We’ve been talking about how cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), IoT, and analytics can help optimize agricultural processes, capture carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere, adopt a circular economy, and make the whole industry more sustainable. These are topics that some of my team might not be naturally interested in, but they are genuinely committed to the purpose behind them.

When I talk to them about the drive for the hybrid way of working—because, of course, it's affecting our employees within the company as well—they really respond and say, “Yes, but we should look at it in this way and that way, and be efficient and secure. And how can we make sure that we're optimizing our client’s data security?” 

I've been in companies where people didn't believe in what they were doing. Or we could see the discrepancies between what was being said by the leadership team and what was actually done in the end, and within two years, that company had zero employees, or all the more experienced ones had quit.

They had to find new talent and they couldn't because their reputation had suffered, and they couldn’t demonstrate purpose. So you cannot really attract new, good talent either if they don't believe in what you're doing. 

JE: How do you know your work in purpose is delivering?

MG: It is hard to quantify. There are metrics in content, of course, but we also set up some less numerically defined objectives, and we have to keep asking how close we’ve got to meeting them. We have to demonstrate that people have taken on board our purpose. It all comes back to customers aligning with the Orange Business brand values and identifying with them or believing that they are something they want to associate themselves with. It is a long-term process. Being in content, you can see how many people interacted with it and the online campaign in all the usual ways, but quite often, you have to wait to see what impact the brand has made for real people on the ground.

JE: When you’re engaging big enterprise-buying customers, what purposeful content works best? What are they looking for in terms of hard deliverables?

MG: For these clients, trust is very important. We produce a wide range of content, a lot of it very technical - white papers, brochures, ebooks - but we have to show that we have the know-how. So my team interviews a lot of experts and leaders in their field - about the cloud, cybersecurity, connectivity, anything - and we say: “OK, we need experts to talk about it because we need to show that we know what we're doing.” The experts are either within Orange Business, our group experts, or from different businesses around our partnerships that have a really deep knowledge of technology and tech solutions. 

And from those insights, we generate deep dives and often, we tailor our content to questions that we know interest them and show that we can respond to very specific needs with custom solutions. Right now, we’re creating videos of interviews with experts who are talking about hybrid ways of working. We’re talking to companies who are concerned about the productivity of distributed teams. Whatever the concerns of our customers, we have to have content to show that we’re part of the conversation.

We’ve also started introducing humor, mainly because we’ve detected a generational shift in some of our customers. There is an expectation of that, but we have to walk a fine line and not risk alienating older customers. We’re always experimenting and testing to find out what works best for different channels and different demographics.

JE: Tell us how you adapt channels and media for different audiences. How has the way you work with content changed over the years?

MG: In former times, it was TV spots, and radio, of course, traditional advertising. Now, we have moved away from that, I think, almost completely. And we work a lot on YouTube. It's huge right now, and we're working with influencers on TikTok as well to see what we can do there for different demographics and different generations. The Orange Business website is more formal but also more informative, and we keep our blog posts there, which is great for subject matter experts because the blog is not only for customers but also for our partners and the companies we work with. 

Some need more expertise and maybe a deeper dive into a specific topic, which can get very technical. Our channels are very much chosen depending on the audience, and we're looking for new and innovative ways of reaching out to the audience through different platforms and social media. It depends on the country and the culture as well, so we have different teams in different countries as well as different channels, and the localization has to take these variations into account.

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