How Does Stakeholder Engagement Marketing Work?

By Jeff Klein

As reflected in the first post in this 3-part series on Stakeholder Engagement Marketing, underlying all business is the opportunity to cooperate for mutual and collective benefit, and at the heart of a conscious business resides deeper purpose that inspires and engages its stakeholders and aligns their aspirations and intentions.

When we purposefully look for opportunities to create value for and engage with our stakeholders, we will find them. Just as if we look for tradeoffs and conflicts between our interests and those of and between different stakeholders, we will find them.

Here is a brief overview of steps in the process of designing, producing and facilitating a Stakeholder Engagement Marketing campaign, followed by an illustration, using the Liquid Revolution campaign I am designing and facilitating with O.N.E. Coconut Water.

These steps are not linear but iterative and interconnected.

First Phase: Develop the Core

Step 1Define your purpose/mission. You’ve got to know what you stand for before you can reflect and amplify it through your campaign, and before you can invite others to engage with you in the process.
O.N.E. Mission
We started O.N.E. with the intention of making a positive difference through business. We believe that everyone makes a difference and we commit to making a difference through every O.N.E. beverage we make and sell.
We are dedicated to driving improvement in food, health, business and the environment, to creating value for all of our stakeholders and to serving as an example of conscious capitalism in the beverage industry.

Step 2. Outline campaign objectives, reflecting your mission.
O.N.E. Campaign Objectives

  • Change the way people think about what they drink.
  • Foster change in what people drink, leading to healthier choices.
  • Create value for O.N.E. stakeholders and engage them in making a difference, together.
  • Cultivate a conscious culture within the company and throughout its ecosystem that reflects our mission.
  • Serve as an exemplary company, embodying the principles of Conscious Capitalism.

Step 3. Identify the stakeholders you want to engage.

  • Which stakeholders do you want to engage with the campaign? Customers? Employees? Distribution chain partners? The media? Others?
  • Who are they, in more depth? What are their needs and interests? What is their orientation? What do they relate and respond to? What channels do they receive information through?

O.N.E. Stakeholders
Here is a brief overview of O.N.E. stakeholders we aim to engage with the campaign, including needs and interests of some of them, to provide tangible examples.

  • Customers: (People who drink O.N.E. Coconut Water or who may in the future – of various ages and profiles). They look for and respond to information and inspiration relevant to their health, well-being, interests and concerns.
  • Team Members: O.N.E. employees and other team members (including outside service providers).
  • They want to feel like they are part of something meaningful and significant.
  • Sales team and field marketing team members need tools to represent the company, its products and the campaign to customers (distributors, wholesalers, retailers and people who buy and drink O.N.E. Coconut Water and other O.N.E. drinks)
  • Vendor/Distribution Chain Partners: (Distributors, wholesalers, retailers). They want to be inspired and energized, while they are selling products that generate revenues for them.
  • Supply Chain Partners: (Farmers, producer/packagers, packaging supply partner – e.g. Tetra Pak). In addition to dependable relationships, they want partners who support them in their relationships with their stakeholders and who add value for them beyond that of buying their products.
  • Campaign Partners: Allies and ambassadors want to associate, collaborate and be identified with a campaign, company and products that resonate with their values, purpose and identity, and that connect them with other stakeholders in a meaningful way.
  • Investors/Financial Partners: They want the companies they invest in to be solid, stable and flourishing and increasingly recognize that engaging stakeholders by standing for something beyond money and creating value for stakeholders creates a healthy company with strong financial returns.
  • Communities: (Including communities where the Coconut Water is produced and where it is sold). They expect companies to participate as engaged citizens.
  • The Environment: People need and expect companies to consider their effect on the environment.
  • Society: Beyond considering the environment, society as a whole is served when companies elevate the overall functioning of business and address specific needs and opportunities for advancing human flourishing.

Step 4Define your positioning. What is an overall message that reflects your mission and connects with the needs and interests of your stakeholders, in a way that they will relate to and be inspired by?
O.N.E. Positioning

Based on all of the preceding – O.N.E.’s mission, it’s objectives, the needs and interests of its stakeholders, it’s positioning can be simply stated as:
Making a difference, together.

 The Bottom Line

Informing and infusing your marketing with your mission increases the likelihood that you will advance your mission and provides shared purpose, meaning and inspiration for your stakeholders.

By explicitly considering the needs and interests of your stakeholders as you develop the core of your campaign, you are more likely to address their needs and interests, serve and engage your stakeholders as you design and implement campaign elements.

The next and final post in this 3-part series will focus on Designing and Implementing the Campaign.

Please join me for It’s Just Good Business at the en*theos Academy and join us for conversation on our Facebook page.

Jeff Klein is CEO of Working for Good, a company that activates, produces and facilitates mission-based, Stakeholder Engagement Marketing™ campaigns and Conscious Culture development programs.

Jeff is a founding trustee of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and authored the award-winning book, Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living, to support conscious entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, leaders and change agents at work. For more information, visit

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