Purpose, Process, Payoff

Updated on February 12, 2020.

In my career as a marketer, I have spent much of it in electronics manufacturing, and much to the surprise of many, I loved it. I’ve enjoyed the privilege of being on the ‘floor’ and watching the circuit boards being placed as our favorite electronics are being built. 

In that environment, we lived by what we referred to as the 3P’s; the purpose, process and payoff. Even today as I meet with brands, I find myself reverting to them as we discuss their strategies and next moves in their marketing efforts. And while I’m certainly not challenging them, I often ask as we begin to discuss a new project: what is their purpose? Many times, the responses will be: our competitor is doing it, it seems like the thing to do, and the list goes on. Again, while I’m not challenging those, is that really the purpose? Let’s dig in and ask – how can we make the 3P’s work for us? 



What is it that you want to accomplish? How do we know that you need a Facebook page, a blog, a brochure, etc.? Defining the purpose is intrinsically critical to defining the goals. And if we don’t know the goals, how will we know if we are successful? How will we measure things? If we don’t measure it, how can we make improvements?  The purpose is really the key to planning the process and ensuring a payoff.

Once we have clearly defined our purpose and the goals, we can move to the process. 


If we aren’t clear on the purpose, then it will be quite difficult to define the most strategic way to reach our goal. The process is the ‘how’: how are we going accomplish what we want, and reach our goals in the most strategic way? The process becomes our tactical plan.

Let’s say we are launching a new product and we want generate buzz and a sense of excitement. As we think back to what drives word of mouth, we know it’s important to equip our audience with what it is we want them to share. That means we will need to do some reflection and define the WIFM (what’s in it for me?) or rather WIFT (what’s in it for them?) How are we going to inspire, encourage, engage our advocates to help spread the word? We need a plan. Do we know our audience, and the best way to reach, educate and equip them? 



This is what it’s all about, right? It’s the reason for the whole shebang.

What will the payoff be? And the payoff may is not just for your audience, but for you as well. Certainly, if the payoff is there for your audience, there will be a payoff for you.

As we have clearly defined our goals and process, it will much easier to measure how we meet the goals and how we can adjust as needed.


So, the next time you begin to consider your next campaign and strategy, think about the 3P’s. Heck, you could even take a look at a current campaign; clearly define your purpose, look at the process, and consider – is there anything that needs to be added, changed or just tweaked? Then, look at your payoff. Is there a payoff for both your audience and you?

Give it a try, and let us know how it works, or if we can help.


Robyn is passionate about helping brands learn how to use social media to create irresistible environments. She is experienced in assisting brands to create unique social experiences that are relevant and engaging resulting in the ultimate, word of mouth. She is has more that 15 years experience delving deeply into the intricacies of branding, community and marketing strategy. She is a proven leader in the visioneering of creative strategies that deliver real results and position brands as a leader in their industries. She has worked in high-level positions for global brands on both the client and agency side from Siemens Energy and Automation to most recently at Ogilvy Public Relations.


Emily Herman contributed to this post.