All brands want consumers to be aware of their products. But sometimes, awareness itself is the product—especially in a world where vision impairment affects more than four billion people globally, 2.5 billion of whom don't have ready access to corrective measures.
Such is the case with the Vision Impact Institute, an organization dedicated to socio-economic vision issues. Devised by correction lens and optical equipment company Essilor, the Institute has a single goal: to act as a global connector of vision knowledge, data, and solutions. The Institute's beating heart is VisionImpactInstitute.org, an online hub of research and statistics designed by digital marketing strategy agency CreativeFeed, which also led brand development for Essilor's “Vision has a Voice” effort.
“This was a global cause that didn't have a voice—the fact that nearly one third of the world's population needs vision correction—and Essilor wanted to sponsor it by creating an aggregation of content; a place where all the related data will reside,” says CreativeFeed CEO Arthur Ceria. “It's crucial for researchers, for governmental institutions, and for universities to have access to data and be aware of this problem.”
The site features interactive content, including shareable infographics and a curated database of peer-reviewed studies with a focus on vision economics.
Essilor's subtle take on content marketing isn't about selling contact lenses—it's about raising consciousness and disseminating data.
“The population is only growing and aging, and we must start to understand the problem facing them vis-à-vis vision,” Ceria says. “I believe that if a brand or an institution becomes a facilitator of the conversation around a movement, then it becomes a part of something much bigger than itself.”
It's the data curation and sharing aspect that makes the Vision Impact Institute stand out, says Ceria, who notes that quality always trumps quantity in the data game.
“Marketing has always been grounded in data; now the question is about actionable insights and data,” says Ceria. “It's not a matter of how much data we can get, but of how much we can do with the data we have.”
Marketers are—in fact, everyone is—overwhelmed by data volume, which is why Ceria says it's about making what you have count.
“You're not going to find a single CMO who says, ‘Yeah, I'm looking for more data,'” he says. “With the Vision Impact Institute, it's about how we can take data and make it more approachable and relevant to you.”
The site also positions Essilor as an expert resource on a social issue that jibes seamlessly with the brand's mission of, according to its website, allowing “as many people as possible to see well to improve their quality of life.” It's content marketing without the marketing.
In the three weeks since its March 18 launch, the site's already brought in about 4,000 visitors and Essilor has received positive feedback from users on the clarity of how the research and results are presented online.
Says Ceria: “If you can share and create content that helps people visualize what you're trying to say—and take into account how people will be communicating your message—data can be a very powerful medium.”