How Promoting a Commitment to Social Responsibility Attracts Customers
Posted by Resource Nation on December 30, 2013 in Marketing [ 0 Comments ]
Advertisers are continually devising strategies to help increase exposure while reducing expenses; however, a recent survey suggests giving away more money might be the direction small businesses should be taking.
Conducted by KPMG, a financial advisory firm, research found that nearly 70 percent of adults under the age of 30 make purchases while considering the implications on social issues, like environmentalism and fair trade. The study showed consumers are attracted to businesses who play a role in these more altruistic endeavors, such as when 54 percent of New Jersey small businesses donated to charity following Hurricane Sandy. But marketing such facts can be difficult without a company coming off as exploitative. The trick is finding the balance between advertising and philanthropy without shedding the creativity of marketers.
One particular step companies can take is interacting with other donors. Businesses can organize and host their own events, inviting other contributors and groups representing a specific cause to network and supplant themselves as a supporter of the cause. Showing an interest can be just as important as having one.
Show Through Social
Companies also have the option of promoting their own social responsibility through online networking outlets, like Facebook and Twitter. Social media offers a more intimate company-customer experience, and promoting charitable efforts or increased sustainability is a perfect way to inform customer bases. Trying to do too much, though, can be detrimental.
Advertising your own efforts via social media requires a light, more organic touch. If a company writes an article about its dedication to cleaning up the world’s oceans, it’s imperative the author avoids an obvious commercial tone. Overtly leveraging social responsibility for sales is a surefire way to turn off consumers and possibly attract some negative press. A bit of finesse can go a long way here. Social platforms are more intimate than other marketing mediums. Businesses can interact personally with their clients and customer, posting articles, pictures and videos, humanizing themselves while promoting social responsibility and effectively strengthening their brand.
Don’t Be Spread Too Thin
With significant budget space available, it’s easy for a company to simply throw money at an array of charities and call it a day. However, social responsibility has evolved past mere donations. Consumers want to see real investments to change. For instance, Method cleaning products have fully embraced their environmentalism, crafting their soaps and sanitizers from natural ingredients and then bottling them in equally eco-friendly packages. They are now one of the fastest-growing companies in the world, according to Ad Age.
Consumers want to see that companies are contributing to social issues in a meaningful way. That means focusing on a few causes relevant to the business’s mission.
Bring Everybody in On It
Making an investment in social responsibility doesn’t have to be an act the brand undertakes alone. Businesses should work to include both staff and customers in their efforts. Hosting charitable events and activities can be a great way for a small business to connect with their employees, giving them a single goal to strive for. And it can introduce the company as a true contributor to the local community. If customers have pride in a local businesses dedication to philanthropy and civic engagement they’re more likely to promulgate the brand to their friends and family.
Promoting an organization’s commitment to social responsibility is a delicate undertaking, but one that if done carefully can connect a business with its surrounding community and customers. A strong ethic and history of charitable efforts, can raise the quality of a brand and – in cases like Method – accelerate growth.