How Cause Marketing Helps Corporate Social Responsibility ROI

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A Germany-based company, Tribe, leverages artificial intelligence to create a human experience for buyers used to a static chatbot. If you wonder how does it replace a traditional chat window, you are on the right path. Tribe is serving a more profound purpose by bringing together technology and human values. Their efforts reduce the communication gap between consumers and bots with human emotions to connect with your mood.

The Old and the New

So we are already in the future where new businesses are conceptualizing products that fulfils a cause, and purpose. In this regard, legacy businesses are undertaking transformative initiatives to fortify their market influence through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Organizations with progressive mindsets see value in a purpose-driven strategic advancement, in which Microsoft is an immediate name. In the BP Sustainability Report 2018, you’ll see that companies that believe in a social purpose, attract more buyers.

The New CSR & Marketing

Unlike previously, today, an organization’s CSR is no more passive engagement. The Marketing department identifies Cause and potential collaboration with other functions by harnessing the power of digital media. Today, businesses and consumers intersect to create opportunities to go beyond the B2B and B2C tag to B2H (Business to Human). Check this these companies with embedded CSR in their product marketing.

According to the 2017 Cone CSR report, 87% of Americans purchase products owing to the company’s cause advocacy initiative. 70% believes that most companies take up mandatory CSR initiatives not aligned with their business operations. Additionally, 92% of its respondents regard companies that care for the environment a lot more over others that do not. Only nine out of ten respondents expressed the possibility of switching brands over one’s association with a cause.

The Role of Marketing

If you’ve held Marketing for a lip-service, time to rethink its potential. Marketing upholds organizational values, incorporates that in products and solutions intended to drive businesses toward loyalty and success. Millennials work with providers that not only guarantee purchase-satisfaction but transparency in terms of child labour, slavery, human trafficking, environmental damage, illegal mining, etc.

Below, I discuss a robust framework to help you proceed with your cause marketing.

Cause for Commerce

Can you recall what we discussed in the fourth paragraph about the transitioning of B2B and B2C to B2H? Good. Now, approach CSR in the way a B2H product/service positions itself. With this mindset, it’ll be easier for you to align your business to a cause that matters in your immediate business environment. For example, if you are a startup in education technology, check if you can make knowledge accessible to the underprivileged by harnessing the same infrastructure. If yours is an enterprise in food-technology or food e-commerce, look at how you can leverage your existing mechanism to alleviate the food crisis. 

Cause Embedded Commerce

I find it funny when tech-companies market their products by functionality and then after some time, by some more enhanced features, and so on; as if that’s not obvious enough of the money they are charging. Cost savings or efficient returns on investment are no more the attraction for a buyer. They would instead do business with organizations that take a side, fight for a cause, is solving more than the everyday banality of office life.

Every Search is Planting a Tree

Did you know about Ecosia? Ecosia is an online search engine that plants a tree with every search you donate. They are planting not only in their immediate locality but fur-flung places like Burkina Faso and places in North Africa where the crust is splitting for the sun, cannot have it enough. They are planting trees to cure water levels and restore natural habitation. So this is how you can embed a cause in your offer. And if you think whether to discontinue Google, remember one of its tiniest initiatives connects the rural world with free internet! 

The Way Forward

Finally, it is time for marketing to invite your product, and finance to sketch your new CSR roadmap. Every department should know that CSR is no more mere obligation of 2% of the final profit. It is activation of the cause marketing mindset. The way you approach CSR is the way your consumers will approach your product/service.

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