A Germany-based company, the 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. The 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.
So we are already in the future where new businesses are conceptualizing products that fulfill 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.
Cause Marketing: 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 beyond the B2B and B2C tag to B2H (Business to Human). Check 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% believe 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 more than 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
Suppose you’ve held Marketing for a lip service; time to rethink its potential. Marketing upholds organizational values and incorporates products and solutions to drive businesses toward loyalty and success. Millennials work with providers that guarantee purchase satisfaction and transparency in terms of child labor, slavery, human trafficking, environmental damage, illegal mining, etc.
Cause for Commerce
Can you recall what we discussed in the fourth paragraph about transitioning B2B and B2C to B2H? Good. Now, approach CSR in the way a B2H product/service positions itself. It’ll be easier for you to align your business to a cause that matters in your immediate business environment with this mindset. 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 Marketing: 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. Instead, they would do business with organizations that take a side, fight for a cause, and solve 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 about whether to discontinue Google, remember one of its tiniest initiatives connects the rural world with free internet!
Cause Marketing: The Roadmap
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 a mere obligation of 2% of the final profit. It is the activation of the cause marketing mindset. The way you approach CSR is the way your consumers will approach your product/service.