Role and importance of CSR in marketing

Today, companies are compelled to accommodate social activities in their marketing strategy. They are eagerly active in environmental welfare along with the implied economic prosperity. Companies today believe that they are viewed as corporate citizens. Consumers are very strong opinionated about social and environmental initiatives and tend to base their purchase decision on it. In the contemporary business paradigm, companies cannot focus solely on monetary gains. But also need to include the dimension of social initiatives and emphasize on elevating the bottom line to boost company image through good corporate citizenship. Sustainability denotes a company’s activities which is considered as voluntary. This exhibits the company’s concern and involvement in social and environmental issues in its business agenda. This global trend of incorporating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) along with intentions of profit-earning, has compelled them to rework their business frameworks, processes and models. However, companies have realized the relevance of CSR in marketing for their short and long-term objectives. They are developing stronger marketing strategies around sustainability agendas for beating the competition and safeguarding their market position (D’Amato, Henderson and Florence, 2009).

Motivating employees by CSR

Companies take CSR in marketing initiatives for both internal as well as external marketing strategies. Companies need to be highly competitive even in the labor market. The labor market has a scarcity of talent and skilled manpower. Their success lies on the capability to entice, motivate and retain the talented employees. CSR in marketing initiatives have a significant impact on the employees’ mind-set. CSR in marketing is compelling and fosters a positive implication of the overall corporate brand on the minds of the aspiring candidates. Thus more people desire to be associated with it. Existing employees take pride in their employer’s brand and feel more committed towards their work and thus tend to have elongated service tenure (Bhattacharya, Sen and Korschun, 2007).

Luring customers through CSR activities

Anghel, Grigore and Rosca (2011) have reviewed that cause- related marketing is primarily founded on marketing in CSR initiatives. It is being used as a prominent tool for the marketing functions of the business. Cause-related marketing campaigns have shown significant results in appealing to new customers. It enhances the sales of specific or overall offerings of the company. It also boosts positive attitude about the brand. And it disposes social responsibilities by being a fund-raiser. Companies employ the cause related marketing strategy to establish a connection between the purchases made by consumers and channelizing some part of the revenue towards their CSR activities. Companies print the name of the charity on the packaging of the product. This works as a promotional tool for the charity as well as the offering. Customers are also emotionally influenced to make purchases. Thus it helps companies to get bigger ROI by implementing CSR in marketing campaigns.

Prominent examples of companies using CSR in marketing campaigns

There are many companies who have included CSR in marketing strategies for a multi-dimension return. American Express Corporation initiated CSR in marketing with issues like restoration of Statue of Liberty, hunger relief and women’s economic independence. ConAgra Foods initiated the feeding the children better, which had a positive impact by implementing CSR in marketing. Ford supported the cause of Breast Cancer (Verrghese, n.d.). Procter and Gamble runs the “Shiksha” initiative wherein part of revenue is donated towards children’s education. ITC runs the world renowned “e-Chaupal” initiative. The Tata Group runs multiple philanthropic activities in location of their facilities or in general. Liquor brand Bacardi in 2008 emphasized on “don’t drink and drive” and roped in Michael Schumacher for the cause which gave Bacardi the boost of celebrity endorsement by the benefits of CSR in marketing (EUCAM, 2009). Companies with the intention of accomplishing their marketing agenda through corporate social responsibility (CSR) have realized the importance of good corporate citizenship and the need of working towards the welfare of the society in the best possible manner.

References

  • Anghel, L., Grigore, G. and Rosca, M. (2011). Cause-Related Marketing, Part of Corporate Social Responsibility and its Influence upon Consumers’ Attitude, Amfiteatru Economic, XIII(29), Pp. 72-85.
  • Bhattacharya, C., Sen, S., and Korschun, D. (2007). Corporate Social Responsibility as an Internal Marketing Strategy, Sloan Management Review, Fall 2007, Pp. 1-29.
  • D’Amato, A., Henderson, S. and Florence, S. (2009). Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business. A guide to leadership tasks and functions, Greensboro: Centre for Creative Leadership.
  • EUCAM. (2009).  Corporate Social Responsibility: A New Marketing Tool, Trends in Alcohol marketing. Netherlands: European Center for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing.
  • Verrghese, A. (n.d.). Partnerships and cause-related Marketing: Building Brands for the Future, [online]. Available at: http://brandchannel.com/papers_review.asp?sp_id=583 [Accessed September 27 2013].
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