The concept of social responsibility believes that a company must become a good citizen, balancing its income-generating business with activities that benefit society, whether it is local, national or global. Social responsibility in marketing involves focusing on attracting consumers who want to have a positive impact on their purchases. Many companies have adopted socially responsible elements in their marketing strategies as a means of helping the community through beneficial products and services.
Interestingly, charity practice can also be a good business tool as evidenced in extensive research. According to a speech titled “The Power of Value-Based Strategy” by Forrester Research, a market research firm that provides consulting services to corporate clients, “Approximately 52% of American consumers incorporate value into their purchase options.”, actively seeking to promote consistent beliefs and brand values .
Additionally, a Nielsen report that surveyed 30,000 consumers in 60 countries also found that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from brands that demonstrate social commitment. Finally, research by the public, relations and marketing company, Cone Communications, found that 87% of Americans buy products because the company advocates for issues that concern them.
How does social responsibility work in marketing?
Recyclable packaging, publicity of social problems and problems, and use of part of the proceeds for charities or charities are examples of socially responsible marketing strategies. For example, a clothing company’s marketing team might launch a campaign to encourage consumers to buy a pack of socks rather than just a pair. With this model, for each pack of socks sold, the company can donate a pack of socks to military personnel abroad or local shelters for the homeless.
As a result of these donations, the company has established itself as a socially responsible and caring brand, and finally attracted those customers who are motivated by commitments to social responsibility and want to support the well-being of the community.
Corporate responsibility and social responsibility practices go hand in hand. For example, managers, executives, shareholders, and stakeholders should practice ethical behavior and join the community to promote responsible marketing. The practice of promoting deceptive and environmentally friendly crafts or products that only have a green appearance or makeup, to show customers that the company is not committed to social responsibility. On the contrary, these actions will ultimately damage the success of the brand and the company. Consumers can often see through untrue or ineffective gimmicks, slogans or efforts. In fact, 65% of respondents in the Cone study stated that they would investigate the company’s position on an issue to see if it is true.
Examples of Social Responsibility in Marketing
Some critics questioned the concept of social responsibility in marketing, pointing out that these expensive and widely publicized activities are rich and colorful, but very limited (scope and duration), and will not help to eradicate the root of the problem. They want to know if it would be more efficient if businesses – or consumers for that matter – donated directly to charities or charities.
Of course, it appears that the most effective strategy is for the company to find a way to directly connect its core products with its efforts to be socially responsible and expand its efforts. The popular TOMS label is a good example. The shoemaker launched a “one-to-one” campaign in 2006: for every pair of sneakers or boots purchased, TOMS will donate a pair of shoes to children in need. Similarly, each pair of glasses has to pay for a poor person’s eye exam and treatment.
Although TOMS has provided footwear and eye care to millions of people, and the buy-one-donate-one model has been adopted by other fashion brands, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie has received much criticism for his materialistic approach to poverty. You may not need “throw your shoes” shoes. As a foothold in solving more potential poverty problems, Mycoskie is committed to making shoes in the global regions it donated.
As of 2019, TOMS reported that it had donated more than 95 million pairs of shoes, helped 780,000 people view the restoration, and provided 722,000 weeks of clean water. The company is also looking to improve infrastructure: it has expanded into the coffee field and TOMS donated its sales proceeds to build clean water systems in the communities where the coffee beans are grown.
Although the initial investment may involve profit sharing or donating to people in need, social responsibility in marketing promotes the improvement of the company’s image, which can significantly affect profitability and even productivity.