If you are not 100% certain on what exactly CSR entails, herewith two definitions to broaden your horizon:
- According to the Harvard Kennedy School, “Corporate social responsibility encompasses not only what companies do with their profits, but also how they make them. It goes beyond philanthropy and compliance and addresses how companies manage their economic, social, and environmental impacts, as well as their relationships in all key spheres of influence: the workplace, the marketplace, the supply chain, the community, and the public policy realm”.
- Another excellent definition on CSR done by The Institute of Directors (2002), “CSR is about businesses and other organizations going beyond the legal obligations to manage the impact they have on the environment and society. In particular, this could include how organizations interact with their employees, suppliers, customers and the communities in which they operate, as well as the extent they attempt to protect the environment”.
Recently, I came across a great article that showcased two examples on how companies directly influenced consumers. The reason for highlighting this to you is that it serves as a perfect example on how companies are becoming the rules of the world, bear with me here:
- HubSpot recently announced opening offices in Ireland. For them, the decision was purely to expand the business but on the other hand, new job opportunities was at the forefront of discussion in a country, hundreds of miles away which affected people they have never met.
- Steve Jobs hated flash and therefore none of the Apple products were developed to accommodate flash as a component. Through this tactic, intentionally or not, he has altered the market through his decision to restrict.
You may ask, what is the purpose of your article and what relation does it have with marketing? Well, think about it, who created content about the new offices in Ireland and who communicated that flash wasn’t compatible with any Apple product? The answer: marketing! Therefore, corporate social responsibility should play a fundamental part in any marketing strategy due to the fact that being seen as socially responsible could be used as a PR strategy to help increase revenue.
But, before you go and paint the offices green, it is important to keep in mind that CSR should focus on areas of direct relevance to your company’s sphere of operations. CSR is not about pursuing your CEO’s pet interest and ‘saving the seals’. Although ‘case-related marketing’ and ‘strategic philosophy’ forms part of an element of CSR, they are not central components of the CSR of your company. CSR has been implemented to enhance the success of the company because of its relevance, rather than representing something unconnected to its core business.
I sincerely hope that you’ve found this article interesting – feel free to post your comments or thoughts.