Innovative Marketing: When Corporations Embrace Their Social Responsibility Through Business Practices
By Anna Izenman
The marketing trend is impossible to ignore, even for someone like me who cut the cable cord five years ago and isn’t looking back. Businesses of all sizes are getting off the sidelines, embracing their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and becoming active participants in some of the biggest social issues of our lifetime.
The most recent example that comes to mind is Gillette’s viral ad targeting toxic masculinity and the #MeToo movement. Thirty years ago the company debuted their new marketing slogan, “The Best A Man Can Get,” in a Super Bowl commercial that earned more than one eye roll from me, viewing it for the first time this afternoon.
Now their ad asks, “Is this the best a man can get?” over scenes of men stepping in to stop their peers from harassing women, and encouraging little boys to show kindness to each other instead of fighting and bullying. While I did still raise an eyebrow at parts (I really don’t need a man defending me against the idiots who suggest I “smile more”), I do appreciate the overall message and effort delivered by their marketing.
Similarly, I started using Dove products more frequently after their body positivity messaging took off in in the mid ‘00s with their Real Beauty campaign. The commercial with the sketches did exactly what they were hoping for and had me reaching for the tissue box.
The point is this: reason and emotion are the new currency in marketing, and those who don’t deliver are at risk of being left behind by employees and customers both.
Reflect Your Corporate Social Responsibility In Practice As Well As Marketing
In 2017, a study by Glassdoor found that 75% of workers age 18-34 expect employers to take a stand on important issues affecting the country and their constitutional rights. Data also suggests that companies who pay attention and take a stand on issues like immigration, equal rights and climate change may have an advantage when it comes to recruiting.
Additionally, nearly four in five U.S. workers as a whole believe companies have an important voice in proposed legislation, regulation and executive orders that could affect the employer’s business or the lives of their employees.
“Today’s informed candidates want to work for companies that are actively engaged on topics that directly impact their lives and align with their beliefs,” said Dawn Lyon, Glassdoor C. “Today’s candidates, especially younger job seekers, want to work at companies that take a stand and take action.”
In 2018, Forbes contributor Thomas Bognanno co-chaired the 17th annual Charities@Work Employee Engagement Summit in New York City, leading candid discussions about racism, gender equality and immigration, and how companies should, and must, respond. Here are a few trends he identified that companies of all sizes should be watching.
Authenticity Is In
Companies can no longer be silent when it comes to social issues and many are setting up platforms for employees to share with each other, from employee-led business resource …read more
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