There is an incredible amount of positive reasons why a business should consider a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.
Although many companies will embrace a CSR approach for the right reasons, a simple mistake that some organisations can make is selecting a cause because it is trendy or considered vogue.
It is important that businesses entering CSR activities make sure that the cause they will be supporting is strategically aligned with their own business strategy.
Consideration should be given to the products and services they deliver and the market place it serves. Supporting something that is important to that market place will offer the organisation several benefits that will help increase profitability and market share as it can constructively help retain and attract customers.
The Japanese author Haruki Murakami once said, “I was always attracted not by some quantifiable, external beauty, but by something deep down, something absolute.”
CSR activities can reach customers and other stakeholders on a deeper level. Often if the CSR and business strategy have been integrated correctly it can go a long way to helping an organisation’s products and services become the brand of choice for those customers.
In this blog we share with you three key ‘Tools’ on how to set the foundation for your customer CSR strategy and finish off with briefly describing the outcomes and ‘Goals’ achieved by activating the tools.
Let’s begin with the TOOLS
CSR causes, and activities will offer you a great deal of promotional opportunity and this can be a great way to extend the reach and impact of your brand to your current and potential customer base.
Reaching out to media organisations beyond your industry with CSR stories will carry your message and brand into the homes or handsets of potential prospects.
Promotes brand loyalty
Customers will look upon organisations that have a strong CSR strategy with deeper respect especially if they are important to the customer also.
Alignment of a just cause will connect with supporters/customers on an emotional level helping increase their loyalty.
Strong CSR driven organisations have been proven to be able to attract and retain talented executives due to the high levels of employee engagement involved.
Engaged employees are more productive leading to higher levels of stakeholder engagement throughout the supply chain and as such an increase in positive customer interaction.
Leading to the GOALS
There is an old business adage that it costs 6 times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain one.
There is evidence showing high levels of customer loyalty due to a company being involved in CSR activities.
It can then become an incredibly strong business strategy to consider a CSR plan that is directly aligned with your current customer base to help customers stay engaged.
The first segment is referred to as ‘Aspirationals’ (39%) who identify with the cause and will become a customer specifically because of it.
The second segment are ‘Advocates’ (20%) who will actively promote your brand and services to their wider network because of their connection to the cause.
Companies that have strong internal and external engagement will enjoy high levels of advocacy from these stakeholder groups and with the rise of social media, influencer marketing has become an incredibly strong tool to use to help increase your customer base.
We know and trust the people in our networks (or at least understand their limitations) and often we will have similar likes, so having them advocate a brand’s products and services is a great way of encouraging us to follow suit.
As well as supporting a great cause a CSR strategy that aligns with your business objectives has been proven to help not only retain customers but also gain new ones.
The challenge remains to identify the alignment with your key stakeholder groups and your business goals. If it is to grow market share by growing your customer base then keep the focus on your them and their motivations.
They will help you find the correct fit for your organisation.