Marketing and CSR, do they really work?

I would like to tell you a tale, don’t worry it is only a short one.

Over 25 years ago I joined Nissan Motors GB as a young marketer, as Direct Marketing Manager. One of my first projects was to work with our agency to develop a loyalty programme, this was pre internet and email, so it was a beautifully designed pack that we sent out to all customers, expensive and an environmental disaster. In the pack were various pieces of information on Nissan, its cars and latest news. We also decided that we should include an article on our support of the National Children’s Home (NCH), we had never before been outspoken about this support. Amazingly, well to everyone else it was amazing, the article on NCH received the most engagement by a huge margin. And so began my love affair with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

In those early years, I quickly realised that by being a good company we could raise the profile of the business without a “hard sell”, but as the years passed, I realised that it was not just about raising the profile and managing the reputation of the business, there were many other benefits.

In the modern world, the position is no different, other than most people are now more aware of the different elements of a CSR framework, including the environment, the workplace, the community and support of charities. The investment and finance community are also increasingly demanding businesses produce ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) reports so they can ensure that any investment is made to socially responsible businesses. However, ESG reporting is just that, it is a set of reports that detail the current position of the business in relation to those areas and not their future plans to improve their CSR position. A CSR framework is the structure that ensures the business can deliver these reports and meet all the increasing requirements of the investors and increasingly importantly, clients.

Without a CSR framework in place the business will not benefit from the full potential that CSR can deliver including;

  • Winning new business and customers
  • Attracting new staff more easily
  • Retaining current staff
  • Raising the profile of the business in a positive way
  • Helping secure investment

It is also important to note that legislation is being introduced across the world and any business that is part of the supply chain (Scope 3) for corporate businesses will be required by them to produce ESG data on an annual basis. So however small you are, you will probably find requests coming from clients in the very near future. Don’t wait till it is too late and you miss out on opportunities.

But the tale doesn’t end here. Thankfully, more people across society are now demanding businesses become more responsible and those who aren’t will lose business so the marketing benefits are more important than ever. As we move through this decade and into the next, this will only become more important and it will be those businesses who can demonstrate their CSR activity, especially their environmental credentials, that will not only survive but thrive.

To find out how we can help you establish a CSR framework and integrate it with your marketing get in touch or call me on 07900 580407.