How can marketing with heart change the world? How can your brand really differentiate itself in a sea of similar companies with similar offerings? How can you give your employees the satisfaction of knowing that they are a part of something significant? The answer to these questions and many others lie in giving your brand or company a purpose greater than the products or services it offers.
To do this effectively, Corporate Social Investment is something you will need to invest in. CSI can be defined as an initiative undertaken by your company that is not profit driven and usually external to your usual business activities. It utilizes your company’s resources and your staff’s time and skillset to help uplift communities.
Following our CSI marketing series, this article dives into the marketing secrets that utilise CSI efforts to help boost your business and how to do that effectively.
First and foremost, as a business owner, the important thing to know and understand is the actual value CSI plays in your business. CSI efforts enhance and elevate your brand reputation, giving your business a competitive edge over any other competing businesses within your vertical. In addition to the obvious draw for consumers, CSI also has a positive effect on your employees. Employees will be willing to go that extra mile and feel like they are working towards something incredible and making a difference in people’s lives.
Once you have an understanding of the importance of CSI marketing it’s important to find a cause that aligns with your business and rings true of who your brand is, what your business stands for and even better still a cause that mimic’s the products or services you provide this will allow the synergy between your business and the CSI efforts you are backing and supporting seem authentic and from a genuine interest and the fit will seem and fit together naturally. Then actually deep diving and having a true understanding of why the problem exists, who this is directly affecting, where geographically is this heightened, where the problems stem from, what resources do these Non profits need and how can your business specifically aid in this, what funding, what resources, what hands on help, what specifically can you provide.
Adapt your offering in accordance to the root cause that exists, to help alleviate the problems your vulnerable audience is experiencing. Make your offering extend more than just once a year on Mandela day, let this live always on and where possible digitize your offering so it’s easily accessible all year round and around the clock.
In this digitized offering, you could have a zero-rated website, for example, that houses needed resources and information, a section for business to help provide funding, the list is really endless. By understanding who your audience is, what they are in desperate need for, why they need it, as well as how your business can solve this, it’s easy to adapt your offering to suit this and tick these essential boxes.
By publicizing your CSI efforts, you allow suppliers and customers to be in the know and this means the draw to work with your company holds much value and allows them to partner up and collaborate with you in your CSI efforts. This works exceptionally well when in your advertising message you make it known that 10% of your purchasing spend goes towards eradicating child hunger, for example. Appealing to the emotions of consumers can entice people to be more generous and give towards a cause they believe in.
Partnering up with a few important allies will ensure you get the best out of your marketing campaigns. These allies are social media influencers (social media is EVERYTHING when doing CSI marketing and non-profit work). The second important ally is an expert such as a doctor, nurse, a career counsellor, or any other credible specialist within a field that aligns with your initiative. This gives your campaign weight, making it a trustworthy source of credible and useful information at your vulnerable audience’s fingertips.
The third most important ally is a team on the ground doing community service and other offline efforts directly with the vulnerable audience. Lastly, the fourth most important ally is a qualified marketer or marketing agency that has cause marketing experience and is running, monitoring and optimizing these campaigns with your business and marketing goal in mind and ensuring this all brings your business a ROI.
With these secrets in mind, you will be on your way to CSI marketing success with an abundance of benefits to your business.
At Arc Interactive, we’re passionate about helping businesses and big brands develop their brands through a greater cause and aiding them to position themselves well in the minds of their consumers and even employees, through impactful CSI marketing efforts that uplift the communities they are passionate about. To find out more, visit our website or e-mail us on email@example.com or connect with us on our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.
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