Defining ‘Social Profitability’ for Today and Tomorrow

What are Great Companies Doing to Elevate Their Social Consciousness?

Ask yourself, “What am I doing to make the world a better place?” Too grandiose? OK, so what are you doing in your community or within your own workplace? Today’s greatest companies are valued not only for their business acumen, but also for their social consciousness. Successful corporate leaders have found creative and thoughtful ways of mixing business practice with Social Profitability…and inspiring others to do the same. Altruistic acts can – and will – pay off with improved corporate relations, brand recognition and elevated employee morale and loyalty.

Many prove it by putting their money where their mouths are, through corporate philanthropy, by writing out cheques for donations or corporate grants when charities come knocking. Honorable, but is money enough?

We see companies able to leverage their corporate funds, in-kind contributions, or resources to support a not-for-profit fundraising effort through cause promotion – implementing co-sponsored advertising that raises awareness and concern for the cause, generates consumer traffic and brings positive attention to themselves at the same time.

How does cause-related marketing differ from cause promotion? Cause-related marketing sees a direct correlation between corporate levels of giving and consumer action. Again, co-branded advertising plays a large part in increasing awareness and activating public response. By example, a company donates all proceeds for a specific advertised item from a one-day (one-month or annual) charitable event or promotion to a specific not-for-profit. Think of the impact of the hugely successful (RED) campaign, which put cause-related marketing on the map and in the minds of consumers everywhere. Founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to get businesses and people involved in the fight against AIDS, they joined forces with iconic brands to bring (RED) products and events to the global marketplace. In nearly 10 years, 60 million people have been impacted and $315 million dollars have been donated to The Global Fund.

At a time when more and more attention is being placed on the health of our population and on the world we live in, we’re seeing a greater emphasis on corporate social marketing. Businesses are using their resources to develop or implement behaviour change for the good of all. The outcomes are intended to improve public health, safety, the environment or community wellbeing. A prime example of this form of marketing is the promotion and inclusion of LEED certifications for commercial real estate developers and property managers. Collateral materials now showcase the ‘green’ efforts of their buildings and the reduction of energy consumption on behalf of their tenants.

What about your employees? How do you ask them to go above and beyond? Employee engagement activities support and encourage your employees to join in your corporate mindset and take part in already existing social initiatives with nonprofit organizations and causes. Think of it as a social profitability investment your company contributes by allowing employees to volunteer their time, talent and labour in paid time off, matching services, and cause-related teams. The payoff comes back tenfold.

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