Marketing examples and CSR best practices to improve impact

 Marketing examples and CSR best practices to improve impact

Consumers love to support brands they care about. In fact, in the Sprout Social survey, 71% of consumers said it's important for brands to take a stand on social issues. No wonder socially responsible marketing has become a focus for brands and small businesses around the world.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at what socially responsible marketing is and give you some great examples. We've also listed some best practices to help you get started.

Marketing examples and CSR best practices to improve impact

What is socially responsible marketing?

Socially responsible marketing is a marketing method that attempts to reach consumers who want to support a cause or positively influence their purchasing decisions. It includes promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts such as: b. Donating, volunteering, ethics, following sustainable practices, community support and more.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

Corporate Social Responsibility refers to the business model a company follows in order to remain socially responsible - whether to its stakeholders or the public. It enables companies to be aware of their impact on the environment, economy and society. Basically, CSR helps brands make morally and ethically correct decisions.

Why is socially responsible marketing necessary?

The emergence of the socially conscious consumer causes an evolution in the marketing landscape. Brands not only need to make ethical and conscious choices, but they also need to actively express these choices, demonstrating consumer values ​​to consumers. The goal is to attract consumers whose values ​​align with them.

This is more important than ever as consumers increasingly look to support socially conscious brands. According to the 2021 SurveyMonkey survey, 46% of respondents care more about social values ​​than they did a year ago. As expected, 78% of respondents make purchasing decisions based on their values. In addition, 55% said they are more likely to choose a company whose values ​​align with their own.

Sustainability and environmental awareness are among the top concerns of today's consumers. As a result, 40 percent of Deloitte survey respondents also chose brands with environmentally responsible practices or values. In fact, 38 percent are willing to pay a premium for more durable, long-lasting products. In addition, 37% chose brands with ethics and values.

Not surprisingly, 34% of respondents have even stopped buying certain brands or products for ethical or sustainability reasons. It is clear that consumers are becoming more aware of leading ethical and sustainable lifestyles. Brands need to adapt to these issues by adapting their marketing.

10 examples of socially responsible marketing

Are you considering incorporating social responsibility into your marketing strategy but not sure how to get started? Get inspired by these 10 brands that are doing things right.

1. Tentree 

As a brand that takes sustainability seriously, Tentree is no stranger to social responsibility . The brand understands that its customers are very concerned about their purchasing decisions and their impact on the environment. To address these issues, Tentree has launched Climate Plus, a subscription program that allows customers to plant trees and offset their carbon footprint.

Customers can choose a one-month program to balance the lifestyle of the average Canadian by planting 13 trees. Or they can choose to plant 22 trees a month to make up the family tree for the lifestyle of a Canadian family of four. They also offer a variety of family offset packages, travel packages, daily offset packages, and event compensation packages for customers to choose from.

By enabling customers to easily offset their carbon footprint, Tentree effectively solves a major pain point. It has also established the brand as a leader in sustainability, which has helped it earn the trust and loyalty of its many environmentally conscious customers.

2. Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty has made its socially responsible marketing simple by keeping its Earth-conscious initiatives transparent. The brand has a dedicated page on their website that explains the steps it takes to reduce the environmental impact of its products. They explain how they got rid of cardboard as much as possible and chose recycled materials, even for the flimsy boxes they still use.

The brand implements a refillable system, so customers only need to buy refills when they run out. Not only does this reduce costs to the customer, but it also requires less packaging, which reduces environmental impact. By highlighting these initiatives, Fenty Beauty is giving customers the confidence to purchase their products as they reduce their impact on the environment.

3. Trupanion

Trupanion is a pet insurance company actively trying to make a positive difference for pet owners and pets in general. For example, the brand teamed up with We Rate Dogs on Twitter to crack down on harmful myths about pit bulls. They also regularly share helpful tips and information about pets to educate and raise awareness.

Recently, Trupanion ran a fundraiser called Paws for Ukraine to help people and pets in Ukraine. By raising money, they help deliver pet food, reconnect pet owners with lost pets, and send medicine and pet supplies to the people of Ukraine. The move establishes Trupanion as a brand that truly cares about animal welfare and supports pet owners.

4. Fabletics

Fabletics is an activewear brand that values ​​inclusivity and chooses to feature real women of all shapes and sizes on social media. But the brand's initiative didn't stop there. They also actively advocate for positive change by speaking out on social issues such as hatred of the Asian American community. In addition, Fabletics makes regular donations to organizations and activities focused on these issues.

The brand also contributes to breast cancer awareness through partnerships with affiliate organizations. They launched a fundraiser and 100% of net profits were donated to the organization up to $25,000. In addition, Fabletics promotes all of these social responsibility initiatives through a special Instagram Featured Stories category called “Our Impact”.

5. Zoom

Consumers don't just care about the materials they use or the environmental impact of your products. They also look at how you engage with the people behind your brand to see if they really care. Knowing this, Zoom is very committed to building a strong employer brand as it plays a vital role in socially responsible marketing. In 2021, the company has been named one of the best places to work by Glassdoor.

Zoom uses the LinkedIn hashtag "Life " to highlight the company's culture. They explain their commitment to benefits and what they offer to help employees maintain work-life balance. Here, they highlight the various health benefits and generous vacation arrangements they offer to show how much they care about their employees.

6. Wendy’s 

Wendy's may be known for its snarky tweets and scathing burns, but the fast food chain doesn't shy away from social responsibility either. Although the brand doesn't post about it much on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, it does regularly support social causes and shares updates on LinkedIn.

For example, share how they worked with the Women's Council of Columbus to achieve equal pay. They even run an annual Frosty 5K Run for Adoptions where they donate 100% of the registration fee to the Dave Thomas Apprion Foundation.

The moves show that the company behind the acerbic and sarcastic identity often associated with Wendy's still takes business seriously. They still take a stand on important social issues, which makes them a brand with values.

7. Oracle

Oracle is committed to sustainable development with the goal of helping its customers run their businesses with less energy. They even have a sustainability plan that will allow them to recycle and reuse 99.6% of their obsolete devices by 2021 alone. The company also plans to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2025 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

On Earth Day 2022, Oracle shared a post on Instagram outlining the changes they've made. This short video shows how the recovery and recycling program has prevented 33,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. It also helps viewers visualize what this means in terms of car use and home energy consumption. This makes Oracle a company that cares about its environmental impact.

8. Canva

As a brand that values ​​diversity and inclusion, Canva actively supports artists from all backgrounds. They've created the Canva Represents Fund to support artists from underrepresented communities. The goal is to help them create content that is representative of everyone and to enable organizations to build more diverse and inclusive content libraries.

Canva users can then use the content created by these Canva Represents artists for free. By empowering artists from underrepresented communities and creating a more diverse content library, the company is affirming its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

9. Notion

Notion puts its values ​​into practice in a number of ways. To foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, the company encourages several employee-led affinity groups, such as Accessibility at Notion and Immigrants at Notion . The company also shows its support for important social causes by offering 501(c)3 organizations a 50% discount on their group plans.

To increase its social impact , Notion also has several programs and partnerships to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and fight racism. This includes supporting organizations such as 826 Valencia to help students from underfunded backgrounds find their voices as writers and artists. BreakLine is another organization they support that allows them to reach out to veterans, women, and POCs who are trying to start a career in tech.

Notion showcased their social presence on their career page, allowing them to effectively market their employer brand . This helps them attract employees whose values ​​align with theirs and build a socially conscious community within the organization.

10. Tesco

Tesco 's grocery division actively supports a number of important social causes and promotes these initiatives through Instagram. This includes working with an influential cancer advocate to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer and donating to the Bowelbabe Fund.

The brand also runs food drives to help families who are struggling financially. Tesco shared a post on Instagram encouraging fans to donate and support their food group. They also promise to add 20% cash back for each donated item. These types of initiatives go a long way towards establishing Tesco as a company that cares about its local communities.

4 best practices for socially responsible marketing

Now that you have some great examples to replicate, you may be looking to start your own socially responsible marketing program . Here are some best practices to keep in mind.

Encourage your own social responsibility efforts

While you may be a little hesitant to share your good deeds, the primary goal of socially responsible marketing is to promote your socially conscious initiatives. The idea is to use socially responsible values ​​and actions to attract like-minded consumers and employees. So it makes no sense to keep your target audience in the dark.

Feel free to market your CSR initiatives when the time is right. Even if you don't often share news of the positive changes you've made, don't miss relevant events and holidays to talk about. For example, in one of the examples above, Oracle shared an Instagram post about Earth Day to promote the environmental impact of its initiative.

Be honest about the causes you support

If there's one thing consumers love more than socially conscious choices, it's authenticity. You know the brands that use Pride Month solely as a marketing opportunity and the brands that engage with the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year. They also know which brands only use sustainability and ethics as a front while exploiting workers. In other words, they can tell when you're actually supporting a cause and when it's just for marketing purposes.

So make sure you support causes that truly align with your brand values. While socially responsible marketing is marketing, the idea is to market socially responsible initiatives that you truly believe in. Basically, you're not doing it just for marketing. However, while you show support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month, your company culture should also be safe and inclusive of the community.

Know your audience's values

What do your audience think? What cause do you support? Since the goal of socially responsible marketing is to increase your attractiveness to consumers (or potential employees), you need to think about what makes your target audience interested. You can then find the right balance between causes that align with your brand values ​​and audience values.

For example, Just Food for Dogs aims to provide dogs with life-changing nutrition through fresh food. So your target audience includes dog lovers. The brand has chosen to partner with We Rate Dogs to donate their Pantry Fresh products to animal shelters and rescue organizations - a cause their target audience supports.

Get your community involved

One way to effectively market your CSR initiative without over-promoting yourself is to get your community involved. Encourage your followers to share your post with their followers to raise awareness of a particular issue. Or ask them to donate no matter where you drive, by making a large donation or matching their donation.

This way, you can publicly share your support for the cause without publicly promoting your brand. Plus, you can have a greater impact by getting your community involved, which leads to greater awareness and more donations.

Ready to start?

We've brought you ideas and best practices to help you define socially responsible marketing . Ensure authenticity is at the heart of your efforts, and use your brand values ​​to guide your initiatives.

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