We live in a world shaped by interactions. It is these interactions that make us who we are as professionals, as marketers, and as people. In the world of marketing, we sometimes lose the human element in the crazy cyber world we life in. It is important to remember what it means to be a human being—more than that—a good person.
This is where socially conscious marketing comes into play. It is giving back to the community. Now, whether that means simply donating money to your local (or favorite) charity or whether it means transforming your company building into something fully green and ecofriendly is the question. Bringing in this aspect can do wonders for your business. Not only does it boost your image, it reminds people exactly whom they are dealing with behind the nameless/faceless organization.
Target is now displaying commercials in which they show how they support kids with college scholarships or how they volunteer within the community. This does three very important things: 1) It brings more people into the volunteer world—which is always a good thing; 2) It builds up their reputation; and 3) It rebrands Target as a company with actual care for their environment.
Salesforce has a great integrated philanthropy. Basically, they have integrated giving back into their business model. It is called the 1-1-1 model. Their website details:
- “Promoting a culture of caring and helping employees give back”
- “Offering donated and discounted technologies to nonprofits”
- “Providing grants inspired by our employees, technologies, and communities”
This is a prime example of bringing the community in to the business. They even have a 1/1/1 Pledge where you can sign in an effort to integrate philanthropy into their business.
Obviously, I think this is a great idea. Not everyone has the means to make their building completely green and ecofriendly, but anyone can bring in the community. It could be as small an act as donating some of your profits to a local charity.