Monday, November 3, 2008

How Social Media, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Cause Marketing Work Together

Lee Fox, CEO of KooDooZ led a presentation entitled, "How Social Media, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Cause Marketing Work Together."

Benefits of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility):
  • Cost effective way for an organization to improve competitive position
  • Protecting the environment leads to more productive use of resources
  • Boosting social conditions, including education, leads to improved locations for company operations and potential creation of customers and skilled workers
  • Investors are drawn to socially responsible companies
Who owns a CSR message? Is it the CMO, the PR group, someone else? Fox recommends it should first be the CEO and then the employees. If you have a message, the unifying message needs to get down to the individual. A CSR program must be believed from the CEO down. You are not going to get as much risk as you believe, said Fox. You will hit the people who are aspirational and the enlightened.

Don't just look like you're a socially responsible company. Actually, be involved. For example, don't just launch a product that's pink during Breast Cancer Awareness month and then do nothing else. If you do, then that fake CSR is going to get out in the social networks.

Don't take the corporate defensive attitude when your lack of CSR is exposed
Artist used a Louis Vuitton purse in an anti-genocide campaign to make the point that the media cares more for celebrities than they do for geneocide in Darfur. They complained the person who did this was abusing their brand and they sued. The result is that the public thought that Louis Vuitton didn't care about the Darfur genocide.

Fox whipped through many examples of CSR. One issue she mentioned is if your product is being talked about, it's worth knowing why. Like the brand jacking situation of Louis Vuitton.
  • SIGGART design contest allowed people to modify their brand. As a result, they got 17 minutes average time on site.
  • Avanta's ideablob is a place where people can share their ideas in a community setting. This is a stretch on CSR because much of it was supporting local businesses. But in some cases CSR can be seen this way. They did get nonprofit organizations to participate (15%) and 66% of the 100,000 users are socially conscious.
Fox provided the following roadmap for cause branding:
  1. Set goals
  2. Focus
  3. Build internal capacity
  4. Create a team
  5. Find ambassadors of the cause
  6. Choose partners carefully
  7. Leverage all assets
  8. Add sizzle
  9. Communicate and innovate
  10. Go local
CSR is a combination of people, planet, and product. You have to think larger than your product. You're developing a friendship and a relationship with people. People often buy products If you're doing something that's changing somebody's life, get it out there. Social media allows much of that to happen.

Check out all coverage at The CMO Club Peer to Peer Summit.


Steve Beauregard (REGARD Solutions Corp.) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Beauregard (REGARD Solutions Corp.) said...

Would love to see the video if it's available?