Corporate Social Responsibility In eLearning: What Makes A Good CSR Marketing Strategy?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), is it just a fancy term or does it have a more profound meaning? Traditionally CSR was considered as a part of an organization’s strategy that gives back to society, let’s say, more in the sense of charity. However, the definition of CSR initiatives gradually changed. Hence, now CSR includes activities that can also deliver business results. And, here’s how CSR marketing comes into play. Marketers and businesses can leverage this smart way of creating and achieving shared value for society and the business.
To help you understand CSR as a concept, I’d like to share The United Nations Industrial Development Organization description. According to them, CSR is how a company achieves a balance of economic, social, and environmental imperatives. At the same time, it manages to address the expectations of shareholders and stakeholders.
Social responsibility in marketing involves focusing efforts on attracting like-minded customers. Meaning, reaching people who want to make a positive difference with their purchases. Thus, many companies have adopted socially responsible elements into their marketing strategies. By doing so, they utilize CSR to help a community via beneficial services and products.
Today, eLearning businesses can leverage CSR practices to make the world a better place and even find sustainable solutions. We can all help identify potential risks and work toward avoiding or mitigating the same for a sustainable tomorrow—for society, the planet, and the business itself.
This article will analyze some of the benefits and purposes of CSR marketing strategies and how they can positively affect your eLearning business.
Why Is Social Responsibility Important In Marketing?
If the purpose of CSR in marketing is not clear to you, worry not because we’ll figure this out together.
Besides reaching your ideal customers, there are many purposes to utilize CSR activities and add them to your marketing efforts. For example, you can align this strategy with the expectations of your stakeholders. In this way, a well-rounded CSR campaign can demonstrate the company’s mission and values.
Then, you can bring effective communication into the game to reach your target audience. Along the way, a cause in which you believe in can eventually help you attract and engage new customers and employees, Besides, it might even prepare that ground for new partnerships and sponsorships.
By creating a rock-solid CSR strategy, your eLearning business can:
As you can understand, marketing good deeds is very important. In fact, it’s the key to attracting and retaining customers. But, don’t do CSR for the sake of marketing. Please, do it for great causes that you truly believe in as a company. Above all, use it as a means to promote your company culture and build trust with potential buyers.
Plus, a well-marketed CSR campaign can automatically help answer queries around a company’s motto and activities. Thus, by being out there in the open, you can give the impression that your organization means serious business. Show the world that your eLearning brand is ready to interact, engage, inform and be transparent about how it operates. When done right, a successful CSR marketing campaign can lead to upping brand equity and loyalty.
So, what is the impact of CSR on marketing strategies in the eLearning niche? Let’s find out!
4 Ways Corporate Social Responsibility Promotes Sustainable Business For eLearning Companies
You’ve probably all heard the expression that “doing good is good for business” at some point in your career. During the last decade, corporate social responsibility has become far more important for businesses. Especially as consumers increasingly expect the brands and companies they buy from and invest in to contribute to the environment and local communities.
For example, according to a study from Cone Communications, 87% of consumers will buy a product simply because a specific company advocated for an issue they care about. Meanwhile, a meta-analysis of more than 80 research papers revealed that 60% of the public would not mind paying a premium for socially responsible products. So, let’s explore in what ways corporate social responsibility strategies can help promote sustainable business and bring business growth.
1. Positive Press And Reputation Building
Sustainable and responsible eLearning businesses can leverage CSR strategies to generate positive publicity for their organization quickly. Apart from press releases and social media coverage, many prominent business awards evaluate corporate citizenship and offer recognition for those that excel.
On the other hand, if your organization fails to take responsibility for corporate actions, that might severely damage your reputation. Thus, it would be best to make it your goal to work for a company that demonstrates excellent ethics, cares for the environment, and commits to human rights. People are watching, so make it count and show you actually care.
Want it or not, positive and negative assessments are not only discussed among industry professionals. Today’s climate of social media coverage often puts an organization’s ethical standards directly in front of its potential buyers and existing customers.
2. Customer Appeal
As corporate responsibility initiatives are becoming more common, customers are increasingly interested in how businesses support causes they value the most. In fact, according to a Nielsen study polled across 60 countries, most consumers said they’d happily pay a higher price for goods offered by socially responsible companies.
eLearning business leaders can benefit by creating CSR strategies that focus on partnering with causes or charities that are important to their customers. For example, you might choose to donate a percentage of your revenue to wildlife and forest preservation. In this way, apart from remaining true to your brand, you also help solve a global issue that interests your customer base.
And remember, customer appeal often increases when a customer’s behavior is directly linked to charitable efforts. Consequently, this link between charitable donation and purchase provides greater motivation for customers to spend money, connect with the eLearning brand, and develop loyalty.
3. Talent Attraction And Employee Retention
Of course, customers are not the only group of people drawn to an organization’s commitment to making the world a better place. More and more talented professionals consider whether a company’s core values match up with their own. Especially those looking for business management careers focus on CSR and company culture when they apply for jobs.
Therefore, eLearning businesses that focus on top talent recruitment must make an effort to improve their brand image with such initiatives. Besides, corporate responsibility plays a significant role in employee satisfaction and retention rates as well.
By involving employees in making decisions about which charities to serve or how to help them, company leadership gives employees a greater sense of belonging. In addition, corporate responsibility can lead to greater employee satisfaction by allowing team members to take a break and hone different skillsets. Not to mention how service days also provide great bonding opportunities. During that time, various teams and departments can have meaningful interactions that improve relations back at the office. Can you think of a better team-building idea?
4. Bottom Line And Business Growth
Every eLearning business leader will tell you that the company’s ultimate goal is to make money. Even though focusing on corporate responsibility can come at a cost, it also brings opportunities to affect your company’s bottom line positively.
As mentioned above, the benefits are plenty. From customer appeal and talent retention to reputation building and increased connections, CSR marketing can significantly improve the financial help of your eLearning company. So, ensure that you make responsible choices. For example, going all-in for digital transformation can reduce a company’s impact on the environment. But it also sets the ground to help cut administrative costs over the long term.
On the same note, you might consider switching to environmentally friendly lighting options. Or maybe start using solar power or even operating in a green-certified office building. The corporate conscience and sustainability efforts of your business can ensure its own survival in the future. Indeed, choosing such changes is good for the environment. However, it’s also a valuable investment for the way your business operates for years to come.
Don’t you think it’s time to align your eLearning business’s purpose and values with its social and environmental initiatives? Adopting a robust and coherent CSR strategy is vital for organizations that portray a responsible and caring brand identity. If you’ve already done so, you must have witnessed how it maximizes business results.
Undoubtedly, CSR marketing can and does have a positive impact on the overall brand equity. In the hopes of inspiring the motivation to have an impactful CSR/sustainability initiative, do let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Some of the most common examples of CSR include:
- Reducing carbon footprints
- Improving labor policies
- Participating in fairtrade
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Charitable global giving
- Community and virtual volunteering
- Corporate policies that benefit the environment
- Socially and environmentally conscious investment
So, how do you create an effective CSR strategy? If you’re looking for brands that are doing social responsibility right, you can take a look at Google, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, Netflix, TOMS, Starbucks. Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer.
Have you already implemented a CSR strategy? Feel free to tell us all about it!
All you have to do is complete this CSR initiatives form!
We plan to create a top list about the “The Most Socially Responsible Companies In the eLearning Space.”