Corporate responsibility, philanthropy, altruism and benevolence

Corporate responsibility, philanthropy, altruism and benevolence

Corporate responsibility, philanthropy, altruism and benevolence are some of the words that are often used to describe cause-related marketing when businesses join together with charities as a means of promoting their product, image, brand or services for the mutual benefit of the society (Van Yoder 2003). From this excerpt, one can tell that cause-related marketing deals with the society at greater lengths than it would have dealt with them had it not collaborated with charities. According to business in the community (2004), cause-related marketing is not altruism or benevolence as people may like to call it. It is based, according to them, on the recognition by businesses that link up with charitable organizations could lead to mutual beneficiary. They term is as a way of addressing current issues affecting the society while at the same addressing their business marketing objectives. CRM, as is commonly known, goes beyond sales promotion and takes into consideration the entire marketing spectrum activities. This may include advertising, sponsorship and direct marketing. This is simply linking up marketing of products and services to wider social benefits. Adkins (1999 p.1) states terms cause related marketing as another aspect within which self-interest is enlightened to promote products in conjunction with a good cause. Money is raised and the values of the goods are also raised while at the same time enlisting customer loyalty and purchase of their own products.

Ways in which corporate companies can enlist public support is through supporting charities, underwriting a public service television campaign, sponsoring a fundraiser to support a worthy cause or host an invent that will benefit the local community. These events could be geared towards environmental management in arid areas, business initiatives in poverty stricken areas, food donations for those in dire need, distribution of learning materials and facilities in schools within marginalized areas, supporting war against social ills like violence, crimes, drug abuse and child labor and civic education in areas where events like voting will take place (Baker, 2003 p.510). The community can easily judge between a sincere company with societal motives and a company out to sell more products at their expense. The community will always be glad to support a company that shows genuine, long term commitment to the consumers and to the larger community by way of its business practices and public service.

Several companies have benefited from these initiatives. Major corporate companies like Barclays Plc, Centrica Plc, Tesco Plc, and Cadbury Schweppes Plc have understood the benefits involved in CRM programs that have reaped benefits for themselves whilst making positive and significant impact on the wider community. They have demonstrated this through their benefit from the essential win: win: win of CRM. They have also heightened their stakeholder value addition which is vested in good corporate reputation. Good reputation leads to influences in prices and purchase of stocks (Baker, 2003 p.515). The corporate also benefit from increased visibility putting them an edge ahead of their competitors due to their constant appearance in worthy causes and many public adverts. They benefit from enhanced corporate image which is a good way to create a company that mirrors the society and fulfills its needs satisfactorily. The media is the most influential way of creating a stepping stone to the company’s ideals. The media will most definitely view a company that cares about the community from a positive angle (Van Yoder, 2003; Carr 2005 p.100). This serves as a good ingredient for good image and increased trust among the consumers. The mixing of a resonating cause with an equally ecstatic target market generates tremendous goodwill and media attention can be the good side effect emanating from this.

As the CEOs of these companies will confess, building corporate image is similar to building a brand. The company is tasked with consistent delivery of quality service over time. Quality here equally entails propelling core values and ideologies in the marketing strategies endorsed. It offers the company with a chance to bring to life their corporate values and enhance corporate reputation over who cares and why (Adkins, 1999 p.3). Another benefit acquired from CRM is the increased knowledge on using marketing ix to evaluate and implement CRM programs effectively. There has to be a criterion through which the company creates an impact worth remembering and one that will be there for certainly along time (Carr 2005 p.100).

The community also wins in this whole entrepreneurship business. The non-government organizations involved in these partnerships create a basis through which the community can be uplifted and how the community can benefit from their own purchases. They are further assisted in marketing their causes through even greater financial resources that are donated by these corporate. They are able to reach more people through the company’s consumer base. Through this, they can accomplish a whole lot of objectives by partnering with these companies since the financial constraints that might have hindered their earlier ambitions are taken care of (Rubenstein 2004, p.128). The community also benefits from better living standards as some initiatives that help in the health care subsector assist those in the low-income earning bracket offering them another chance on being healthy again. The locals benefit from employment opportunities in these non-governmental organizations which entail the use of skills for the benefit of all. This opportunity assists the people to raise their own living standards and improve their livelihoods.

We can deduce is that CRM is a good strategy within which marketing values can be based on. It offers strategies within which a company can benefit form loyalty accrued from the consumers. It provides an avenue through which the company can show its willingness to create a society worth being emulated. The community is the main beneficiary in this aspect as all the money they use for their purchases is brought back in a whole new dimension to benefit them for a long period of time. The core components of these links include a win for the business, a win for the cause and a win for the consumer. As Earle (2002) states, the number of cause related adverts are on the rise (p.27). This is due to the spreading information that this type of marketing is beneficial to all the stakeholders in the business. More corporate are turning out to support several initiatives that will portray them as the ideal company with which to identify with. However, goodwill has to be earned and nurtured. This strategic move has to be clearly and solely approached with due care because it involves winning the society’s trust, credibility and support for the initiatives that are to be carried out (Gitman 2008 p. 276). The brand created must be oriented in some kind of passion for the community as well as a means through which the company can help ease the burden from the community and slash it up with different incentives.

As Adkins (1999) suggests, CRM is an under utilized strategy that can achieve business objectives as well as the cause objectives (p.4). If well utilized, it enhances corporate image and differentiates the product from other competitors’ thus increasing customer loyalty and sales. The only challenge is for the corporate to find the most appropriate partnerships, plan, implement and communicate them through the different avenues in the society. Nothing can help build strong brand loyalty like a company’s proven track of committed support of worthy causes (Gitman 2008 p. 277). This creates a basis through which a consumer will gladly appreciate and value products produced by a company willing to do something for them beyond the normal. They see this as a way of raising their living standards by investing in the community what they have gained from it. If a company is willing to stand for something profits, the consumers will be willing to stick with it for better or for worse.

Thus, one can suggest that CRM is based on creating good rapport with the community. The better consumers understand the corporate partnership with the society, the more positive they are and this goes a long way into creating beneficial brand equities. CRM has also been seen to encourage companies to switch between products, when the prices, quality and product are equal (business in the community, 2004; Rubenstein 2004 p.130). This helps create business affinity. This is expressed as a measure of consumer identification with common brand sin the market. Thus, one can look at the positive perceptions that help motivate people’s buying decisions and strategies for improved performance based on statistics gathered. As can be observed from sale reports from different companies, the success of CRM is reflected mainly in consumer awareness. Growth in awareness comes hand in hand with increased participation. An increase in affinity is also reported due to benchmark statements that deal with brand’s capacity to innovate, the level of trust it inspires, the level of endorsement it is receiving and the extent to which consumer’s values are being matched by the products in the market.

Evidently, the social, political and economic changes that have transpired all over the world have seen the universe drawing back to the state for funding. The demands have increased responsibility flexibility seed and innovation from business quarters. The consumer expectations have grown generally directed towards the business community. They expect more personalized messages that show an evidence of understanding their needs. This has led to an increase in consumer compassion form the corporate world. This has spiked more partnerships between the corporate and the society to bridge this gap. This is appropriate for investors from different sectors to involve themselves in such worthy causes first as a passion so as to attract attention and benefit from these interactions with the local people.


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Carr P. J. (2005) a study of consumer nonprofit brand identification: Cause related marketing, Oregon: University of Oregon, p.100-110

Earle R. (2002), How to Use Advertising to Change Personal Behavior and Public Policy: The Art of Cause Marketing, New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, p.27-49

Gitman L. J. (2008). The Essentials: The Future of Business, Michigan: Cengage Learning, p276-300

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