Carol Cone (@CarolCone), also known as “the mother of cause marketing,” is the Global Chair of Edelman Business + Social Purpose and served as the keynote speaker at the 2012 VolunteerMatch Client Summit.
Carol spoke of how corporate purpose is now necessary in a society where consumers are more mindful of the products they consume. But how do you execute a good strategy to promote a cause or purpose? Here are a couple of her take-home points.
Engaging Employees is Essential for Future Growth
Organizations with high employee engagement had a 3.9 times higher earnings per share growth than organizations with low employee engagement, according to a Gallup study. Engaged employees put in 57% more effort and were 87% less likely to leave the organization compared to disengaged employees.
Adapt to the demands of the “Citizen Consumer”
Carol made the point to use the term “Citizen Consumers” to refer to consumers. Consumers are more aware than ever due to technology such as social media. A full 86% of global consumers believe that businesses need to make social issues just as important as making profits. Consumers demand transparency from organizations in order to support them.
Social purpose is also still a significant purchase trigger. Take two products with exactly the same price and function and the consumer will be more likely to choose the product that promotes a cause.
Storytelling is Key
The last point that Carol mentioned in her keynote was that storytelling is a necessary factor in communicating the company’s efforts to the public and increasing brand value. With social media, organizations have many more opportunities and tools to tell your story.
The bottom line? Corporate social responsibility and cause marketing aren’t just nice things to have for your company. They’re fundamental changes you need to make in order to not only increase your brand value, but to survive in a transitioning world becoming dominated by social media, technology, and an increased demand for transparency.