How can companies be socially responsible marketers? Give examples of socially responsible activities at two different companies with the reference information to support your response.
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Socially responsible marketing refers to the marketing of the Company, where the company doesn’t always seek for the profit only but will also exhibits their social and ethical value which benefits the people (Kotler & Keller, 2015). An organization exists in society, gets resources from it and hence should have a responsibility towards society. According to Smith (2012) companies that are able to create a good side of their business have a good path in making the business sustainable. A company which is involved in fulfilling social responsibilities has a good public image. Let’s take two examples: Microsoft and Toms Shoes
Microsoft works with different stake-holder around the world to create impact in the world. In 2012, Microsoft had started "Microsoft Youth Spark", an initiative to connect youth with education, employment and entrepreneurship initiative. Microsoft has "Employee Giving Campaign", from where they have contributed $1 billion and around 31,000 nonprofit organizations (Smith, 2012). It has also volunteered more than 2 million hours in social cause.
Toms shoe’s charity work is incredible. For each pair of the shoe sold, the company donates another pair to the child in need. More than 10 million pairs of shoes is said to be donated by Toms while the company is into vision care for kids (Espenson, 2014)
Espenson, A. (2014, July 23). 5 Companies Doing Corporate Social Responsibility Right . Retrieved from Business to Community: business2community.com/social-busi...
Kotler, P., & Keller, L. K. (2015). Marketing Management 15th Edition. New Jersey,Upper Saddle River: N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Smith, J. (2012, December 10). Retrieved from The Forbes: forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/20... 1
In this modern day and age most companies are only concerned with their set targets and profit. In their strive for success, they have left havoc to the environment and society. For example cigarettes, alcohol, tobacco to name a few have already been proved to be fatal to humans yet they are still socially accepted and sold. Big manufacturing companies emit harmful smokes and drain harmful waste into the water system. Thus social responsibility is a very important factor for all to consider.
Companies need to understand that they are accountable for their action. For example if a company emits harmful smoke form their factories, they should filter the smoke of the harmful chemical before releasing them into the atmosphere. It is important to do the same thing for liquid waste when dumping it into the water system. "They must also consider a wider range of effects of their actions. Corporate social responsibility and sustainability have become a priority as organizations grapple with the short-term and longterm effects of their marketing. (Kotler & Kellar, 2012)”
For example Laxmi Bank holds annual cycle rally, concerts etc for fund generation. The fund that they generate is channeled to their Laxmi Cares, a social initiative of the bank. The fund that they raise is supported to schools in remote places, tree plantation, scholarship for deserving students etc. (Cares, 2018) I have also taken part in this initiative.
Nepal Telecom is another company that holds a strong corporate responsibility. I especially remember when the earthquake struck Nepal in 2015 there was unimaginable havoc and people were scared. With communication playing the main part in helping people connect with family members, Nepal Telecom provided free service for a few days which was very highly appreciated. They also support in the cleaning of the Holy River, Bagmati. (Age, 2016)
Other companies such as Standard Chartered Bank support health and education, Surya Nepal (Cigarette Company) community empowerment and environment to name a few. (Age, 2016)
Yes it is the responsibility of companies as well to contribute to the society in which they thrive. Their work directly affects the society and so they are equally accountable to strengthen it.
Age, N. B. (2016, December 19). CSR Initiatives of Some Companies in Nepal. New Business Age . Retrieved from newbusinessage.com/MagazineArticle...
Cares, L. (2018, 06 30). Laxmi Cares . Retrieved from Facebook: facebook.com/laxmicares/
Kotler, P., & Kellar, K. L. (2012). Sales Promotion. In K. L. Philip Koter, Marketing Management (p. 519). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming an increasingly important activity for businesses nationally and internationally. As globalization accelerates and large corporations serve as global providers, these corporations have progressively recognized the benefits of providing CSR programs in their various locations. CSR activities are now being undertaken throughout the globe (McWilliams, 2015).
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) began in the 1920s; however, due to the Great Depression and World War II, it failed to become a serious topic amongst business leaders until the 1950s. CSR found itself in the spotlight in 1951 when Frank Abrams, chairman of the board for Standard Oil of New Jersey, published an article in Harvard Business Review where he stated that is was business’ obligation: to conduct the affairs of the enterprise to maintain an equitable and workable balance among the claims of the various directly interested groups, a harmonious balance among stockholders, employees, customers, and the public at large (Frederick, 2006). In 1953, Howard Bowen made the first significant scholarly contribution by publishing the book, The Social Responsibilities of the Businessman. Here he proposed the CSR definition as "the obligations of business to pursue those policies, to make those decisions or to follow those lines of action which are desirable in terms of the objectives and values of our society (Bowen, 1953).” Over the subsequent decades, CSR definitions, practices and adoption of CSR expanded immensely. Philosophies such as management as a trustee, Christian ethics and the balance of power between business and society were popularized (Frederick, 2006)
There are two companies that have been successfully including into CSR activities.
Social Awareness can look so good: Kenneth Cole
Since 1985, Kenneth Cole has been openly involved in publicly supporting AIDS awareness and research. He uses fashion to promote awareness of and help fight various social issues. After 25 years of addressing meaningful social issues, Kenneth Cole established the Awareness Fund, a not-for-profit initiative that uses partnerships, merchandise, events and its blog to celebrate, encourage and empower acts of service volunteerism and social change (Sen, 2002). A full 100% of net proceeds of the Awareness products go toward the fund. These efforts have helped fuel the success of the Kenneth Cole brand, a company with nearly $500 million in sales.
Similarly, Firms like WalMart are taking a more active, strategic role in corporate social responsibility. The company invests $500 million in sustainability projects and reduces waste by 25 percent Eliminates excess packaging and saves 3,800 trees and 1 million barrels of oil, along with an estimated $2.4 million a year in shipping costs Redirects 57 percent of the waste generated by stores to recycle centers instead of landfills It created approximately 63,000jobs around the world in 2008(Dukalin, 1998).
Bowen H.R. 1953. Social responsibilities of the businessman. Harper and Row: New York.
Dukalin, S. (1998). Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Asia. The Journal of Marketing Science, 88-92.
Frederick, W. (2006). Corporation, be good! The story of corporate social responsibility. Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing.
McWilliams, A. (2015). Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Corporate Business , 99-110.
Sen, S. D. (2002). Maximizing Business Returns to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): The case of Kenneth Cole. Journal of Marketing Research , 56-66.
Kotler & Keller (2016), in their book Marketing Management, social marketing is the companies’ strategies that use the techniques where the marketers convey the messages or advertisement or put out a campaign to encourage a positive response such as an increase in awareness and discourages negative actions from the individuals or the consumers. Unevenly developed and received across the wonderful arc of 21st century societies, CSR is infiltrating into corporate consciousness and corporate culture, finds expression in the workplace, sparks stakeholder involvement, molds company strategy, enriches the quality of community life, broadens business vision, and seeks to humanize economic enterprise wherever it is set up (Frederick, 2008). It is a corporation’s initiative to evaluate and accept responsibility for the company’s effects on environmental and societal well-being.
Chaudhary Group, the first multinational company in Nepal, has the best CSR as they have been importantly focusing in the guild and the community where they work. First is the education as with Wai Wai Gyan Udaya they have been providing scholarship to many people. Mainly focusing in the rural expanse and the backward portion of the company, they have been able to figure out for their campaign successfully. And so with the massive earthquake in Nepal, they have led several initiatives as to fix and rebuilt different sectors in Nepal. Like; with their campaign of CG Shikshyalaya, they have called for the first step to reconstruct 100s of schools where they have still achieved some. Chaudhary Foundation has pledged to build 10,000 transitional shelter homes for the earthquake affected. Out of these, the Foundation builds 1,000 shelter homes through its own funds and 9,000 in collaboration with national and international partners (CHAUDHARY, 2016).
Bhat-bhateni Supermarket & departmental store has been focusing its CSR effort in teaching, sports and environmental. This store funded the emergency wing of the teaching hospital in Maharajgung. It has been showing active participation in the disaster affected area by donating cash and food to victims. It also provides scholarship for two of remote areas for a five year long MBBS program and also constructed school in remote areas. To show concern in environmentally this department store constructed, attractive green park in Maharajgunj, Baluwatar and Koteshwor. The concept of "Just say No to Plastic Bag” campaign was initiated since 2009 pursued till the engagement. These are the remarkable CSR that has been operating from this department store (Corporate Social Responsibility, n.d.).
Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2016). Marketing Management . Boston: Pearson.
CHAUDHARY, D. M. K. (2016). CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN NEPAL: IS CSR DOING GOOD FOR BUSINESS AND SOCIETY?.
Corporate social responsibility. (n.d.). Bhat-bhateni Supermarket & departmental store . Retrieved from bbsm.com.np/corporate/corporate-so...
Frederick, W. C. (2008). Corporate social responsibility. In The Oxford handbook of corporate social responsibility.
Socially responsible marketing is based on the idea that the market offerings of any company should not only be profit-driven but they must also reinforce social and ethical values for the benefit of citizens. It emphasizes on the idea that business should not be done by keeping the environmental and social factors at risk. The profit making activities should be balanced with the activities that benefit society (Make-a-Donation, 2016). A company can be socially responsible marketer by keeping the long term societal benefit in consideration while developing the marketing strategies for the company. In addition, the company can invest certain portion of its profit to develop the society and empower the people living there. Instead of just focusing on the profit, the company should pay attention on addressing the needs and interests of shareholders, employees, customers and the society where they operate.
These days almost all the companies are involved in socially responsible activities no matter how small or large they are. Some of the examples of socially responsible activities carried two organizations are:
1. Chaudhary Group
Nepal-based multinational conglomerate, Chaudhary Group is constantly involving itself in Corporate Social Responsibility and philanthropy activities. It has a separate CSR arm named Chaudhary Foundation which was established in 1995. Chaudhary Foundation has introduced many programs in social, economic and environmental sectors for the welfare of people. The major areas covered by the organization includes livelihood and skill development, post disaster response and management, enterprise development, education, heritage and spiritual development and health and sanitation. CG Shipshikshya, CG Unnati, CG Ashraya, CG Sikshyalaya are some of the initiatives of CG to contribute to society. They conduct different activities to support education and empower people especially women. In addition to these projects, it has been providing Gyanudaya Scholarship and conducting WASH related activities (New Business Age, 2016).
2. Surya Nepal
Surya Nepal has been conducting various CSR activities to meet the stated objective of "Creating Enduring Value for Society”. The socially responsible activities of Surya Nepal are conducted under four initiatives named SNPL Asha, SNPL Khelparyatan, SNPL Prakriti and SNPL Suswasthya. These initiatives focus on providing technical knowledge to farmers, enhancing quality of primary education, generating employment and sustainability, promoting sport tourism, preserving environment, promoting greenery and conducting community health program.
These two are just the representative examples. Besides these, Nepal Telecom, Ncell, Panchakanya Group, NMB Bank, Nimbus Holdings, Bottlers Nepal among others are also actively involved in socially responsible activities.
Make-a-Donation. (2016, September 1). What is Socially Responsible Marketing? Retrieved from Make-a-Donation: make-a-donation.org/articles/what-...
New Business Age. (2016, December 19). CSR Initiatives of Some Companies in Nepal . Retrieved from Abhiyaan: newbusinessage.com/MagazineArticle...
Marketing is changing with the change in time and social responsibility form a part of it as well in the current time. People want to make a positive difference with their purchase and thus social responsibility involves of appealing to those user group to attract them towards the business (Trong Tuan, 2012). An example of this can be what Khaalisisi and Doko Recycles are doing here in Nepal, providing an opportunity for customers to make a positive impact in the environment while also making money out of it.
A very common practice in Nepal to show that a company is socially responsible is by doing something on a certain date to show that they care about the community and people within. An example of this can be companies picking up plastic and conducting social awareness program on the occasion of "World Environment Day”. Similar other activities are carried out on other days for a cause. Some company provides free education while others distribute the product they offer for free for some underprivileged people. A company can be socially responsible marketers by making use of social responsibility strategies and using some of the profit they generate for a charitable purpose or to give back to the community as well.
Big or small, one day or more days, every company in the current time and age are involved in one other form of socially responsible activities. Here is a reference from one of the company I previously worked with and another who followed them:
Often Serious: With its base in the United Kingdom and service hubs at Nepal and Pakistan, the company works on information technology. They separated a different account where every month 20% of the total profit that the company made would be deposited. The fund would then be provided to a charitable cause to a local level organization in Nepal, Pakistan and other countries every six months or on need basis as identified. The organization would also deploy its employees or other volunteers in areas which need immediate attention. The team would go there with the resources required and do the needful like building a house for shelter or providing them with fresh food and clean drinking water.
Chaudhary Group: Through the establishment of Chaudhary Foundation, the company is working towards various CSR activities in line with sustainable development goals. From providing a scholarship to students who are underprivileged to help them continue their studies to create a digital class, the foundation has been working in so many different things. The foundation initiated to support Nepal in its endeavors to move towards being a developing country from the current status of Least Developed Country by 2022. For which they’ve also contributed to enterprise development, health and sanitation, post-disaster response and management, livelihood and skill development, and heritage development and spiritual development (Chaudhary Foundation, 2018).
Chaudhary Foundation. (2018). Chaudhary Foundation. Retrieved from chaudharyfoundation.org/earthquake...
Trong Tuan, L. (2012). Corporate social responsibility, ethics, and corporate governance. Social Responsibility Journal , 8 (4), 547-550.