What Is Corporate Social Responsibility In Digital Marketing?

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility In Digital Marketing

Companies in the digital marketing industry are constantly innovating, adapting, and evolving to stay relevant in a constantly changing world. As a marketer, your role is to keep up with these changing times and keep your audience engaged and interested in your message. One of the many ways you can do this is by incorporating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into your work.

CSR is when a business or corporation supports or participates in ethical and fair trade practices, minimizes negative social and environmental impacts, and promotes equality for all people.

Why Should You Incorporate CSR Into Your Marketing?

To begin with, marketing with a conscience is becoming necessary in this ever-evolving world. 66% of marketers plan to increase their focus on social responsibility in the next three years. Additionally, 68% said they’d use tech to find or create customer-facing roles highlighting a business’s CSR initiatives.

Additionally, as the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the negative effects of an organization’s actions can spread to far-reaching locations and affect many more people than the initial scope of the company’s operations. Thus, the importance of doing business ethically and responsibly.

How Can You Incorporate CSR Into Your Marketing?

While there are many ways in which you can approach CSR in your marketing, let’s take a look at each of these methods in more detail.

  • Advertising

Advertisers are already responsible for the content that they promote. That content could be deemed responsible if it encourages or promotes harmful practices such as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. As such, advertisers are vested in seeing that their content is relevant, understandable, and of high quality. This should make you feel happy to work with an advertiser, as they’ll take the reins in the ethical and responsible department.

Additionally, with the rise of ad blockers and digital marketing’s growing reliance on display ads, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your ads do not contain violent, sexual, or otherwise disturbing content. If your display ads do contain any of these things, especially if they are targeted at children, then chances are your brand is perceived as being distasteful or even dangerous. As such, they may not be considered good advertising for your brand.

  • Marketing

Whether public relations (PR) or communications (MC), marketing is an integral part of any business. This makes marketing one of the most important departmental functions in a business. As such, it’s a prime opportunity to shine in a corporate setting.

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While marketing is typically a neutral activity, you can integrate a sense of purpose into your marketing by targeting a specific audience. For example, you can use marketing to promote a new restaurant’s opening, or you can use it to promote a company’s fundraising drive for a good cause. Whatever your intentions, you can use marketing to spread the word about your social responsibility initiatives.

  • Sales

Lastly, let’s not forget about the people you’ll be pleased with in your CSR-related efforts. After all, it’s not all about the product or service, right? As a marketer, part of your job is to find ways to get employees, customers, and other stakeholders to believe in and support your company’s vision and values. One of the simplest yet most effective ways to do this is by involving them in your social responsibility efforts. For example, you can ask your customers to recommend your company’s work in progress to their friends and family through social media.

Additionally, you can ask your employees to take on responsibility for a community organization working to improve children’s and families lives. Not only will this make them feel good, but it’ll also help highlight your company’s involvement in bettering the world. Ultimately, a business embracing a socially conscious mindset can positively impact brand perception, attracting valuable customers and strengthening ties with stakeholders.

These are just a few examples of incorporating a conscience into your marketing. As you can see, there are many ways in which a business can work to make the world a better place. In the next section, we’ll talk about how you can make your digital marketing work harder by choosing the right metrics.

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Metrics Matter

If you’re looking to grow your business, whether you’re an agency or a brand, understanding how to measure the results of your work is critical. Otherwise, it’s like trying to fly without maps or with blindfolds on. The old saying goes, “a week is a long time in politics.” But a month can be a lifetime in marketing. And a year is just a blip in the grand scheme of things.

With that in mind, it’s important to set some marketing goals and measure the results of your efforts. To do this, you need to identify the right metrics to use and track them. Additionally, you need to look for ways to find the right balance between quantitative measurements and qualitative observations.

The Basics Of Measuring Success

To begin with, it’s important to understand what makes a good metric. A metric is any measurement used to quantify or evaluate the results of an action or effort. In digital marketing, you usually have a variety of metrics that can be used to evaluate your performance. These metrics range from the simple to the more complex, so it’s important to know which one(s) you should use and why.

First, the basics: What should I be measuring? You want to be measuring the right things in the right way. For example, you may be tempted to look into how many clicks an ad received or how many people downloaded a specific app. While those metrics may be useful, they’re not always the best.

Instead, you may want to focus on the following metrics:

  • Engagement (e.g., clicks, shares, likes, or comments)
  • Action (e.g., downloads, signups, orders, or sales)
  • Conversion (e.g., from an initial interest to a completed action, such as a click or a purchase)
  • Recency (e.g., how long ago did this action occur?)
  • Volume (e.g., how many items did this action result in?)
  • Value (e.g., what is the estimated monetary worth of this action?)
  • Lifetime value (e.g., what is the estimated worth of a customer retained over time?)
  • Funnel analysis (e.g., where are customers coming from and where are they going?)
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The above metrics can be used better to understand the success of your digital marketing strategy. Additionally, you may want to look into using a tool like HubSpot’s Performance suite to gain better insights into the success of your efforts. Doing this can help you tailor your strategy and hone in on the most effective approach.

The Difference Between Efficacy And Effectiveness

Before we begin discussing how you can make digital marketing work harder, we must understand the difference between the two. The Oxford Dictionary defines efficacy as “the ability to produce an effect.” In other words, you need to be able to make something happen. Conversely, effectiveness is “the quality or state of producing an effect, especially desired.” In other words, you need to produce the desired effect.

For example, if you’re trying to sell designer clothes, you may have an effective marketing strategy. However, if you want to make a difference and help the victims of climate change, you may have an ineffective one. 

 Corporate Social Responsibility In Digital Marketing

While many companies already incorporate a sense of social responsibility into their daily operations, you can take this concept further by consciously choosing CSR-related practices in your digital marketing activities. These activities include marketing, advertising, and sales. Regardless of the method, the purpose is to encourage consumers to think about their online behavior’s social and environmental impacts.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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