The Covid-19 pandemic further necessitated customer-centric approaches in marketing. However, companies can do even more to solidify consumer trust and become mainstays in these very uncertain times. While you may think you have the tools you need to amplify your sales and keep your company afloat during a crisis, your current marketing strategy may not be enough.
Responsible marketing can help fill any openings that your current marketing plan has left exposed. This article will discuss how responsible marketing practices can benefit your business and how to implement them in your marketing plan.
It's not uncommon for people to find the concept of responsible marketing hard to grasp. The terminology is quite vague and non-specific, especially when taken literally.
It involves making thoughtful and conscious marketing decisions that are not just ethical but leave a positive impact. It's a simple enough definition to understand but still quite intangible.
In truth, responsible marketing is a multifaceted notion, although many sources and experts may only describe one aspect of it.
A good example of responsible marking is data stewardship, which has been the focal point of many marketing campaigns in the last few years. However, there are other aspects of responsible marketing that have been disregarded, largely because they no longer capture the current zeitgeist.
We'll focus on two of the most prominent and important types of responsible marketing in this guide. We'll cover what they are and how your company can implement them in its marketing campaign.
In business, data stewardship refers to managing an organization's data. It can relate to how data is created, stored, manipulated, and protected. Data stewardship in responsible marketing follows the same concept. However, it relates more to processing, storing, and protecting customer data.
The Covid-19 pandemic has expanded our reliance on technology. Whether it's restaurants replacing traditional menus with generated dynamic QR Codes or companies migrating to remote work, enormous amounts of data are processed and stored outside of traditional means.
Much of it is useful marketing data. However, how marketers procure this data is of the same ethical importance as protecting data from cybercriminals. Thanks to major companies such as Meta (FKA Facebook) selling and sharing your data, it's prompted lawmakers to introduce new data regulations. Breaking these regulations may leave you subject to large fines. Amazon has paid $877 million in penalties for breaking the EU's data protection regulations in the last few years.
Thus, applying good data stewardship to your marketing strategy isn't just beneficial to you and your customers. It will keep you in line with regulations, helping you avoid possible financial ruin from incurring fines.
If you're using strategies such as email targeting and retargeting, make sure that you're using information that has been acquired ethically and consensually through streams where users know that their data will be captured and for what purposes.
For instance, if you capture information by making offerings to potential customers on your website or through a competition, make sure that you notify them of what providing their information entails. Always make sure that the cookie policies on your website are updated. Your marketing team and company at large must be familiar with current data regulations and their impact on marketing.
Furthermore, you must ensure that your company has a comprehensive system and software security to ensure that all user information remains safe after you've captured it. If you use automated systems such as SEO boosters and automatic mailing systems, make sure that they're secure too. The trick here is to eliminate as many potential vulnerabilities as possible in your software stack.
Data stewardship also means assessing software that may not be directly related to your marketing. Cybercriminals can use cross-exploitation methods to access data from different departments in your company. From email client to online word-processing software, you must ensure that you're using the most secure options. For example, if you're unsatisfied with the security of your accounting or tax software, replace it. There are many great QuickBooks alternatives worth considering.
Ensuring that your company is as secure as possible to protect your customers is an important facet of responsible marketing. You can even inform people of your commitment to data privacy and protection, including it as part of your marketing campaign.
Generally, social responsibility refers to a company's or individual's drive to act in the best interests of the environment and society. Social responsibility in marketing narrows this concept down by focusing on consumers who want to make positive differences through their purchases or using a service.
It can be in the form of recyclable packaging, promotions that encourage awareness of social issues, making your business more eco-friendly, or allocating shares of profit towards a charitable cause. A socially responsible company will attract socially accountable customers. However, this can be expanded beyond the company's products or services. For instance, your marketing campaign can be intrinsically environmentally sustainable.
To be socially responsible, organizations must focus on:
Socially responsible marketing requires the company to take moral action that positively impacts all of an organization's stakeholders. It means taking up causes that are natural and authentic to the company's ethos, so their efforts could be seen as genuinely philanthropic without being perceived as pretentious and phony.
If you still use print media for advertising your company, your campaign should use recycled materials. Furthermore, potential customers must be encouraged to recycle pamphlets, flyers, and other printed materials.
You should aim to create a campaign that has a positive and lasting impact on the community at large. For example, you can employ disenfranchised or outcasted people on your promotional team. It can be ex-felons, the homeless, or people with disabilities. To implement a socially responsible marketing strategy, you must first ask yourself and your team: "How can we help people while marketing?".
Answering this question will allow you to define what social and ethical marketing means to your firm. Discuss which areas of the company you can apply your social marketing campaign to. Finally, analyze and assess how much your social marketing campaign will cost and compare it against the benefits of your campaign.
Contrary to popular belief, marketers aren't con artists or illusionists trying to trick customers into purchasing bad products. Marketers are journalists informing people of products and services that they may find useful. They are a part of the community where they operate and have an almost intrinsic responsibility to help improve it.
The more prosperous the community is, the higher the likelihood of customers loving your brand. Responsible marketing and customer-centric approaches aren't purely altruistic. You help your brand and company by uplifting the community where it runs.