As your company wades into the waters of corporate social responsibility (CSR), you’re likely focused on the core parts of your program—determining goals, connecting with charitable partners, and setting impact measurements.
But building a corporate philanthropy program is just the beginning of your corporate social responsibility journey. To be truly successful, you’ll have to use effective marketing strategies to get the word out and increase employee and customer engagement in your initiative.
Data marketing is one promotion strategy that’s grown in popularity in recent years. AccuData’s data marketing guide defines the practice as “basing your brand’s marketing and communications strategy on the quantitative information you’ve gathered on your audience.” While you may be familiar with data marketing as a strategy for selling your products or services, it can also be a valuable tool in promoting your CSR program.
This guide will explore how you can use data marketing to advertise your CSR initiatives. Here’s what to expect:
- What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
- How Can Data Marketing Support Your CSR Strategies?
- 5 Steps for Using Data Marketing to Promote Your CSR Program
Let’s dive in!
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Double the Donation defines corporate social responsibility as “a company’s efforts to improve society in some way.” These efforts can include charitable giving to nonprofits, corporate sustainability initiatives, and employee engagement programs that help employees thrive personally and professionally.
Your company’s corporate social responsibility program might focus on initiatives such as:
- A corporate volunteer program where your employees can support select charities and nonprofits as a team.
- Volunteer grants (also known as Dollars for Doers programs) that give money to a nonprofit according to the hours an employee volunteers there.
- Matching gifts where your company matches the donation an employee makes to a nonprofit.
- In-kind donations of products, services, or spaces/buildings.
- Event sponsorships funding one-time or recurring events in support of a nonprofit cause.
But these are just a start. Successful social impact programs prove that it’s possible to develop an impactful CSR initiative that’s unique to the work you do.
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How Can Data Marketing Support Your CSR Strategies?
Your company may want to promote its CSR program to different audiences for a variety of reasons. The benefits of spreading the word about this initiative include:
- Building trust with your local community
- Retaining engaged, fulfilled employees
- Attracting customers with a powerful message
- Enacting positive, sustainable change
Depending on your motives, your company may market its CSR initiative internally, externally, or both. Here are the advantages of these options:
- Internal Marketing: Promote your CSR initiatives to your employees. This will help engage them in your efforts and increase buy-in.
- External Marketing: Advertise your CSR projects and programs to your customers, investors, and other stakeholders. This will help boost your organization’s charitable reputation and build community partnerships.
So, how does data marketing fit into the picture? Let’s take a closer look at what this marketing strategy can help your organization do.
5 Steps for Using Data Marketing to Promote Your CSR Program
1. Define your audience
Decide whether you’re speaking to an internal or external audience. If it’s an internal audience, is it your entire company? Or specific teams? If an external one, is it existing customers? Or a new market?
2. Identify your audience’s demographics and communication preferences
Collect demographic information about your target audience to understand their preferred marketing channels. Depending on your audience this might include digital marketing platforms such as social media and email or traditional platforms such as direct mail.
3. Refine your message
What do you want your audience to know about your CSR program? For example, you might want to share with your customers how your bakery business has switched to sustainable palm oil to help reduce deforestation. Or you might want to promote upcoming volunteer opportunities to your employees. Giving your audience concise, accurate, and actionable information will help them pay attention to and act on your call to action.
4. Track your progress
Measure your marketing outcomes using key performance indicators such as social media engagement, email click-through rates, and program sign-ups.
5. Keep your data organized
Use data hygiene measures to keep track of your audience research and outreach efforts. These measures should include:
- Regularly auditing your database
- Removing unnecessary, duplicate, or inaccurate data
- Training team members on proper data collection and input procedures
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Following each of these steps is crucial to reaching the right audience with the right message. However, it’s ultimately a cyclical process. As you acquire new data, you’ll need to reexamine who your audience is and further refine your message.
Thus, like marketing any product, you’ll want to continue to study and analyze your CSR data to understand your audiences and best promote and grow your CSR program. Working with a data marketing firm can help you keep your data clean, identify your target audiences, and market to them more effectively and persuasively.