“Success isn’t only about achievement, those things that we can measure. It is also about contribution, those things that we unselfishly give back.” Jim Geigor, CEO, CBeyond
As the proliferation of new technology and social media lead to empowered consumers, closing deals and brand loyalty are more and more about building relationships. Sales-driven companies in a down economy are tasked with constantly evolving and developing their niche within their industry. As marketers, we are often looking for ways to represent our brand in a way that will bridge the gap between product and consumer and make us memorable and relatable.
Now consider these statistics:
- 86% of Americans expect a company to use resources such as employee volunteerism to support a nonprofit or social cause. *LBG Research Institute 2009
- 83% of Americans wish more of the products, services and retailers they use would support causes. *2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study
- 92% of people who volunteer through their workplace report higher rates of physical and emotional health. *United Healthcare Do Good Live Well Study 2010
Although it may seem counterintuitive to the Old Guard of marketing, doing good and giving back is now a very real competitive advantage in corporate America. And evidence suggests your customers and employees may already expect this of you.
Have you considered creating a tribe that believes in your product and in how you treat others? Effective content marketers can be more than just great storytellers; they can be agents for change in their community. And this philanthropy can lead to greater employee and customer retention which is vital to corporate culture and success.
Building a Strategic Community
No matter your company’s size or industry, your most valuable resource is your people. Doing good in your community is a terrific way to identify top talent. By building relationships within your local community, you can begin to identify ways in which you can encourage the city through partnerships with startups and the sponsorship of local events. Through strategic outreach, your company can add value to your brand, recruit local talent, and help create business growth in your community.
Organizing opportunities for your team to volunteer has also been shown to have a positive impact on their physical and emotional health. And every community has a need for volunteers, making it an easy and valuable way to give back. These events can be fun and foster unique team-building opportunities. From a simple food drive to group outings, volunteering is a great way to encourage a positive, supportive culture.
Yes, these activities take time and investment. They also create a culture that can help your company grow while redefining success from a more holistic viewpoint. Choose to aim to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Your partners and customers will appreciate it, too.
Consider how being a white hat, do-good marketer can create a “halo” effect that can carry through to your communities and set you further apart from your competition. Developing a relationship-based community and staff engagement program that is integrated into the business of the company and in the fabric of your culture can create a stickiness that should result in a stronger loyalty with your employees and your customers. It kind of makes you feel good, too.
What are some ways your company does good?