Geri Stengel

 
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Book Shows Businesses How Social Responsibility Can Improve Profits

Despite what Gordon Gekko of Wall Street fame said, greed isn’t good. Not for the planet, not for communities, and not for the corporate bottom line.

small business social responsibility, corporate social responsibility, customer loyalty, marketing social responsibilityGuerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet by Jay Conrad Levinson and Shel Horowitz makes that point beautifully.

If corporations share and care, we’ll all be better off. And that includes socially responsible corporations.

As the book points out, consumers have had it with corporate greed; their rage is spilling into the streets as shown by the spread of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Although the book was published last year, it is definitely timely. It lays out a compelling case for social responsibility as a fiduciary responsibility. Being socially responsibility is good for the bottom line of both corporations and small businesses:

  • Consumers prefer to buy from socially responsible companies.
  • Socially responsible companies perform as well or better on the stock market.
  • Investors are shifting more dollars to socially responsible companies.
  • Employees of socially responsible companies are more productive and loyal.

The best part of all? Customers become an unpaid sales force for socially responsible companies. That means lower marketing costs, greater customer loyalty, and, yes, even willingness to pay higher prices.

Your marketing techniques don’t need to change as your company becomes more socially responsible: same techniques, just better outcomes. Now that’s something every small business can use.

In part, that’s the result of self-awareness. It’s hard to be socially responsible without thinking about customers and employees and the communities in which you operate. When you think about them, you tend to do a better job of customer service, treat your employees better, and earn respect from your neighbors.

Today’s opt-in online media are a perfect fit for socially responsible businesses. Instead of spending time and money enticing customers with ads, customers opt into your email list and your social networks. Because they want to be there, they are more likely to listen to your message and pass it on … with just a click of their mouse.

My wish for the new year is that Occupy Wall Street will be long gone because businesses and politicians will have heard the message: Care about us and we’ll care about you. If you want to know how your business, large or small, can market its social responsibility, join our free webinar, presented by Shel Horowitz, one of the authors of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green.

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