Contact Center Industry News

TMCNet:  Don't Make 'Tactics' the Enemy of Your Corporate Citizenship Strategy

[June 11, 2014]

Don't Make 'Tactics' the Enemy of Your Corporate Citizenship Strategy

(3BL Media Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SOURCE: MSLGROUP Americas DESCRIPTION:<i>By Anne Erhard, ?SVP, Cause Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility, MSLGROUP</i> After attending Cause Marketing Forum 2014, I left with renewed excitement for businesses today committing to social good. If I’m being transparent myself, despite being a self-proclaimed “cause marketing freak,” I entered the event fearing we were collectively losing our way in this space. However, I left the events hopeful that we’re getting back on track to successfully bringing together public and private sectors for long-term progress.

What had been making me nervous about the fate of cause marketing, was that in this fast, changing, competitive, budget-cutting world, we were getting caught up in the latest, coolest, quickest tactics…to the detriment of spending enough time, budget, and energy on the strategic foundations. The clutter, the noise, the mini fundraising drives, the one-offs, the “fakes,” – they may get short-sighted attention, but miss the boat on driving real business impact and can give cause marketing a bad rep.

Don’t get me wrong, the tactics are changing and we must change with it. As a marketer, I don’t ignore this. The content, engagement, stories and channels are evolving. We must keep with overall marketing trends to get our cause marketing messages heard. And we learned plenty of ideas for how to do this – my own presentation even focused on the tactic of video storytelling within the broader marketing mix.

TACTICSINVITE participationENGAGE and rewardTELL compelling storiesSHARE multi-channel, mix up contentSo what is making me so hopeful? The overarching themes that struck me from the speakers, presentations and award winners was that sound strategy and big bold goals continue to be king. We heard from solid corporate citizens about best practices and success secrets across CSR and shared value initiatives. I’m thrilled to report, they fell back on the strategic principles my colleagues and clients have been driving forward for a decade: STRATEGYCLEAR business/brand alignmentREAL, needed social impactMEASURABLE business resultsEVOLVE for long-term commitmentSUSTAINABLE solutionsFOCUS on niche issuesIt’s true – these are not new principles. We know this formula – it works! As such, we cannot confuse the best tactics with the strategic underpinnings needed. So I was thrilled to hear about corporate brands either starting with great storytelling tactics and backfilling impactful strategy, or re-evaluating promotional processes and frameworks to ensure solid strategy at the outset.

TOMS was one of the companies that threw away the rule book on cause and innovated with their “1 shoe given for 1 shoe bought” business model. These guys were rewriting the rules. Yet, these innovative storytellers and smart marketers — who admittedly were not in the business of cause marketing or economic development when they started – are now, through trial and error, adhering to some long-standing strategic best practices.

They realized (with the help of consumers, partners and activists) that shoes weren’t the only or biggest need in some markets. So, they partnered with the right NGOs to get the shoes to the right people and compensated them for the operational expense of doing so. They realized that gifting shoes may jeopardize small business, so they started creating a supply chain in the countries they are giving in to build jobs and markets to make impact sustainable and long-term. They realized that the one-for-one model may result in the best story but not always the best solution.

And now sales of TOMS eyeglasses help provide eye care and treatments as well as actual eyeglasses based on the biggest need. The marketing team was challenged to simplify communications and engagement but the company was able to do the due diligence, listen to experts, and deliver on both the bottom line as well as the social impact. It helps that social good is literally baked into their business model so their social good challenges became business imperatives to solve. In fact, it is their innovative business model and breakthrough storytelling, paired with traditional truths in cause marketing that are making real magic happen.

MARS INC. did an audit of their cause marketing efforts across the globe and realized the ones that weren’t working and weren’t having a business impact were the short-term, one-off examples that were not strategic, particularly business or brand aligned, or very attractive to retail partners or customers – all of which are necessary for ensuring the sales success in addition to social good success. So, they are focusing on delivering a framework with the most brand aligned models, along with piloting and testing in certain markets to ensure longer term, more sustainable, successful social impact and case studies.

I challenge marketers, nonprofits and companies to tell some amazing corporate citizenship stories this coming year, while ensuring they are not making short-term splash the enemy of smart, sustainable, long-term strategy or real impact.

© Copyright 2014, 3BL Media LLC

[ Back To Cloud Contact Center's Homepage ]


Featured Resources

Featured Report
Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations

Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations

The "why" behind this research is simple: our clients recognize that different generations bring different expectations, varied communication preferences and new customer service patterns to the customer experience...
Featured Report
Optimizing the Customer Experience through Cloud Contact Centers

Optimizing the Customer Experience through Cloud Contact Centers

Adoption of cloud contact centers is on the rise. Findings from Aberdeen's January 2014 'Public Cloud vs. On-Premise: How to More Effectively Deploy a Cloud Center' study shows that 31% of contact centers are deployed in the cloud, and our related blog post highlights that companies anticipate their adoption of cloud technology to rise further throughout 2014...
Featured Report
Aberdeen report

Aberdeen Report: Cloud for Mid-Sized Contact Centers – What You Must Know

Cloud Technology is opening new doors for many businesses. However, it does so only when it's combined with the use of best practices and key technology enablers. This document highlights the adoption of cloud technology by mid-size contact centers and illustrates the reasons driving their investments...
Featured Whitepaper
Aberdeen report

Seven Critical Capabilities to Demand From Your Cloud Contact Center Provider

To deliver a world-class customer experience, your contact center must be flexible and reliable, while providing all the tools agents and supervisors need to manage their workflows. Here are seven critical capabilities to look for when deploying a contact center in the cloud...
Featured Webinar

Contact Center Economics and the Cloud

Together, Bob and Drew will help you understand the economic value of upgrading technology, important business and financial considerations, and how to compare total cost of ownership of a premises vs. cloud or hosted solution. Watch the webinar on-demand now...
Featured Datasheet
Zipwire Cloud Contact Center

Zipwire Cloud Contact Center

The appeal of moving services to the cloud is obvious. Cloud services offer reliability and robust feature sets without the need to implement or maintain complex contact center infrastructure. The Zipwire™ cloud-based contact center allows businesses to leverage the flexibility and cost savings of cloud architecture while offering a seamless, first-class customer experience...