We all know that the digital age is deeply interfering with our lives. Although certain life aspects are truly more accessible and prepossessing to us, our responsibilities increased in the last several years. Now that everything comes down to numbers, zeros and ones, digital is at the heart of the majority of businesses – from local hair saloons to global corporations.
Today, corporate social responsibility isn’t exclusively related to corporations. Small and mid-sized businesses with a smart and agile digital strategy have to put emphasis on CSR as well. Hence, all companies should aim to improve their engagement in the community and serve a purpose to the community by involving their stakeholders in low-risk areas, keeping them informed, and serving them as the main consultant in their interest fields.
Why is corporate social digital responsibility in its rise?
As the term “corporate social responsibility“ became popular in the 60s, the idiom “corporate digital responsibility” or, simply, CDR today addresses the impact of the digital tools and environments towards the company’s internal and external stakeholders. Being socially or digitally responsible still includes that the company should act as a good global or local citizen according to accepted ethical values, obey the social standards that are legally accountable and constitutionalized by public policies, and strive to increase its profitability.
For these reasons, my team and I continuously aim to inform our clients that today’s digital presence largely contributes to the overall creation of stakeholders’ opinion about the company. We live in a customer-centric world where consumers want to share their purchase with their friends on social media. However, there are a lot of situations where customers can break a business by revealing its negative aspects.
When creating a detailed digital concept for our clients, we differentiate how will various digital strategies influence their internal and external stakeholders. By internal stakeholders, we primarily include employees, managers, and owners. External stakeholders are society, partners, suppliers, shareholders, and customers. In order to satisfy external stakeholders, the internal ones should completely believe in the company’s vision and mission and show consideration to all members of the external chain.
The proof is in the pudding
If digital advertising is the pudding, then content creation is the living proof of your company to your desired audience. In other words, if you don’t consider various types of content, it isn’t possible to know which audience reacts the best to particular content format. For example, your target customers have different preferences from other external stakeholders. They are interested in the company’s products, but not attentive concerning your relationship with B2B market. On the contrary, your partners, suppliers, shareholders are presumably very curious about your B2B novelties. By satisfying just one side of the chain, your business could experience benefits that social media offers. However, in the long run, your digital activity should strive to persuade all members of the chain.
In this situation, we use the advantage of 1st and 3rd party data to differentiate the possibilities of certain digital channels for the company, define which stakeholder group will benefit the most from a particular digital channel, distinguish what type of content will persuade the most each specific group in the chain, and adapt the advertising budget according to current company’s strategic goals (i.e. generate leads, increase users’ engagement, strengthen retention rate, extend the company’s partnership network, increase the distribution volume of the company’s products).
Many businesses don’t consider a digital change as a valuable movement for their business. They are either scared of the up-and-coming challenges and costs that digital brings to the table or convinced they don’t need any digital activity. Mostly because they are “generating enough revenue”. First and foremost, there is never enough revenue. In most cases, the second reason is the consequence of the first. Sean Taylor, an American Football player, said that nobody should be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes. The similar situation is with digital transformation, but the time has come with the Web 2.o in 2006. If your company doesn’t have any digital activity now, you are behind several years. Although you are making money on a daily basis, you are missing numerous opportunities outside your zone of comfort. Now is the time to be responsible towards your employees, customers, and other stakeholder and take action. Choose wisely with whom you are partnering – marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories, you tell (Seth Godin).