Responsible marketing 2017: Doing good business while doing good

Responsible marketing 2017: Doing good business while doing good

Technological innovation is enabling the growth of corporate citizenship and we’re noticing marketing trends encouraging (sometimes forcing) brands to become more socially aware.

Here are three types of responsible marketing trends we’re looking forward to seeing more of in 2017.

Purpose before profit

Promoting brand responsibility and the ethos of leaving the world a better place is becoming intrinsic to successful brands and their marketing strategies. More and more products are evolving to become visibly purpose driven.

As well as pressure from consumers, a commitment to bettering people’s lives can also be seen from the top down. But committing to purpose before profit is not just good ethics; it is also good for business. The Financial Times highlights this paradox suggesting that many companies with a purpose beyond profit tend to make more money. As the former CEO of Noble Energy, Chuck Davidson says, “When leaders leverage purpose, it creates a competitive advantage that’s difficult or even impossible to replicate.”

Sharing may replace owning

BizTech recently published an article entitled “Is it cheaper to own a car or to Uber in South Africa?” The answer: If you drive less than 50km per day, selling your car and using Uber will save you money. This could radically change the way people perceive car ownership, and that’s just a drop in the sharing economy ocean.

This What’s Mine is Yours overview demonstrates the rise of Collaborative Consumption, highlighting businesses from Airbnb to peer to peer borrowers and lenders. The bottom line is: “Traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting and gifting are all being redefined through technology and peer communities.” By sharing instead of owning we’re shifting away from hyper-consumption into a global village of infinite sharing possibilities.

People believe they can have an impact

Consumers have been flexing their muscles on social media for some time and responsive brands are delivering the best customer experience they can. But we’re moving beyond just the brand experience.

People now truly believe they can have an impact and bring about change by pressurising brands publicly. As writer Simon Mainwaring says, social media is: “A growing force for large-scale global transformation, led by socially conscious consumers seeking to use their voices and purchasing power to halt unsustainable business practices and temper reckless capitalism.”

Here’s to a year of doing good and doing good business.

Sheila McGillivray






All, 2017