84% describe CSR as very important

be sincere and understated about CSR

This is the fourth of 5 thoughts addressing social trends in Australia. To avoid repetition, I have avoided trends associated with social media, content marketing, and digital marketing to focus on interesting trends that many may not be aware of.

A recent survey in Australia found that some 84% of consumers considered corporate social responsibility, or an organisation’s contribution to its community, as being critically important in terms of their perceived image of the brand and propensity to engage with it.

Internationally, research has found that 64% of CEOs report that they will be increasing their investment in CSR in the year ahead. Another study found that 81% of consumers will make personal sacrifices to support a socially responsible business.

Research in Australia has found that critical consumer concerns in terms of CSR include:

  • Workplace equality and diversity
  • Social and environmental responsibility
  • Consumer engagement and empowerment
  • Support for community projects and causes
Trends highlighted in the research include:
  • Workplace giving support
  • Social activism and advocacy
  • Personalisation
  • Sustainable development
  • Setting standards for suppliers
Another notable trend is the growing criticism of businesses involved in ‘green washing’ and claiming to be socially responsible when they are not. Such businesses are increasingly suffering at the hands of social media.

Research reported in the Harvard Business Review highlights not just the importance of CSR and being sincere about it – but also the benefits of doing it without talking about it. Actions speak louder than words.

CSR is an increasingly powerful marketing tool, provided it is real and the business is humble about its contributions, i.e. it resists the temptation to crow about it. This research also highlights the increasing importance of CSR in attracting the best and brightest staff.

In 2018, be sincere and understated about CSR

Every year – put the facts ahead of intuition and guesswork.

Core sources of statistics – n-insights, ABS, Integrate, M, We Are Social, Eventbright, McCrindle, AR Pos, HBR, and Deloitte.

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