Blogs & Comment

Corporate Social Opportunity

Just read an interesting piece from Advertising Ageby Tim Sanders, author of the Book Saving the World at Workthat introduced a term I really like: Corporate Social Opportunity.
Sander believes that “as a movement, CSR is either dead or on life support” – largely due to the recession killing “nice-to-haves” in favor of an exclusive focus on profit centre programs. While there’s lots of solid evidence to refute this claim (in addition to my own experience as a consultant in this area), I agree with Sanders that CSR has largely become a compulsory exercise designed to limit liability, boost morale and add to the branding story of the company. Examples of CSR actually delivering sales are harder to find.
Here’s where corporate social opportunities (CSO) comes in. Sanders believes that CSO “should be a marketing function, designed to seek out the cutting edge of brand innovation — where a company’s assets intersect with the greater community’s needs. When you find this match, you can produce a sustainable program that inspires sales while it makes a difference.”
I agree. The CSO’s frame of reference is: do some good but be sure that there’s a marketing tie in that connects the company with the cause and inspires customers to connect with the company.