By Justine Castellon
Social marketing is being practiced lately to differentiate brands, and hopefully shorten the road to brand equity. However, the common pitfall of some marketers is the way they treat ‘social marketing’. . . just like any marketing strategy.
What’s the goal of a social and ethical marketing?
Social marketing helps you build brand advocacy. This is the stage where you have already built your relationship with your customer. Your loyal customer buys beyond the product or service. They support you because of your common social goals . . . for example . . . being an environmental-friendly company or the supporter of humanity or any other forms of socially-responsive campaigns. Whatever your choices, you have to play it by heart.
I noticed some new companies who practiced this kind of marketing, but they forgot the first rule . . . walking the talk. One company that supposedly claims being an environmental supporter in all its campaigns and promos, uses tarpaulin materials. Tarpaulin is a non-biodegradable material which hurts mother earth. Some companies are proud to support human dignity, yet, they have a series of labor cases filed against them. Others donate cash to support socially-responsible agencies, and shamelessly broadcast it in front of its target audience.
One of the most successful social marketers is The Body Shop. The four core values are well-communicated to its target audience. And all campaigns are well-planned all through out. I was lucky to be one of the marketers of The Body Shop. As a common marketer during my first week in my job, I included PR and media blitz in one of my values campaigns. My bosses (both from regional and local) pointed out that when you do social projects, it has to be done discreetly. Social marketing is done from the inside. Social marketing starts from belief in the company’s core values. It pervades the organization until eventually, it profoundly influences the corporate culture. You can’t be a wife-beater if you’re a The Body Shop employee (a company, which supports human rights), and you’re also expected to attend tree-planting sessions every year (they’re also an environment-friendly organization). And these are all hidden from the media. No tarpaulins or any non-biodegradables in all merchandising displays, despite the high cost of biodegrable materials. And you can see the result . . . The Body Shop is synonymous to social marketing. The Body Shop is social marketing.