Page 1: Introduction
There is a growing consensus within society that companies should take a more active and structured approach to the relationships they have with the various communities they serve. Corporate social responsibility is the way in which a company demonstrates its commitment to contributing something positive to its stakeholders and society.
Social marketing is a new approach to traditional marketing. It enables companies to fulfil their existing marketing needs (to produce the right goods, at the right time, in the right place, at the right price) while tackling social issues relevant to the company and its brands. Social marketing means that corporate investment will not only support communities, but also help to achieve key business objectives.
Current research indicates that the level of corporate commitment towards social issues significantly influences choice between different companies and brands. 86% of consumers agree that, when price and quality are equal, they are more likely to buy a product associated with a cause and would have a more positive image of a company if it is visibly doing something to make the world a better place. (Business in the Community/Research International, 1997)
Research also shows that customers and employees want to know about a company’s social programmes of activity. In response to the question, ‘When forming an opinion about a company or organisation, how important is it to know about their activities in society and the community?’ 81% said ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ important, 19% said ‘unimportant’. (MORI Corporate Responsibility survey, 1997)
This case study examines Sky Television’s new youth initiative - 'Reach For The Sky' - and explains how a social marketing programme is important in the growth of a company’s brand.