Social Responsibility in Marketing
I woke up yesterday thinking about this topic and it’s still on my mind. The other day, my PR team met to brainstorm on media angles for a client that helps large pharmaceutical companies market one-on-one to doctors to increase the prescribing of brand pharmaceutical products. The subject of social responsibility in marketing surfaced.
Sure, pharma companies need to be socially responsible. They have an obligation to be good corporate citizens. With that said, of course, what immediately comes to mind is the subject of “Going Green.” As companies look for ways to reduce energy costs, one obvious way for pharma would be to reduce the amount of gas used by sales forces trying to reach doctors. There are other ways to target physicians with precision accuracy without the use of fuel. Pharma companies can also show social responsibility in marketing by not wasting a doctor’s time with strategies he doesn’t want and materials he’s not going to read.
My thinking then goes beyond pharmaceuticals to my own marketing company. I asked the question, “Is PFS Marketwyse socially responsible.” In the traditional sense, yes, we are very responsible when it comes to marketing initiatives. We target and limit the amount of materials we send and mostly do marketing through the Web.
But, what about in the social media sense? Is PFS a social media responsible company? I would like to think so. Today I had a conversation with our CEO and creative director. We’re developing a website for a broadcast client who attends NAB each year. The site has to provide information on announcements, presentations, demonstrations, etc. This year we’re pitching the idea of a blog to capture conversations with dealers and product end-users on the client’s site. Our CEO suggested a MyPod proprietary video networking site (which is still in development here at PFS). However, after further explanation, it really wasn’t what the client was trying to achieve with its NAB website. Had we pitched this idea and the client accepted it, then we would not have been acting as a social media responsible company.
I know that there are many occasions when the social media application is so cool, and we think that it would be great to incorporate something that’s the latest and greatest in technology. But I believe, and I know many others will agree, that in order to be social media responsible the application has to make sense for the client and enable them to accomplish their goals. In the case of the MyPod site, goals would not have been successfully accomplished. Many people may have talked about the site, but it would have lacked certain required features and functionality.
So, I leave you with this question, no matter what industry you represent, are you socially responsible in marketing and are you also social media responsible?
February 3, 2008 @ 12:28 pm
I think that social responsibility goes beyond what we as marketers do for our business and for our clients. It also goes to personal responsibility. I once worked for a not for profit where the CEOs husband purchased an H3 Hummer. As her advisor, I advised her to never drive the Hummer to work, it sends the wrong message. In order to practice what we preach I believe we need to set a PERSONAL example as well as a business example.
February 3, 2008 @ 2:40 pm
Robert, I agree with you. It does come down to a personal level. and we should definitely practice what we preach. I think you provided your client with excellent advice.
December 14, 2009 @ 11:59 am
Great article thanks for sharing!
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December 31, 2010 @ 2:58 am
Actual good! Thx for sharing this. I will certainly stick to your guidline, honestly.
Aside from this …
Let’s bring together around and celebrate the dawn of glowing Fresh New Year. Should it bring in gifts of joys, excellent health & lots of insightful surprises. Greatest wishes 4 a Joyful New Year.
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