(This is part of the roots of the revolution series.)
Social media is not the be-all and end all of marketing. It’s one symptom among many of a revolution that is profoundly changing the way business is done. We’ve looked at the rise of virtual communities before; one of the other symptoms is Corporate Social Responsibility.
A nice idea in the 1970s, CSR is becoming a must-have. Global branding thinktank the Medinge Group puts it this way:
” …these are the sort of attributes we would expect of a nation-state, and increasingly we expect them of corporations.”
And Ernst & Young’s Global Megatrends 2009 report (PDF) speaks of the “rise of responsibility”. According to the report, businesses face “increasing expectations and obligations around how they act and the impacts they have on the world around them”. These expectations are coming from a growing body of stakeholders, who are no longer defined simply as “their consumers, employees, regulators and shareholders, but include far wider-ranging groups, including NGOs, the media and local communities”.
Social media is speeding up the pace of change, and amplifying the voice of individuals and lobby groups who want to hold large organisations to account.
WHAT THIS MEANS: Ask yourself, why does our company exist, other than to make money? Make that your cause.