Social Marketing: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives

By Marvin E. Goldberg; Martin Fishbein et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 18
The Benefits of Corporate
Social Marketing Initiatives

Paul N. Bloom
University of North Carolina

Pattie Yu Hussein
Fleishman Hillard, Inc.

Lisa R. Szykman
University of North Carolina


ABSTRACT

Corporate social marketing programs are defined as corporate initiatives that have a primary goal of persuading people to engage in socially beneficial behaviors. These programs are different from other corporate initiatives such as philanthropic efforts (giving money to a charitable cause) and cause-related marketing efforts (giving money to a charitable cause every time a purchase is made). This chapter argues that these programs can be classified as social marketing programs, even though the corporations may reap benefits (such as increased sales or an improved image) from such efforts. Advantages and drawbacks of having corporations involved in social marketing programs are discussed; and several case studies are presented to demonstrate characteristics of successful corporate social marketing programs.

When corporations invest resources in marketing activities,1 they usually are seeking a return on their investment in the form of increased sales of their products or services. As long as a corporation is not selling a dangerous or harmful product, an investment in marketing that produces more increased sales than expenses should not only benefit the firm's

____________________
1
The term corporation refers to both privately and publicly held companies that are in business to make a profit. In some cases, individual corporations form an association (such as the Dairy Council) in order to undertake marketing campaigns that will benefit an entire industry. These associations are included in the discussions of corporate initiatives and programs.

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