Corporate social responsibility was once viewed as the thing businesses do when they’re not making money, but all that is changing according to a new IBM study reported by Marketing Charts.
The survey of 250 executives around the world found that, for 68% of firms, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is viewed as a potential source of revenue growth rather than a regulatory or philanthropic issue.
More than half of the executives surveyed said CSR initiatives are giving their companies a competitive advantage, overwhelmingly because of the favourable response such initiatives attract from customers.
But while meeting customer expectations is the key benefit of a solid CSR program, a stunning 76% of executives admitted that while they know their customers care about CSR, they don’t really understand why.
Only 16% of executives said they make serious efforts to engage and collaborate with customers on CSR activities.