Millennials just might be the key to driving socially responsible marketing practices. They want the companies they patronize to practice business sustainably and ethically. Not only that, they want companies to pay attention to how they are marketing and do so in a socially responsible way. Why should we listen? Because by 2030 millennials will outnumber boomers by 22 million per a Pew Research Center report.
Here’s a few more stats to consider from Nielson’s Global Corporate Sustainability Report published in 2015:
- Globally, 66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand
- Millennials gave an even more impressive showing, with 73% of surveyed millennials indicating a similar preference.
- Additionally, 81% of millennials even expect their favorite companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship.
When I see these data points and think of how corporate social responsibility (CSR) and creating shared value (CSV) programs are getting a huge boost from millennials, I have hope for the future of doing business.
In a Forbes article by Sarah Landrum, she points out that millennials are looking for four major qualities in socially responsible companies:
- They want companies to be actively invested in the betterment of society and the solution of social problems.
- They want companies that prioritize “making an impact” on the world around them.
- They want companies to be open and honest about their efforts — and to be public about their pro-social initiatives.
- Finally, millennials want companies to involve their customers in their good works. They want an opportunity to give back — whether it’s with a gift of their time or their money.
“Millennials expect modern brands to be open and communicative about how they operate in the world and to seek incremental and positive social change,” Landrum said. “Even the smallest deeds can affect distant shores, and that means every small effort counts.”
When looking at 2018 programs for your clients, think through new ways of activating CSR/CSV programs. This could mean leading a movement, partnering with like-minded businesses, attracting and engaging talent, passing legislation or launching a marketing communications campaign that focuses on social responsible practices.
The sky is the limit!