We look at how the project benefits the community, how close that community is to our Ignition team, the sustainability of the project and the longevity of the impact it has. CSR programmes are never selected by their marketability or how good they will look in front of the lens or in the media.
What we have learnt over the years and with the range of projects we have supported, is that when a company places its core values and mission at the forefront of CSR, when it is driven by purpose, the secondary goal of marketing these initiatives follow organically. This intrinsic alignment of purpose and practice makes marketing not just simpler, but also more authentic and impactful.
There are a number of benefits of purpose-driven marketing, both external and internal:
- An authentic CSR policy makes external marketing so much simpler, because people are naturally drawn to the content and want to engage with it. Everyone likes good news, to share it and to celebrate it, but they are also very quick to spot content that is inauthentic and to dismiss it. When a marketing department has something genuinely ‘feel-good’ to market, something that resonates with the values and desires of both the company and its audiences, it simplifies marketing efforts and makes them more likely to be positively received.
- A company that is driven by purpose and makes a difference becomes a brand that is recognised and supported. Purpose-driven marketing quickly turns a CSR policy into an effective brand-building exercise.
- Purpose-driven marketing appeals to clients and partners. They enjoy working with a company that is doing good things, and there’s also the appeal of their own brand/company being associated with the same positive perception.
- Employees are looking for more than a job and a salary – they’re looking for a way to help others and become part of something bigger. When they are constantly exposed to their company making a difference, their motivation and job satisfaction increase. This is good for employee retention and engagement, which in turn is good for the company’s bottom line.
- An authentic CSR campaign can become a rallying point for employees – a common cause that improves interdepartmental cooperation and relationships. It builds team spirit and leads to a happier, more productive workplace.
Ignition is involved in a number of traditional CSR initiatives, ones that are close to our hearts and those of our communities.
Ignition Group has become a long-term partner of The Learn Project, a child literacy programme that supplies schools in need with libraries and other reading resources. The results of these resources are astounding, with an immediate increase in children’s interest in reading, which in turn improves literacy, language skills and ultimately education levels. By investing in education, we are not only empowering the youth, but benefiting the economy by producing school leavers who are able to successfully integrate into the country’s economy.
Ignition is also able to continue the effect of this programme by employing school leavers with good reading and language skills.
At the same time, since the schools are in communities where our employees live, we are also able to make a tangible difference in their lives and improve the sentiment towards Ignition.
Ultimately, the most important element of a CSR policy is for it not just to do good, but to do good for good reasons – for it to be authentic and purpose-led. When that happens, the community benefits sustainably and significantly, often becoming self-sustaining. The fact that marketing these initiatives is easy and powerful is just a side effect that good marketers can and must take advantage of.
Samantha Botha is Head of Group Marketing at Ignition Group