Broaden Your Horizons with Societal Marketing

The rise of SMS marketing has made the relationship between business and consumer closer than ever. And while that’s great for businesses, it might be worthwhile to also consider marketing efforts that are beneficial to society as a whole. That is the crux of the marketing theory aptly named “societal marketing.”

While traditional marketing practices emphasize the well being of the company and consumer, societal marketing also considers the well being of society as a whole. It is a theory that aims to use every transaction to maximize the good being done outside the place of business. It is a noble ideal and one that can actually be simple to execute with a little strategic planning.

As a small business, your mere existence can potentially benefit your local society. Take a few moments to consider the symbiotic relationship your business has with your community: the money your business makes is often spent locally and local customers keep your business thriving. Many people already know it (in fact, that’s probably why many patronize your business) but a reminder of that fact can make for a great boost of civic pride.

Other small businesses exercise societal marketing by making a point to use only local resources for their products. Farmers markets are a great example of this kind of societal marketing. Other companies, such as The Body Shop cosmetics, source their ingredients from all over the world, but a practice of global fair trade using only all-natural products shows a considerable amount of concern for society. Your business might not be able to practice global fair trade to the extent of The Body Shop, but try mining as many “community-based” resources as possible.

One of the more popular examples of society marketing—especially in the SMS marketing arena–comes in the form of charitable shortcodes. Foundations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and The American Cancer Society have mastered “text-to-donate” campaigns, generating millions of dollars for their causes $10 at a time. Perhaps your company has a charitable cause it has been raising funds for. Spark new life into your fundraising effort and grasp a new cell-dependent market by starting your own “text-to-donate” campaign.

Societal marketing need not result in a loss for your company. It’s also not just something to do for “feel good” vibes. Local pride and a sense of altruism are great motivators for people to buy your goods and services. It results in the kind of publicity many businesses would love but will not or are unable to work for. It’s always admirable to want to provide the best service for your individual customers. But if you see an opportunity to provide the same standard of service for society at large, we urge you to take it.

Eric Duncan

Eric Duncan writes about Marketing for TextMarks--The industry leading SMS Marking & Communications platform.

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