At a time when just about every product offering is commoditized, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can launch a strong emotional bond between companies and customers that sets it apart. The reasons lie beyond the support of a good cause or promises to be more ethical. Customers now demand proof that a company’s executives and employees share their values. The outcome can be a greater affinity between company and customer, and to that end, brighter business opportunities.
Far too often, deals are lost when a cost-driven mindset keeps a firm’s better qualities at arm’s length. How are we to elevate our story? How can we measure the impact CSR has in each sales pursuit, or its value overall? The challenges for companies in articulating their CSR messages is two-fold:
Imparting new CSR initiatives without appearing self-serving; and,
Preempting their customers’ questions about everything from ethical sourcing abroad to negatively impacting the domestic job market.
A formalized union between strategic and operational CSR marketing processes optimizes a companies’ leverage of their CSR programs. But it’s not necessary that there be a formalized synthesis of the two to achieve the best results within each new sales opportunity. Most companies have a large gap between merely “memorizing the Mission Statement” and understanding their CSR story well enough to influence opinion by mapping CSR elements to the moving parts of a sales opportunity.
With Vee Technologies, Sona College is part of an amazing CSR story in its own right, having educated tens of thousands of students at little and often no cost. It serves as the hub of Vee Technologies’ CSR program, where training, teachers, technology, research and the issue of certification all take place. After an individual receives vocational training in the village, it is at Sona College where he or she receives the entrepreneurial, banking, personal appearance, and language skills training—all of which are required to ensure a skill becomes a sustainable career, transforming a life and a community.
Sona Yukti is the name of the foundation that is primarily rooted at Sona College. Many professors, volunteers, corporate sponsors, and programs coalesce on campus under the Sona Yukti banner to bring formalized initiatives to those who can benefit. Below are just three of the many programs which comprise Vee Technologies’ CSR platform:
TITP: Japanese language and basic healthcare training that will supply Japan with 50,000 healthcare workers over ten years. India and Japan have joined resources in order to fix the problem of underserved elderly in Japan’s villages.
Disabled Women in Technology Program: Provides services to many villagers afflicted with polio, providing modified sewing machines and training. This allows many women to have a career and contribute to their families and villages.
Sister Celine’s Lotus House: A Salem orphanage that serves as home, church, and school for children of all ages. Vee Technologies partnered with a major healthcare client to provide a residential building and ongoing support that carries these children to and through graduation.
Depending on the depth of a company’s CSR program, there may be a variety of stories to tell and complexities to share. However, there are three key elements that stakeholders tend to seek the most, so it’s important they be incorporated into the core campaign messages:
Due to the rise in technological transformations, the healthcare industry is under pressure to map the needs of patients while adhering to the requirements of the digital revolution. Today, patients are no longer passive onlookers but rather active participants who undertake the initiative to care for themselves.
Now that automation has integrated itself with AI, the healthcare sector is at the center of change. Artificial Intelligence owns the potential to redesign the healthcare industry while focusing on the needs of optimizing business operations, rendering efficient care to patients.
A major segment where healthcare professionals need to embed AI is with the patients’ engagement with the healthcare system. The greater the engagement, the better the care rendered by the healthcare system. Patients have a tremendous interest in connecting directly to the healthcare experts so as to stay informed on their everyday health status and to make decisions. The higher the patient’s engagement in the process, the greater the possibility of the patients taking preventive measures and reducing the risk of being hospitalized.
The strategic message and how to effectively communicate that message should always be considered. By reporting specific outcomes of the effort, the impact may be “shown” and not simply “told.” In CSR parlance, “well-done” beats “well-said.” First-person stories and testimonials from the campaign itself should be considered. By attaching faces to a campaign, the CSR moves from beyond a corporate initiative to a human one.
Beating the competition is something we don’t usually associate with CSR initiatives. CSR programs offer the best face of a company, yet there is little practical direction on leveraging the benefits for commercial success. We know that winning in the field means presenting better value to the client during the sales process. By integrating CSR into our technical proposals, we offer our clients an avenue to support solutions that affect the world, as well as their professional requirements. For decision-makers who have their own programs in place, this will have appeal.
Thoughtful CSR messaging is a simple and effective way to influence decision-makers. Diverting stakeholder attention away from hourly-rate comparisons and cultural stigmas and toward the heartwarming story of how Vee Technologies makes lives better brings humanity into our sales message. Vee Technologies’ professional success has a positive and direct impact on making lives better.