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Measure ‘Brand Social Responsibility’ spends

Green corporate citizen is virtually a reality in every organization. Almost every respected organization has a armed themselves with a sizable amount of resources to drive certain initiatives. The same could be either direct or indirect. Most of the indirect initiatives are also routed through the marketing communication process so that the awareness and the respect in the mind of the consumer could be created.

The communications are also to encourage the loyal consumer to support the cause and concern for the ‘green’. These messages are reached to the consumer through various channels of communication both active and passive. It has now become very critical activity for any marketing manager and creative team to constantly drive that effort to send the social responsibility message. Therefore, keep allocating budget as a priority and it has gain almost equal importance along with the brand communication. This is creating an image of the brand as ‘Responsible’ entity of our society.

The interaction of consumer is more with the brand and the product than the company per say. It is the impression and image of the brand that stays in the mind of the consumer and the product is the tangible delivery form of the brand. The consumers buy the product basis the brand image in their mind and bring them home for consumption. Nobody consciously wants to bring home ‘bad guys’. We all want to get associated good guys who have concern and care for us and our environment and eventually society. Hence we always want to associate ourselves with brands which are constantly driving the social responsibility. It is important to drive ‘Brand Social Responsibility’ rather than generic initiatives like CSR [corporate Social Responsibility]. It is a sub-set of the overall Social Responsibility of Corporate but the sensitivity of BSR is very high since these brands are ambassadors of the Corporate with whom the consumer are in direct touch. A consumer may very well be aware of the brand and the product but may not be bothered to remember the name of the company. A conscious and informed consumer these days are considering these factors very seriously while making a buying decision.

The awareness level are so high and concerns for environments are so deep, there are consumers who would like to have information like usage of recyclable packaging material, bio-degradability of packing material, pesticide free input material usage etc. and the marketers are also actively exploring these possibilities to create differentiator in the product through various means of brand communications. The Brand managers marketing plan for spends now have many ‘green dots’ of various size – big, medium and small. The spends efficacies of the marketing plan are measured basis ROI [return on investments] to understand the effectiveness and reach of the communication as against the quantum of spends. There are other techniques like ROMO [return on marketing Objective]. This is a qualitative measure which helps the marketers to understand whether the stated objective of an activity is effectively achieved. These are time tested and conventional methods that are deployed to measure brand spends and its effectiveness. But the number of green dots and their size are now becoming very imposing and challenging for the brand managers at the time of allocating budget since the spends data is not available with them for measurement. Most of the BSR initiatives will be integrated along with the main marketing campaign and hence, collation, measurement and reporting of such initiatives is very challenging. Further, some of the initiatives are interactive with the consumer where spends are triggered basis information consumer input and information. The social responsibility is also an active area of interest of stakeholders, analysts, statutory bodies and other social agencies. It has almost occupied the center stage of the management reporting. The Corporate Management has also tries to provide maximum focus and coverage in their report. The BSR process is addressed in SAP ERP’s CRM module [Customer Relationship Management]. It is a collaborative module interfaced with the execution and transaction components of SAP like FI/CO and MM. This has enabled the entity to do planning for the various green dots activities as part of the marketing initiative and capture the transaction cost capture on a real time basis for measurement and reporting accurately and effectively. The data of such green dot initiatives are provided from SAP for audit certification for reporting of the in the management reports for various stakeholders and statutory authorities. The entity is already doing complying CSR / BSR accounting which is powered by SAP Netweaver for planning and interaction and transaction processing by SAP ERP core transaction component module.

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