As Friedman concludes “There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources to engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”
Friedman’s thesis today stands abandoned and renounced. The contemporary view of CSR that is widely circulated in business schools, media, and management practice asserts that businesses have a social responsibility to the communities in which they are situated. However, the prerogative is perceived and enacted in ways by firms, that manifests itself in favorable versus unfavorable outcomes for the society.
Corporate Marketing is an emerging literature in the field of marketing management that provides a vortex. Brands today are going beyond the traditional knowledge to address new social realities that are the result of an increasingly culturally integrated world. A customer-centric and highly connected world where consumers not only want to feel good about their purchase but also want to make use of social media to share the story behind the purchase. CSR initiatives are a valuable first step for the examination of corporate marketing. Fortunately or unfortunately, despite being a business imperative, CSR often becomes an after-thought for small business owners who are too busy growing their business to focus on secondary initiatives like CSR.
A lot of large companies have strategized their CSR communications with marketing research techniques sensitive to the psychological needs of their stakeholders. With such knowledge companies today are gauging the demands of their target audiences.
But for companies to take CSR seriously, it has to be integrated into the DNA of the enterprise. Few corporations today market CSR to further their own interests in ways that only offer the appearance of being responsive to the social and environmental concerns of the communities.
More often the expenditure is significantly more on engaging in marketing campaigns that advertise their philanthropic efforts than on the philanthropy itself. It is crucial to not only identify the advantages, but also the potential pitfalls of corporate marketing of CSR that might boost or drop the culture of social responsibilities. Do we as a community look forward to insistence on much richer and ambitious corporate responsibility programs of genuine social benefit? Is the marketing of CSR an example of corporation’s flight from responsibility or a public relations invention with positive effect on social justice?