Competition for customers and talent has reached never-before-seen heights, resulting in companies striving to align themselves with popular values. Whether their focus is to appeal to a more diverse demographic or demonstrate engagement within their communities, A/E/C marketers are facing a variety of new challenges.
Corporate social responsibility, or CSR for short, is becoming the differentiator in whether the client hires you. It can be the difference between that next big commission or cutbacks, or the difference between a studio of bright, collaborative innovators or an office of despondent drones.
The question of whether an A/E/C firm should adopt better CSR practices has also transitioned to a moral one. With regard to sustainability, the building sector contributes more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions. This presents not only the opportunity, but arguably the obligation, to help mitigate climate change.
“Focusing on sustainable projects and processes is not only the right thing to do, it is a matter of remaining competitive in times of unprecedented environmental and societal challenges,” says Tom Jacobs, principal of the Chicago-based Krueck + Sexton Architects and co-founder of Architects Advocate Action on Climate Change. “Marketers on all levels have an opportunity to embrace this by acting as true leaders who advocate for healthy and prosperous communities and who persuade their audiences about the urgent need to act.”
So, if you’re a marketer who wants to help institute a culture of social responsibility at your firm, how do you do it? It’s easier than you think.
This article, written by Alicia L. Koledin, Assoc. AIA, first appeared in the February 2018 issue of Marketer.