In 2022, 89% of French consumers expect a brand to contribute to the common good (Brand'Gagement Barometer).
In other words, all eyes are on engagement and responsibility. And whatever the company (B2B, B2C, from startup to large corporation), moving towards a more responsible strategy is accessible to all.
To achieve this, here are two approaches that contribute to it: deploying a responsible marketing strategy, and focusing on Community-Led Growth. In this article, Mégane Boutelou (co-founder of Marketing Flow, a community of committed marketers) and Benoît Chatelier (CEO of MeltingSpot) describe the complementarity between these two virtuous strategies.
Community-Led Growth and responsible marketing: definitions
What is Community-Led Growth?
Community-led Growth is a growth strategy directed by one or more business communities. These communities may include stakeholders who directly influence the growth of the business, such as clients, partners, staff, investors, etc.
Regardless of the type of community, Community-Led Growth's purpose is to create, animate and engage a group of people with common goals and interests. Since the rise of digital transformation, these business communities (B2B or B2C) are mostly virtual. This paradigm shift makes it easier to engage members, organize online events, share resources and asynchronous content... But that's not all!
Businesses that support community-led growth aren't just driven by the desire for unrestricted growth. In the most recent conversation with our MeltingSpot community, Benoît Chatelier (CEO of MeltingSpot) reaffirmed that the idea of community-led growth is based on a moral, all-inclusive strategy that prioritizes placing individuals at the heart of decisions. Perfect, to move towards more responsible growth!
What is responsible marketing?
"The objective is no longer just to encourage customers to buy a product, but to give meaning to their purchase": this is how to summarize the notion of responsible marketing. Consumers today want to invest in brands that make sense and that give their actions meaning. This is known as being "Consum'Actors" Developing a more responsible marketing strategy becomes a priority in order to match these new expectations.
For Mégane Boutelou (co-founder of Marketing Flow), responsible marketing is defined first and foremost as the creation of products that meet real needs. The objective is to minimize social or environmental impacts. Unlike "traditional" marketing, the role of companies is no longer to "sell for the sake of selling" or to "create revolutionary products", but to integrate a more holistic, long-term sustainable and "Customer Centric" vision.
Responsible marketing: Marketing Flow's best practices
You now know what responsible marketing is. But how do you implement this strategy? What are the actions that allow you to combine consistency, commitment and performance?
Mégane Boutelou (co-founder of Marketing Flow) shares with us some of her best practices:
- Advertising "differently": Responsible marketing does not mean "breaking with all the codes of advertising, communication or marketing". Certain actions continue to be crucial to becoming known, gaining clients, or developing loyalty. But why not make a Facebook ad that is based on the values, the (true) needs of the customer, or the experience of an employee, as opposed to making one that relies on aggressive argumentation and extreme promotions? This is the choice that Lidl Belgium made, in this Facebook ad that values a story, rather than a promotional offer.
- Comply with GDPR: Respecting certain values is just one aspect of responsible marketing. Respecting customers and the legal framework that regulates businesses is also essential! For instance, it's against the law to solicit customers through newsletters without their consent, but many companies nonetheless do it.
- Be transparent: With responsible marketing, the objective of companies is not to be "perfect", but to be transparent. Consumers actually prefer hearing from businesses about their (genuine) commitments than hearing them make empty promises or statements that lack supporting data. For example, the retailer Hopaal has a sign listing its flaws and promises to fix them at the door to each of its locations. The company Veja offers a "Transparency" page on their website to explain its production processes.
- Develop a community: Community is the cornerstone of a responsible marketing strategy. By gathering involved members within a community of prospects or customers, the company relies on golden allies. A community facilitates the co-creation of products or services, it encourages members to co-construct projects and helps collect feedback to truly understand the member's needs... Finally, the community is a lever for responsible marketing, as it relies on word-of-mouth.
This form of community-based communication has more impact than any other top-down form of marketing: it is the community that guides, recommends and supports the company in all its strategies. The ROI (return on investment) can be considerable. The Spendesk community is a perfect example. The members (prospects) have a sales cycle 3 times faster than a prospect from a traditional Inbound Marketing strategy. In addition, the number of signed contracts is 35% higher than that of prospects attracted by other channels.
Community-Led Growth and responsible marketing: two complementary strategies
You get it now, Community-Led Growth and Responsible Marketing are two complementary strategies for generating more virtuous growth. The two strategies feed each other:
- Responsible marketing is based on embodying strong values and respecting consumers. Creating communities is a lever to intelligently and compassionately engage your audience and make meaningful decisions.
- Community-Led Growth allows for more virtuous growth, guided by the community, its needs and ideas. Sharing and transparency are at the heart of this customer-oriented approach.
Want to take your first steps toward a more responsible marketing strategy? Start by creating an active and committed community of prospects or customers. Check out our community platform right away: