By Winfield Salyards, Marketing Coordinator at Heinz Marketing

In August of 2019, the Business Roundtable published an update to the Purpose of the Corporation.  This update expressed a fundamental commitment to all stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders.  This moves away from the long-standing view that the prime directive of a corporation was driving shareholder profits.  So, what does this mean for those of us in the B2B world?  It is easy to see the implications of this for B2C companies but, B2B can be a little less clear.

When we as businesses organize programs or initiatives as part of and for the communities we work in, we can become better marketers.  “How” you say?  Well when we give our time and our resources to others, to coworkers, and to those in your community it is an exercise in empathy.  When we do volunteer work or mark out time in our days to spend on others, we flex our empathy, and empathy is the most important thing—for me at least—in being a great marketer. And, as those 200 CEO’s stated, businesses aren’t just beholden to shareholders, they also have a responsibility to be good community members.

So, how do we go about organizing our companies and where do we put our energy and time?  First off, we should work with our coworkers and peers to build a group willing to go out and volunteer.  Research opportunities where you can go and get involved.  Try and make them meaningful to the people in your coworking group.  If the cause is meaningful to your peers, you will all be more motivated when getting involved.

Once you build a large enough active group, begin building out to your larger internal community.  Engage your employees or executive team, work with other select partner businesses or organizations.  This type of community membership helps us be better marketers, build community ties, acts as network building opportunities, and helps build out a strong internal culture.

Throughout this process you should work to make it as easy as possible for peers and community members to participate in organizing volunteer or community projects.

To summarize the most important points:

  • Do your research
  • Bring your internal community together
  • Make it as easy as possible to participate

When we build out our work community through volunteering, we better our greater community, build stronger ties to our coworkers, enhance cooperation, teamwork and empathy, and better ourselves along the way.  Working together for our communities helps us grow our abilities in our work.  It allows us to step away from the day to day, give our minds the time to cut through some of the fog of endless projects or writer’s block, and helps grow our empathetic skills that are so important in many ways to what we do as marketers.  Because, in the end, whether B2C or B2B, it all comes down to people.  The human element of our business is enhanced when we engage ourselves in the human element of our greater communities.