The Impact of Social Enterprise on the Modern Business Landscape
CIBER Focus Interview with Dr. Ferhat Anwar, October 15, 2018
In this edition of CIBER Focus, Dr. Syed Ferhat Anwar shares his insights on the state of marketing for modern businesses. The first point of emphasis that is discussed is how marketing has changed over the years, evolving from a simple product-based sales approach, to one focused more on creating a connection between the consumer and the brand. This leads into the topic of corporate social responsibility, or CSR. CSR has become a bit of a buzzword for businesses these days, and the traditional definition is this represents a company’s commitment to creating an overall better world, typically outside of the direct benefits provided by the product or service. Dr. Anwar speaks on the importance of an honest and genuine company culture, as social media has made it nearly impossible to be anything except transparent with customers. It seems likely the importance of CSR will only continue to grow in importance as younger consumers, those who tend to care most about the companies they do business with, continue to develop more and more buying power.
Other topics addressed by Dr. Anwar include the difference between CSR and social enterprise, a distinction that is often overlooked, but an important one nonetheless. Social enterprise refers to organizational commitment and ability to innovate and provide social change, while CSR is a more general term that encompasses all of a company’s actions which have a societal effect. The final conversation piece relates to the varying desire by consumers for CSR based on geographical location. Dr. Anwar shares that there are some very substantial discrepancies by geographical region in terms of industrial views of the importance of CSR. One part that is especially worth noting is some of the more “traditional” economic powerhouses, such as the United States, United Kingdom, and China have been slow to adapt to CSR, while more innovative economies such as Singapore and Sweden have seen much more significant attention to the area in recent years.