According to a new study by the CSA Institute for LinkedIn, published exclusively by CB News, more than two-thirds (68%) of directors of marketing and communications in the financial sector believe that CSR (social responsibility – or social – companies, editor’s note) will be a significant challenge in the future to answer what could be the next industrial revolution: a green economy and social innovation. If almost half (46%) believe that CSR is already an important issue in their communication tools and campaigns, this share is likely to increase, the study explains, especially with the advent of new ESG standards (economic, social and governance criteria. presented on LinkedIn, Axa talks a lot about its commitment – with its progress index – or BNP Paribas, aimed at future talents in demand by dedicated companies looking to join a climate change activist.
“We wanted to better understand the reality of CSR issues. We are seeing a steady increase in CSR posts and interest in our platform, ”said Ioana Erhan, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Director in France and Head of Financial Services Worldwide, to CB News. “Our clients use sponsored content and videos to communicate about CSR. According to the study, they are asking to increase budgets on this topic. We see this on LinkedIn, the main topic of tomorrow’s communication of large financial companies will be financing a green and inclusive economy.
Although CSR involves many issues, financial and marketing managers in the financial sector agree to put human resources at the center of their concerns. In fact, improving well-being at work is the first thing for employees for 71% of them, ahead of gender equality and diversity. With the advent of new ESG standards, there is no doubt about the inevitable changes in the financial sector, and marketing and communications directors are well aware of this. If financing a green and inclusive economy is already an important issue in their eyes – this criterion is mentioned by 57% of them – it can become a priority issue for CSR. In fact, 39% of respondents see it as the main subject of CSR communication in the future, ahead of well-being at work (36%).
Interviewed managers agree that in terms of CSR communication, “actions speak louder than words”: 52% believe that the best option to stand out is to communicate on the basis of evidence, not commitment. As for their motivation, it seems harder for them to find one more than the other. Improving the company’s image and reputation (44%), the desire to meet regulatory standards (36%), as well as participate in the transformation of the sector towards more responsible financing (32%) are among the most cited. Moreover, they agree that CSR communication is a real source of reassurance for customers: three quarters of them believe that it has a positive effect on customer confidence in their company. “We see the effect of a charitable circle in which taking into account customer expectations will nurture a relationship of trust, which in itself encourages companies to invest in CSR,” the study said.
“Earlier, advertisers announced their intention, and now evidence, results, figures are being put forward. Involvement is growing rapidly: CSR campaigns are doing extremely well on LinkedIn. Proof of this are the campaigns that are now set in the red thread, which can last several weeks. This is a trend that can be observed at the global level, “said Ioana Erhan.
Communication teams still have to face certain obstacles. 30% of managers surveyed say that the communication budgets allocated to CSR remain insufficient. However, almost half (49%) say that these budgets are growing, which gives cause for optimism. Moreover, to overcome these barriers, financial sector companies prefer the most accessible communication channels, including the Internet with social networks (60%) and company websites (50%), channels that are considered the most effective for the topic. which primarily appeal to the general public.
“As it responds to the transformation of markets, as a vector of positive social change, but also a lever of efficiency, CSR must play a significant role in the financial sector. Although financing a greener and inclusive economy is becoming the number one CSR issue for companies in the sector, marketing and communications directors can rely on social media as a privileged channel of communication to highlight their actions and commitments, ”said Ioana Erhan, CEO. . LinkedIn marketing solutions. The platform claims 24 million users in France.
Methodology: a study conducted with a representative national sample of 200 directors and managers of marketing and communications in the financial sector. The questionnaire was conducted by phone from December 13, 2021 to January 12, 2022.