Purpose is Profit for B2B Companies
Not long ago, most companies considered maximising profits as their principal purpose. Today, purpose has a higher meaning, and a company’s response to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is an increasingly important measure of its success.
Employees, investors, and consumers are choosing to work with, invest in and buy from companies based on their responses to issues like racial and economic injustice, global conflicts and the climate crisis.
While business-to-consumer (B2C) companies often make headlines for their ESG commitments, business-to-business (B2B) companies are also being held accountable—not only for their own ESG commitments but also for those of their partners and their wider supply chain. This is highly influential on the UK economy, as the B2B sector accounts for an estimated 44% of its business turnover.
As part of our ongoing series on the mindset of the B2B buyer and to better understand how ESG considerations are impacting the B2B buying process, FleishmanHillard UK, in partnership with Opinium Research, surveyed 450 B2B business decision-makers and interviewed business leaders involved in the B2B decision making process for the B2B Buying Guide 2022.
Our research showed that ESG considerations top the list of reasons for companies to seek a new B2B partner. These businesses need suppliers that can help them do more than tick the ESG box. They need partners they can trust to do right by the environment, employees, and the community. Yet, most B2B buyers (76%) say that organisations aren’t doing enough to communicate their ESG commitments. The full report is available to download: 2022 B2B Buying Guide: The Impact of ESG on the B2B Buying Process.
What does this mean for communicators and marketers?
Firstly, ESG commitments are not only a core part of brand reputation for B2B companies, but they are also becoming a key purchase decision-making factor. ESG goals and considerations should be embedded into every aspect of the organisation. Commitments should be stated publicly and reported on rigorously. Most importantly, communicators and business leaders should continue to spur each other into action because when businesses unite, they can be a powerful force for good.
Tracey Nugent, director