Marketing Communications of Latvian Social Enterprises from a Consumer Perspective: Practical Suggestions for Improvement
Practical Suggestions for Improvement
Keywords:social enterprise, marketing communications, social entrepreneurship, consumer research, marketing research
The purpose of this study is twofold - to contribute to the further understanding of social enterprises’ marketing by providing a consumers’ perspective on the content that social enterprises generate in order for them be to be able to better understand their strengths and weaknesses and to establish a reference point with regards the current situation to be able to compare and measure improvement in with regards social enterprise marketing in the future and, if needed, provide fact-based evidence to assist social enterprises in their call for support from public authorities. Among tasks of research are 1) analysis of recent scientific publications associate with social enterprises, their challenges in Europe and in Latvia and specifically with regards social enterprise marketing 2) analysis of online survey, filled out by 329 respondents and conducted by Kristīne Casno in 2019. For data anlysis such quantitative research methods were used as analysis of descriptive statistics (indicators or central tendency or location (arithmetic mean, mode, median), indicators or variability (range, standard deviation and standard error or mean), testing of statistical hypothesis with t-test and analysis or variance - ANOVA. Authors highlight that social enterprise consumers are supportive of social enterprises and their cause and are also interested in the marketing content provided, however, the full potential of word-of-marketing is not used, suggesting that there is significant room for improvement. With regards marketing communication content, social enterprises are most appreciated by consumers for aesthetic and interesting content. On the drawback side – the greatest challenges for social enterprises are to provide content on a regular basis and achieve visibility. Since the comparatively lower evaluations for aforementioned characteristics may be directly associated with lack of financial resources and skills, Authors recommend greater support from Ministry of Welfare of Republic of Latvia for development of support programs with the aim of increasing the marketing skills of social enterprises as well as promoting close win-win cooperation between commercial outdoor, print and online media holders and social enterprises (e.g. in the form of subsidized advertisement spaces while they are not used by commercial clients in return for lower taxes) in order to help social enterprises reach higher visibility.