Benefits of Cause Marketing
More than a call for attention
Cause Marketing has many advantages, here is an outline of how to do cause marketing right to help your brand. So what is cause marketing? It is a "type of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in which a company’s promotional campaign has the dual purpose of increasing profitability while bettering society." Engaging in cause marketing helps firms increase their bottom line while helping the world at large - a win-win. We live in a world of hyper-aware, socially conscious consumers. These consumers are more likely than the generations before to choose brands based on the causes they support. If a firm doesn't employ some form of cause marketing, consumers may turn to competitors.
However, there is a thin line between cause marketing that will drive people to your brand and away from it. You can follow our do's and don't to make sure you are doing it right.
Cause Marketing Strategy:
Do choose a related cause. The cause that you choose to support should have a clear relation to your company - or if it doesn't, then the relationship should be made painfully clear. A great example of this is Staples and their support of worldwide education. Everyone knows that Staples sells supplies for schools, so the link is clear.
Don't choose a cause that has nothing to do with your company. A poorly executed cause marketing campaign can hurt more than it can help. Consumers aren't stupid, they will see right through attempts to simply profit from a cause. This can create a poor public image of your brand and cause consumers to make a mockery of you on social media.
Do integrate cause marketing into your corporate culture. Creating a strong connection with a nonprofit - or even creating your own non-profit organization - can greatly help your brand's image. This connection can be strengthened by sending out press releases internally or by mentioning the non-profit during new employee orientation sessions. Similarly, having senior members of the organization demonstrate this commitment publicly will go a long way to giving credence to your cause marketing ventures.
Don't have short-term relationships with a number of causes. If you rotate through foundations every few months, you will lose credibility. Pick one or two that you would like to support and stick with them. It takes time for your relationship to be known by consumers. Cycling through a number of causes signals that you don't really care about any of them. It doesn't help the cause, or your company - a lose-lose.
Do provide a clear way consumers can help. It is important that you partner with a cause that can be addressed. Even if the cause is a big one, such as global warming, it is important you show them a way they can make an impact - even if it's just through educating others on the issue. This will not only benefit the cause you are trying to help, but will also make consumers associate your company with the positive emotion they get when they do the a positive action.
Don't just state the problem without a solution. If your marketing consists only of listing problem, it can hurt your brand. Consumers may perceive you negatively and choose to avoid you in the future.
Do take real action. It's important that your company takes real action to work towards a solution to your cause. There are many things you can do such as host events, donate money and time that will show consumers you really care about the cause. This will show them the human side to your company, helping build a better reputation for your brand.
Don't just pay lip service. Consumers will quickly call out companies who say they are committed to something, but don't do anything to back it up. Worse, companies will sometimes do exactly what they said they were against. Picture the outrage people would have if PETA, a company all about protecting animals, supported a company which sold fur scarfs. This creates a terrible image for your brand as being hypocritical and unjust.
These are just a few ideas which companies need to keep in mind when engaging in cause marketing. We know how to do cause marketing right. Your company may benefit by engaging in cause marketing. Let's connect so that we can help you help others, all while increasing your bottom line.
And we're often at work very late and very early