20 Jan Building Your Brand and Business With Cause Marketing

As the producer of some of the largest non-profit fundraisers in the country, we’ve developed and executed hundreds of cause marketing campaigns over the years for our clients.

And over those years, various definitions of cause marketing have emerged.

Here’s one we really like for its simplicity:

Cause marketing is doing the right thing and getting credit for it.

In this case, “doing the right thing” is providing cash donations and/or volunteer resources for a charitable organization. Which, as you probably know, is also called philanthropy.

But “getting credit for it” – through paid, earned and/or owned media – is what separates cause marketing from philanthropy.

And more and more, companies are turning to cause marketing as a powerful way to connect with consumers and differentiate from competitors. In fact, cause marketing spending by brands and local businesses is expected to reach nearly two billion dollars this year, the highest amount ever.

For good reason. According to the most recent study, 90 percent of consumers would switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause, given similar price or quality.

So how can your brand or business benefit from cause marketing? Let us count the ways.

Cause Marketing Can Drive Sales Right Now

You’ve no doubt been exposed to, or even participated in, a “portion of proceeds” promotion. This is where the brand or business entices you to purchase their product or service and, in return, makes a donation to a charity. This tried-and-true tactic not only builds an emotional bond between you and your customer, it can lift sales well beyond your normal volume and usually drives profit in excess of the cost of the donation. How’s that for a win-win-win?!

Cause Marketing Can Move a Consumer Closer to Purchase

Maybe you market a product or service that requires deeper consumer education and consideration. No worries. Simply tie the donation to the desired action you’d like a prospect to take to move them closer to a sale.

One of our clients does this in a highly competitive services category where consumers are usually gathering several bids. In this case, he offers a donation to Phoenix Children’s Hospital – creatively theming the promotion “get a bid, help a kid” – that triggers the donation just for going through his bid process. You can imagine that, if the consumer receives similar bids from other contractors, his cause-marketing hook will become the tie-breaker. And he’ll earn the business

Cause Marketing Energizes Employees

Nothing builds internal culture like rallying the troops around a common mission. And cause marketing can be just the answer. In fact we’ve helped fire up employee teams around causes to such a point that they wind up producing their own internal fundraisers on their own, with no prodding from management.

Cause Marketing Can Position You as an “Employer of Choice”

There’s a lot of buzz around Employer Branding these days given the hyper-competitive job market. And taking a higher community profile with causes you support will no doubt differentiate you from other companies who are trying to recruit the very same people you’re targeting.

Cause Marketing Is Built for Social Media

Brands and businesses tell their stories every day in Social Media, hoping for the occasional share. And people love to share happy, inspirational content. So adopting cause marketing is a no brainer if Social Media engagement is something you’re focusing on.

So How Do You Get Started with Cause Marketing?

We recommend you spend some time identifying your cause marketing sweet spot, which sits at the intersection of what your company mission is…what your employees are into…and what your target audience cares about. Of course this is probably easier said than done. So if you need help, we’re just a phone call or a contact form away.

Just think of all the good we can do together!



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