Why Cause Marketing Should be Included in Your Company’s Marketing Program
The competition within virtually every business niche today is absolutely fierce, and it’s getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd. Most markets are at a saturation point, and consumers are hard-pressed to be able to distinguish one brand from another. You’ve tried just about every marketing trick in the book, and nothing seems to work like it used to.
Maybe you need to consider cause marketing
Cause marketing is a win-win partnership between a for-profit company and a non-profit organization that brings increased business to the for-profit and a financial boost to the non-profit. A recent study illustrates the potential power of cause marketing; when asked to choose between similar competing products, an estimated 55 percent of consumers will pick the brand that offers an added social benefit.
One great example of a cause marketing camapign is, Hanes for Good. In this cause marketing campaign. Hanes donated 500,000 pairs of socks to shelters and it had a great impact in the company’s brand. The company turned to Twitter and asked people to to get onvloved by Tweeting the hashtag #HanesForGood. Here is a link to 10 other cause marketing campaigns selectd by the Huffington Post as the best.
Why Cause Marketing?
When you associate your company with a cause that consumers believe in, part of that “social juice” is passed to your company. We know that consumers prefer to buy from those businesses that they feel they can identify with and trust, and cause marketing can help bridge that gap.
Cause marketing is a collaborative marketing effort between a non-profit and your business. It makes good business sense because
- It drives traffic to your website or store.
- It influences the buying behavior of your prospects.
- It helps build and strengthen your relationships with your target market groups as well as the general public.
The non-profit organization benefits from the cause marketing partnership through the financial support they receive as well as from marketing assistance to help promote events and other cause-related programs.
How to Start a Cause Marketing Campaign
If you have a passion for worthy social causes and feel that cause marketing might be a good fit for your company, here are a few basic considerations that will help you plan and prepare a successful cause marketing campaign.
Choose a cause that relates to your company’s brand culture. Don’t create a disconnect with your customers or your employees by aligning yourself with an organization that is at odds with your core business philosophy. If your sporting goods store sells hunting rifles and ammunition, steer clear of animal rights organizations. If you operate a local business, remember that a worthy local cause will usually attract more public attention and sympathy than a cause halfway around the world – especially when it comes to getting local press coverage.
Set goals that are attainable with available resources. Consider the amount of time and out of pocket expenses that will be required to carry out your planned activities. If necessary, scale back your program to meet the resources that you can bring to the table. Be conservative when estimating fundraising revenue and realistic when budgeting expenses.
Determine the metrics for measuring campaign success. While increased sales or visitor traffic may be the most logical metrics to track, they can also be the most difficult to measure in a cause marketing campaign. You might consider tracking social media likes and shares or press mentions as a more meaningful measure of success.