Cause marketing is an approach in which a profit and non-profit organization collaborate and create campaigns that help drive profits and bring social change. It carries corporate social responsibility and activist messages in its marketing campaigns. This strategy allows a company to improve its brand image, stand out among competitors, change people’s behavior, and establish strong connections with communities.
In this article, we’ll cover the importance, benefits, types, and examples of cause marketing. We’ll also figure out how to create an effective cause marketing strategy.
Why is cause marketing important?
More and more people are conscious of environmental and social problems. According to statistics, 87% of consumers have a better perception of a brand that cares and supports environmental and social initiatives. 88% say they will demonstrate more loyalty towards such a company. Cause marketing helps companies improve customer loyalty, retention, and draw attention to problems around us. It’s beneficial for the revenue of the company and society. This tactic encompasses collaboration between profit and non-profit organizations and campaigns aimed to contribute to charities and social communities.
Since social consciousness and the need for sustainability have become increasingly popular, brands should adapt. In today’s world, socially responsible companies are at the top of consumers’ lists. Cause marketing allows brands to make good profits and bring social change. The collaboration of profit and the non-profit company brings more awareness and consciousness.
There are many reasons to implement cause marketing, especially when you know its benefits. So let’s figure out what they are.
Benefits of Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is an excellent idea for nonprofit organizations whose budgets and resources are usually limited. It helps nonprofits gain brand awareness and draw attention to the problems they raise. Moreover, this approach brings benefits for the corporate partner as well. The pros are:
- positive brand image;
- social responsibility;
- competitive advantage;
- strong relationships with communities;
- conscious employees;
- an increase in sales volume;
- customer loyalty and trust;
- satisfied customers’ expectations.
Now that you know the advantages, it’s time to explore the types of cause marketing campaigns you can leverage for your business.
Types of Cause Marketing Campaigns
Companies implement various forms of cause marketing campaigns. It’s time to explore each of them to identify the one that suits you the best.
- Point-of-sale. Once customers want to pay for products, a cashier encourages them to donate. Consumers can see different advertisements about donations at the register. If customers buy online, a company can invite them to donate during the checkout.
- Buy one, give one. Customers purchasing products automatically donate money for environmental or social change. Many companies that plant a tree for every product a customer purchases. WeWOOD, Baron Fig, Wave Tribe are excellent examples of brands that strive to save forests in different parts of the world. TOMS is one of the brands that contributed to “buy one, give one” becoming popular. This for-profit company donated a free pair of shoes for every pair sold. Now the brand has slightly different tactics. Once you buy a pair of TOMS shoes, you’ll be provided with a cause to support.
- Purchase triggered donation. After people buy products, they automatically donate to a certain cause. There are many issues people can support: poverty, inequality, human rights, water pollution, etc.
- Digital program. This type includes using web services and social media platforms. With their help, companies can collect donations.
The types are clear, so let’s proceed to the next section to find out how to create an effective cause marketing strategy.
How to create an effective cause marketing strategy?
The effectiveness of your campaign depends on the way you create it. We’ll walk you through the steps to develop a perfect campaign that encourages people to be socially responsible.
- Choose the cause. Once you decide to employ a cause marketing strategy, you need to decide about the issue to raise. When choosing one, consider your business. It’s always a good idea to select a cause related to what you do. For example, shoe companies can leverage the “one pair of shoes bought = one pair of shoes donated” approach. If the cause is closely connected to your company, your team will be more professional in developing a strategy.
- Define your goals. Once you select the cause, it’s time to think of the goals. Figure out the things you want to achieve through this campaign. For example, plant 10,000 trees, donate $100,000 to animal shelters, attain 1000 new customers, or gain brand awareness. Spell out all your goals to analyze the results and see if you succeed in achieving them.
- Select the perfect timing. You should use resources efficiently and select the best time for your event. Timing depends on numerous factors such as corporate schedules, days associated with your campaign, or a season. To have enough time for campaign development, avoid a busy season. Make sure to determine the right time for the launch and campaign’s length.
- Involve customers. You need to encourage as many people as possible to participate. There are different ways you can do it, mainly with the help of social media. Promote your cause marketing campaign on your social media platforms to hook the audience and get them involved. As an option, consider creating a hashtag and placing it under related videos and photos. It will drive customers’ interest.
- Leverage marketing channels. As we’ve already mentioned, one of the most effective ways to involve people is through marketing channels. You can leverage popular social platforms like Instagram and Facebook as well as inform customers about your campaign through emails and messengers. This way, you’ll reach more people and encourage them to support your initiative.
- Implement a visible and clear CTA. Ensure to include a visible call-to-action in all your messages. Customers will support your campaign by making donations and sharing information with others.
Now that you have a clear picture of the process, let’s see some examples to get inspired.
Examples of Cause Marketing Campaigns
We can name dozens of brands that successfully implemented cause marketing campaigns and resonated with customers. We’ll now review the most outstanding ones so that you can grab some inspiration. Hope these examples will encourage you to create a unique campaign that drives change.
The Body Shop
The company is actively involved in environmental protection and was created on these principles. However, you can not only see “100% Vegan” on the product packaging and “Against animal testing” on its website. The Body Shop constantly creates campaigns that promote the protection of the environment and support social responsibility. Let’s review one of the latest ones called “Time To Care” in more detail.
The famous cosmetics company decided to show appreciation to healthcare workers for their dedicated work. With this initiative, the brand is expected to support people’s health and wellness. The company donated around 510,000 products to hospitals fighting the effects of Covid-19.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Since Monterey Bay Aquarium had to close its doors for customers, there were no sales. Aquarium had no income. Yet, animals still needed usual care from the staff. To solve the money problem, marketers decided to start a YouTube channel and post videos about aquatic life. This way, they succeeded in educating viewers about aquatic life and raising different animal issues.
This public aquarium also showed the "Act for the Ocean" campaign. It aimed at educating people about climate change, plastic pollution, protection of ecosystems, and making them more conscious.
Cause marketing is a good way to raise questions our world is facing. With its help, you can benefit by providing help to those who need it and establishing awareness.
Last Updated: 22.03.2023