08 Aug Why Cause Marketing is a Win-Win-Win
In an increasingly profit-driven world, savvy businesses know they must compete for customer attention on the basis of more than just price. Today’s buyers are more informed than ever about where their goods are coming from – from food to fashion accessories – and what their hard-earned money is going to support. Consumers across generations, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z’s, believe in supporting companies that have a social conscience. According to 5W Public Relations’ 2020 Consumer Culture Report, 71% of consumers prefer buying from businesses that are aligned with their social or political values.
The bottom line: if your business isn’t already supporting one or more social causes, it’s high time you take a stand.
Cause marketing puts humanity back into companies, allowing them to champion a cause to be a force for good – while also turning a profit. This marketing method allows businesses to align themselves with social issues or beliefs that are important to them and execute a campaign accordingly. A cause marketing campaign can be in the form of a partnership with a non-profit, a fundraising event, or an employee engagement initiative, so long as the campaign strategies support a social cause in a meaningful, measurable way.
Cause marketing is a win-win-win: it raises awareness for non-profits, helps businesses make a positive impact on their communities, and allows customers to feel good about their purchases. There’s no right way to run a cause marketing campaign, but we have a few ideas to get you started.
It’s Not About the Money
Don’t think you can fool your customers. They’ll see right through efforts if they’re shallow or focused on revenue. For a cause marketing campaign to work, raising revenue for your business should be at the back of your mind. First impressions matter – it only takes customers 17 to 50 milliseconds to form an opinion. Don’t waste that precious opportunity by coming off as shady or ingenuine.
If you find a cause related to your product or service, the more deliberate your strategy will be. You need to care about the cause you’re supporting (and your staff does, too). Otherwise, the campaign can fall flat when everyone lacks enthusiasm. Consider holding a focus group to learn what issues are important to your staff or leaving a suggestion box in the break room.
Even if you’re interested in championing a broader issue, like women’s rights or mental health awareness, we recommend partnering with a related charity or non-profit in your community. Joining forces with a local organization can strengthen your community ties and you’ll be able to see the direct impact your fundraising efforts have. But remember: the best partnerships are forged out of connection, not convenience. Only partner with a local organization if you have a genuine interest in their work.
Keep It Simple
As with all great campaigns, the best cause marketing campaigns are memorable. It’s been widely reported that the average buyer’s attention span has dropped from 12 to 8 seconds (shorter than a goldfish’s), so your messaging needs to be clear, simple, and to the point. If you’re posting information about your campaign on your website or social media, don’t make users search for information on the organization you’re partnered with or how they can get involved. If you’re printing flyers, hand-outs, or other materials, only include key statistics and make your call to action clear. Simplicity and transparency are key.
See It Through
No one likes a flake. Committing to a cause for an extended period of time will demonstrate your business’ reliability while cultivating a passionate, loyal consumer base. Making your first fundraiser the last – and only – fundraiser may have the opposite effect. Has a pressing social issue come to your attention, or is your current non-profit partnership not panning out? Sponsor an additional cause or transition into a new nonprofit partnership rather than dropping the ball on donations altogether.
Whether you’ve just started researching a certain social cause or have known which non-profit you’d like to support for a while, our team of professionals at SmartMarketing Communications can help you take your cause-related marketing strategies from basic to brilliant. Let us help you give back to what matters most in your world: your community and your business.