First thing's first: What IS cause marketing?
Cause marketing refers to a business marketing a product or service while also benefitting a charitable organization or social cause. A common example you've likely run into at some point as a consumer are buy-one-give-one campaigns.
So now that you know what cause marketing is, the next step is getting you to understand the value of it and why you should employ this tactic at your company. No matter what line of work you may find yourself in, cause marketing can help in many ways.
5 REASONS TO USE CAUSE MARKETING:
1. Attract new customers and employees
Picture this: You're walking down a street and there's two coffee shops ahead of you. Both are equally priced and reviewed, but one of them is sending proceeds from their drink sales to help a local charity. Which one are you going to buy your coffee from? Chances are, you'll choose the one that's practicing cause marketing and 91% of shoppers would agree with you.
A study conducted by Cone Communications found that a staggering 9 in 10 shoppers would switch brands to one associated with a good cause given similar price and quality. In a world where many companies are offering similar (if not identical) products, cause marketing may be the one thing that lends your business a competitive edge through product differentiation.
2. Increase loyalty and trust with existing customers and employees
It is common knowledge that it's far easier to keep a customer happy than to try and win back one that you've lost. Luckily, cause marketing isn't just a method to attract new customers - it also gives your existing clients and employees a very good reason to stay. In fact, 86% of millennials are more loyal to companies that support good causes.
With more and more companies adopting cause marketing, it's in your best interest to join the movement before other businesses start tempting your socially conscious clients and employees away. Quality and customer service are important factors, but nothing creates a more positive image of your company in consumers' minds than aligning yourself with a good cause.
3. Keep up with rising consumer expectations
We've said it before and we'll say it again: We are living in a generation of increasingly conscious consumers with increasingly high expectations of businesses. But this shouldn't scare you, it should motivate you. Millennials will account for 75% of the world's population by 2025, which means they will hold 75% of the purchasing power. And they are taking the social impact movement to a whole new level.
Adopting cause marketing may be a choice right now, but soon it'll be sink or swim for your business. It may take a bit of time and thought, but it is in your company's best interest to begin developing a business strategy that will increase appeal to the millennial generation. Hint: Consider cause marketing.
4. Increase your ROD (Return On Donations)
In this day and age, it's very likely that your business is already making donations or offering sponsorships to community organizations and events. How cool would it be to get more out of this action by simply aligning these donations with the causes your customers and employees care about? Cause marketing can be executed in many different ways, one being giving your customers or employees a say in where they want proceeds to go. One study found that 64% of employees want their employers to support the issues and causes that matter to them (and were happier and more loyal as a result!).
We aren't telling you to donate more money, just to donate it more strategically. Working cause marketing directly into your business model is proving time and time again to be one of the most strategic best practices that a business can use.
5. Build stronger relationships with community organizations
Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool and can make or break a business. With the ever rising popularity of social media, words and opinions now have a further reach and larger audience than ever before. Partnering with a local organization in a cause marketing campaign not only benefits their mission, but also speaks to your company's reputation and integrity. Essentially, you'll have another group of people likely to speak about your business in a genuine, positive light. And you can never have too many people speaking highly of your company.
A company that promotes cause marketing "not only attracts more customers because it is selling a charity-linked product, but also because more individuals hear about the product due to its affiliation with a charity."
Liu, Kassity, Duke University, Bundling Donations to Charity with Product Purchases: A Business Incentives Model
Written by Amanda Campbell and the Do Some Good Team