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Integrated Marketing Association

Cause Marketing

When for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations work together to encourage awareness for a cause and earn a mutually beneficial profit, they engage in cause marketing. For example, TOMS Shoes donates one pair of shoes to someone in need for every purchase in a one-to-one arrangement. For-profit brands can weave cause marketing into their missions, or engage in cause marketing campaigns intermittently.

In a cause marketing strategy, businesses and nonprofits setup a campaign in a few different ways. A portion of all sales may go to support the cause, consumers may purchase certain products to support the cause, or the business may give consumers an opportunity to donate to a cause upon checkout.

The experience creates several positive business and social outcomes, which is why so many brands are eager to participate. Businesses from grocery stores to software sellers participate in this type of marketing strategy. Cause marketing:

  • Increases awareness for a social cause.
  • Provides for-profit businesses with a way to give back to the community.
  • Provides for-profit businesses with an opportunity to earn more sales during a promotional period.
  • Gives consumers a reason to feel good about making a purchase and/or remaining loyal to certain brands.

Within cause marketing strategies, partnering brands use several tactics to support successful campaigns. According to Catalist’s Revelations at the Register, 72 percent of consumers have donated to charity at the register and 65% of consumers felt positive about the retailer after giving. Cause-based campaigns rely heavily on emotional appeal. Creating an inspiring and easily understood message encourages both shareability and memorability. Visual appeal, statistics, and storytelling content enhance cause-based activities. Ultimately, every partnership must convince a consumer to make a difference in a significant problem with one simple action. Cause sponsorship is predicted to reach $2.00 billion in 2016, a projected increase of 3.7% over 2015, according to IEG Sponsorship Report

In a competitive marketplace, many consumers prefer to purchase products from sellers demonstrating a commitment to a higher cause. Some businesses maintain involvement in causes important to their customers, while others choose causes based on personal reasons or an internal company mission. Everyone involved in cause marketing stands to gain from the arrangement, making it a valuable and feel-good form of marketing.

CauseGood has additional cause marketing statistics worth sharing here.

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