Cause marketing, also referred to as cause-related marketing, involves a collaborative effort between a non-profit organization and for-profit brand for a mutual benefit. Put simply, it’s a marketing initiative based around a charitable or social cause. Take Gillette, for example. The company decided to change its slogan from "the best a man can get" to "the best a man can be" to support and rally behind the #MeToo movement. Not only does cause marketing allow companies to reach out to causes that matter to them, but it can pay off financially for the business as well. In fact, 72% of consumers say it’s vital to purchase from companies that reflect their values.
Many companies understand how important cause marketing is because of the good it does, however they sometimes fail to realize the benefits that this strategy can bring to their business.
It Drives Sales
As more consumers become aware of the social injustices and inequalities surrounding them, they’re looking for ways to make a difference. That’s where cause marketing comes in. It provides people with an opportunity to support social causes and align with brands that have a strong sense of purpose. Nothing builds brand loyalty faster than a company aligned with a worthy cause.
Studies have even found that as many as 56% of consumers will stop buying brands from companies they find unethical, which makes sense why green marketing campaigns across several industries have seen constant and growing success.
Consider Dove's RealBeauty campaign, which was designed to show how our perception of "beauty" is distorted and to help women everywhere with their self-esteem. As a result of this cause marketing ad, sales for the brand jumped from $2.5 to $4 billion in the campaign’s first ten years.
It's a Brand Differentiator
Cause marketing is crucial when companies in the same industry are trying to set themselves apart from direct competition. Reports have shown that when a company aligns itself with a good cause, 91% of consumers indicate they would switch to that brand, given similar quality and price. It acts as the perfect brand differentiator, especially when you want to gain market share.
In today's society, the majority of consumers tend to care more about their personal values than their personal gains. Consumers seem to be purchasing products and services with their hearts, rather than leading with their egos - even if that means they end up spending more money on a product.
It Creates Loyalty and Trust
As our society becomes increasingly transparent, it’s no surprise that consumers are placing loyalty and trust at the forefront of their purchasing decisions. In truth, 79% of Americans feel a deeper personal connection with companies that share values similar to their own.
In general, connecting with consumers is becoming increasingly difficult, especially with the endless options they have in terms of companies and products to choose from. Let’s suppose your company can understand that consumers crave authenticity and want to support socially responsible, honest, and transparent organizations. In that case, cause marketing can have a genuine and significant impact on your brand.
It Improves Employee Retention
Did you know that in the coming years, not only will the tools you use at the office change, but the culture as you know it will shift substantially as well? By 2025, Millennials will make up two-thirds of the global workforce. What does this mean for your business? Millennials often remain with a company that shares their values and demonstrates that they care about social causes. Up to 76% of millennials consider a company's environmental and social commitments before deciding if they want to work for them.
When an organization can commit to doing good, not only does it catch the consumer's eye, but it can also attract talented employees who care about the same issues and causes.
How to Make it Work For You
No matter what industry your company falls under, you can incorporate cause marketing into your primary overall marketing strategy. When you start aligning with causes that share your personal values and those of your customers, it creates a beneficial relationship for everyone involved. However, if you’re not sure where to begin or need help with some ideas, consider working with a media partner that can bring your vision to life.
Remember, we’re in the age of social responsibility. If you choose to ignore this concept or fail to capitalize on it, your company may end up suffering as a result. Organizations that commit to making our world a better place will reap the benefits, not only for the causes they support, but also in their overall profits, revenue, and growth.