Benefiting from Cause Marketing - dummies

Benefiting from Cause Marketing

By Joe Waters, Joanna MacDonald

The essence of cause marketing is win-win — good for the cause, good for the company. But the benefits of cause marketing will vary. Your local food bank will profit differently than the restaurant chain it partnered with. The key is knowing the unique rewards of each so that you can land a partner, execute a program, and measure your success when it’s finished.

For the cause

The benefits of cause marketing to nonprofits are clear — new revenue, greater awareness, and more opportunity:

  • Cause marketing is a new source of revenue from companies. While the community relations arm of a company awards grants, and senior management are prospects for individual gifts, cause marketing taps the marketing muscle of the company. It opens a new door in the corporate suite.

  • Cause marketing generates awareness. This awareness is invaluable for causes that neither have the expertise nor resources to promote themselves. Cause marketing gives these causes a voice, a presence, in an increasingly crowded and competitive world.

  • Cause marketing opens new doors. Cause marketing has led to a more progressive and innovative approach to fundraising. As cause marketing evolves, you can keep pace with advances that have benefited your work and your cause.

    Nothing more clearly illustrates this point than the link between cause marketing and technology. At the beginning of the new millenium, fundraisers had to learn how to use the web for new campaigns and promotion. Next came social media and tapping Facebook, Twitter, and blogging to enhance their efforts and to raise money.

    Today, we’re opening doors with location-based services and mobile technology — key drivers on the road ahead. Technology is a journey you must keep up with if you are to grow and compete.

  • Cause marketing can reach new donors. Many causes want to target a new, younger generation of donors. It’s hard to find a group that’s more enthusiastic about cause marketing — except perhaps moms — than Millennials, the men and women of today that are in their 20s and 30s and came after Generation X.

    In the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study, questions to Millennials on influences of social/environmental causes on making brand decisions had affirmative answers as high as 90 percent.

    Results of the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study

For the business

Businesses benefit from cause marketing with increased favorability and loyalty with two key audiences — household decision makers (usually moms) and employees:

  • Cause marketing builds favorability and drives sales. The Cone Study reports that 85 percent of those surveyed believe that companies that support causes should be rewarded with a positive image. The study also found that 1 in 5 consumers will pay more for a cause-related product.

    A cause will prompt 61 percent to try a product they’ve never heard of. And a whopping 80 percent of consumers would switch to a brand that supports a cause when price and quality are equal.

  • Cause marketing targets the key consumer. Moms are the primary household shoppers and are overwhelmingly supportive of cause marketing. According to the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study, moms are by far the nation’s most active cause consumers. A near-unanimous 95 percent find cause marketing acceptable, and 61 percent have purchased a cause-related product in the past 12 months.

  • Cause marketing attracts and keeps employees. Sixty-nine percent of Americans consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work. Once employed, employees active in company causes are happier; 93 percent say they’re proud of their company’s values, while 92 percent say they feel a strong sense of loyalty to their company.