For marketers, the holidays are a time to figure out how to boost sales and bolster their brands, but it is also a time to give back to their loyal fans and the community. To celebrate this time of year, companies around the country are looking to give back to the community and partnering with nonprofit organizations in holiday campaigns
What is Cause Marketing?
Cause marketing usually involves a partnership between one business to a non-profit or charity and benefits both groups.
The holidays are a perfect time to engage in cause-marketing campaigns, and it is an effective means for connecting with key audiences. Businesses increase sales for helping the cause and non-profit organizations usually receive more donations because of the business’ marketing. It’s really a win-win situation for both parties.
What Are The Benefits of Cause Marketing?
Businesses that engage in cause marketing efforts can boost the image of the company and help them stand out from their competitors. It can increase the level of credibility and accountability in a brand when a company supports a cause they truly care about. The Cone/Roper study shows that 92% of consumers have a more positive image of companies that are supporting a good cause.
Another benefit is that people will be more likely to buy a product that supports a cause that the consumer can relate to and they will feel a stronger sense of loyalty to that brand. Studies have shown that consumers will actually switch brands if one were associated with a particular cause. The Cone Cause Evolution study found that 93% of moms and millennials are likely to switch to a brand that supports a cause they have a connection with.
Utilizing Social Media As A Strategy
Social media has proven to be an important element in any marketing campaign and should be used as part of your cause marketing strategy. The key component is to have a simple to action. People want to help; however, if it requires going to a website and filling out a form or 10-page survey, it’s likely you won’t get much involvement on the consumer end.
Some companies used the simple check-in feature on Foursquare to carry out their campaigns. For example, on Black Friday, JC Penney has teamed up with The Salvation Army to donate $25 for every check-in on Foursquare between the hours of 4 a.m. and 1 p.m. Similarly, Arby’s and Radio Shack donated $1 to the No Kid Hungry campaign and LiveStrong respectively for every check-in to their retail stores. A call-to-action as simple as a check-in requires no extra attention other than pressing a button on Foursquare stating you’re in the store and carrying on shopping.
On Facebook, music artist 50 Cent donated 1 million meals to the World Food Program for every “Like” he received on his energy drink brand page.
Cause marketing efforts can be effective in raising awareness for brands and the non-profits alike. Whether your goal is to increase sales, give back to the community, encourage donations from consumers, or relate more to your consumers, cause marketing can help you do that.
So whether you’re a retailer trying to bolster your brand or a non-profit organization looking for a boost in donations this holiday, you should always remember to connect with the consumers around you that really make these kinds of campaigns a success.
Ivy Chang, 12.08.11