Cause Marketing – Marketing that looks for the social cause

I have discussed seven different marketing strategies in use in my previous post. The effective seven marketing techniques include Cause Marketing, Relationship Marketing, Word of Mouth Marketing, Diversity Marketing, Seasonal Marketing, Database Marketing and Evangelism Marketing. We are going to discuss each of these marketing techniques in detail through this series of the blogs. Here we have introduced the first marketing technique – “Cause Marketing”. What you don’t do can cost you in today’s enormous online business competition. Cause Marketing has become very critical in the new digital era of Social Responsibility. It generally refers to the social needs and charitable causes that’s why it can drive natural attention towards your brand.

Cause marketing or cause-related marketing is the type of marketing that involves the cooperative efforts for the mutual benefit of both “the business profit” and “non-profit organization”. It refers to any type of marketing effort for social and other charitable causes.

The concept of Cause Marketing was first used USA in 1976. First major cause marketing campaign was executed through a partnership between the Marriott Corporation and the March of Dimes. The main objective of the campaign was cost-effective public relations and media coverage. American Express has also used the cause related marketing in 1983 to raise the fund for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. The company has donated one cent to restoration fund every time when someone used its charge card. The number of new cardholders grew by 45% and the card usage has also increased by 28% as a result of this campaign. People care for the social causes and if you are putting efforts to make the society a better place, they will definitely support you. The best and well-executed cause marketing campaign, which is useful for both corporations and non-profits.

Dependability, Familiarity, Branding and Media coverage are the four key components for any successful Cause Marketing campaign. Cause Marketing is perfectly suited for the companies that directly serve the consumers. The dependency between the services you offer and the social cause you are supporting is very important. For example, Toys ‘R Us has placed the box for the consumers to drop the toys and they give those toys to different “Toys for Tots” organization that provides those toys to the children in need. This drove lots of customers to their store. Familiarity and Branding encourage more and more consumers to support your noble cause. Here comes the role of public relation and customer relation. Public Relationship Management is the practice of managing the spread of information between an organization and the targeted audience. Customer Relationship Management refers to the process to manage company’s interactions with current and future customers. More loyal and supportive you will be for your customers; the more they will like to support your brand.

Cause Marketing can be used as integrated marketing through different online channels. Online sellers have created many programs to help sellers and donate a percentage of their sales to a nonprofit organization through different online auction platforms. When people visit your website they want to know that how you support an important cause to make the world a better place. According to Cone Cause Evolution Survey, 87% of the consumers are likely to change the brand if they find other brands supporting any social or charitable cause.

The best example of cause marketing is Procter & Gamble’s Thank You, Mom doesn’t benefit a nonprofit, and it does support a worthy cause, but its main purpose is to honor moms of Olympians and great kids around the globe. During 2011’s campaign, for every like of the Thank You, Mom Facebook page, P&G donated a dollar to the charity. Jimmy Wales (Founder of Wikipedia) has recently launched the new mobile network “The People’s Operator” in the USA. He has announced that the company will donate  10% of users’ bill to charity. It is one of the most recent live campaigns of Cause Marketing.

Success of cause marketing depends on lots of things like the cause you are supporting, your audience reach, image of your brand, product or services you offer, your marketing campaign, media coverage you got etc. But the most important thing is that whatever you do or whatever you give, “Give from the Heart”. When you and your team feel good about something that you did, it will naturally drive positive results. Cause Marketing is not always about growing sales and profit. But it is about believing in making the society a better place to live for those who need it the most.

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