Cause marketing is a type of promotional advertising that achieves two goals. First, it betters or raises awareness about an important societal issue, and second, it increases profitability or brand awareness for the company doing the marketing. More and more businesses are using cause marketing as part of their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Cause marketing is also beneficial to align your company with your consumers' passions and interests in a positive way. Follow these steps to develop strong cause marketing campaigns.
1. Choose a Cause to Represent
The first step is to pick a cause or issue to support. While large transnational or international brands may have a wide variety of campaigns at any given time, local businesses should focus on fewer — and more specific — causes that impact their local community. These recommendations can help you choose the right fit for your company.
Pick a Cause That You Are Passionate About Supporting
You and your team will need to invest significant time and effort into this cause for an authentic and impactful marketing campaign. It should be a cause you're personally interested in. Successful cause marketing campaigns can develop into long-term initiatives, which makes passion even more meaningful.
Be Sure to Choose a Cause That Aligns With the Business's Goals or Initiatives
It's just as crucial to pick a cause that logically connects to your business. If you have a restaurant or food-related business, initiatives that help to reduce local hunger and poverty make sense. If you sell clothing, sustainability and recycling naturally align with your business. Not only will this help you align your initiatives, business, and target markets into one cohesive group, the messaging is consistent.
Choose a Local Organization or Charity to Represent
Another great way to select a clear-cut cause is to find a local organization you can work with. A cause marketing partner helps you form connections in a local community and connect your brand with the nonprofit in your target audience’s mind. It's an easy win for your company's branding and helps ensure any money raised or goods collected in your campaign go to the right place.
2. Consider a Budget for the Campaign
Ultimately, cause marketing has to be cost-effective to help your business. Set a budget at the outset of your campaign and for specific projects to avoid getting overwhelmed. A clear budget also helps you assess the success of your campaign later and set up future campaigns.
Utilize a Media Partner If Time and Money Are Tight
Media partners can help you get your message out to the proper channels based on your chosen cause and your buyer personas. They have community contacts, connections, and resources to help you organize your campaign as profitable as possible.
3. Position Your Business as a Pillar of the Community
Take a strong stance on your chosen issue. Running drives, events, and donations are more action-driven campaigns than awareness messages alone, and that helps you position your business as an active part of your local community. Customers are more likely to believe your authenticity because they see you doing more than marketing.
Actionable cause marketing campaigns also help cultivate brand loyalty. Customers want to buy goods and services from companies that have values that align with theirs.
4. Employee and Community Involvement Is Advantageous
Consider the long-term goals of your cause marketing campaigns. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Do you want to have people interested in your cause come to your place of business more frequently? No matter what the definitive goals of your campaigns are, involving your community and your employees is advantageous for the following reasons.
Passion Is Contagious
Employees who believe in your mission are more likely to be involved, passionate, and long-term employees. This alone can improve your business and reduce costs related to turnover and training. Good cause marketing also invigorates your business partners, vendors, and customers, so people associate positivity and passion with your brand.
You Gain More Visibility
Successful initiatives are good publicity. You can publicize dollars donated, hours donated, and goods collected, and the positive community impact will help your brand name spread further. Cause marketing campaigns can also reach audiences that, tend to ignore promotional messages to gain new, value-driven customers in your target market.
5. Celebrate Cause Successes
As we briefly discussed, you can celebrate when your initiatives lead to positive social change without being hollow or too promotional. Not only is it a positive way to spread awareness of your company, but customers who got involved in the cause will love seeing the final results of everyone's hard work. Celebrate with them to build a long-term, happy relationship.
Start Cause Marketing With Support From Meredith Massachusetts
Cause marketing helps you connect to local communities of shoppers. It also gives you credibility and connection to local nonprofits or initiatives. If you want to start cause marketing, Meredith Massachusetts is here to help. We have advice for every step of your cause marketing journey.