What is Cause Marketing and Why It's Important

Alexandra McMahon

Alexandra McMahon About The Author

Apr 1, 2021 12:33:00 PM

What is Cause Marketing and Why It's Important

Cause marketing is one of the most effective ways to help your brand stand out and connect with consumers. Effective cause marketing campaigns help you successfully integrate your business into your customers' communities. People are more eager to purchase from companies that function as a positive presence where they live and 70% of consumers want to understand how their favorite brands contribute to the causes they're passionate about.

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With cause marketing, you balance furthering public good with advertising by getting involved with local charities and other organizations your audience cares about. You’ll earn more loyal customers if you share their values, and doing good creates a better world.

What Is Cause Marketing?

Businesses engage in cause marketing by hosting events or partnering with non-profits to fundraise for the community or improve it in some other way. They donate various resources, alongside funding staff to benefit local areas in different ways. It helps people learn about the company and associates them with their positive impact increasing their market share compared to less involved competitors. Ultimately, cause marketing establishes a foothold in the community and maximizes brand awareness while giving back.

One example of a cause marketing campaign may involve a local retailer involved in a toy drive around the holidays. By partnering with a charity organization, the brand positively associates with that charity. In addition to hosting the toy drive, the retailer could launch TV commercials and dedicated online marketing campaigns to increase donations. Alongside improving donations, their name is attached to it, so the people who donate do so with the company in mind. At the very least, they’re more likely to remember the good they’ve done.

A good cause marketing strategy is knowing the difference between attracting and deterring new local customers, as 86% of people prefer businesses that contribute locally rather than businesses that don't. If you can use cause marketing to speak to your audience, you'll be able to win them over more effectively.

The Benefits of Cause Marketing

Screen Shot 2021-03-29 at 11.27.52 AMWhether a business owner or consumer, there are multiple benefits of cause marketing. Business owners develop a good reputation for their business in the community, gaining audiences’ trust by giving back to them. Other benefits for business owners include the ability to earn a stronger connection with customers than less connected competitors, along with the ability to win people's trust by showing that you're a reliable contributor within your industry.

In addition to business owners, consumers benefit from cause marketing in many ways. Those facing certain financial or other hardships in the community may come to see your business as a benevolent beacon that's there to support them. At the same time, other consumers look favorably at your brand if you share the same values as them and express them through your actions.

How to Get Involved

You can develop a cause marketing campaign in several ways. Start by choosing a particular initiative you want to  support. You should also make sure that the outlet you select connects to your industry and aligns with your business goals. Based on what's most compatible with your business, the following are some cause marketing tips to get involved with your next campaign. 

Partner with a Local Business or Charity

Working with local charities or businesses is one of the best ways to start cause marketing. Partnerships connect you with new local audiences, many of whom may already be loyal customers or supporters of your partner organization. As a result, some of that trust may transfer over to you. Some of the potential ways to initiate a partnership include local food drives, fundraising events, or other types of events that show that you're willing to give to the community.

Host Virtual Events or Drives

You also have the option of hosting virtual events or drives. These have become particularly popular since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and are likely to thrive in the future. You can host everything from food and backpack drives to fun runs and silent auctions. Even with something like a marathon, it's possible to translate it to a virtual medium. While people may not run collectively in the same event together, they could run separately and record their times to participate.

Work with a Media Partner

If you don't have the time, staff, or other resources needed to get fully involved with cause marketing, consider working with a media partner. An experienced partner will have connections to the community, making it easier to integrate into your service areas. You'll benefit from sufficient resources and staff to give your cause marketing campaigns the attention they need. At the same time, you'll be able to focus more on growing your business.

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Build a Relationship with Your Community Through Cause Marketing

Don't underestimate the importance of cause marketing when growing and positioning your local business. It will only become increasingly important as consumers seek companies that share their core values. By harnessing the power of cause marketing, your business will be able to thrive in your community, giving you the competitive edge you need to expand.

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