Today, it’s becoming harder to get your brand in the spotlight. Because the markets are saturated in almost every product out there, consumers are less likely to use a brand simply because “it’s the best.” Companies are feeling an urgent need to set themselves apart from the competition.
One effective way? Cause marketing.
Why choose cause marketing?
It’s important to make your brand relatable – cause marketing can do this. People want to purchase products from a brand they can identify with and trust. According to the CSRwire, consumers tend to purchase a brand because it supports a cause they believe in.
Cause marketing happens when a for-profit business and a nonprofit organization collaborate on marketing efforts or charitable causes to build a mutually beneficial partnership. Nonprofits benefit because they receive financial support, marketing assistance or even volunteers to assist with events and other cause-related activities. Businesses benefit because supporting a cause can drive business, influence buying behavior, enhance relationships with a target demographic and enhance public image.
How Flintsters engage cause marketing
Here at Flint Group, we partner with organizations like the United Way, the American Diabetes Association, and Samaritan’s Feet because we share similar values and beliefs. We work with these organizations in a number of ways, including marketing, volunteering and helping with public relations.
This year, we also decided to incorporate a little cause marketing into our traditional valentine giveaway. Flint added a social media component in an effort to raise funds for Giving Hearts Day. We asked each of our valentines to post a “selfie” of themselves with their favorite #flintflavor of jerky – mild, sweet or spicy – to Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter (we included jerky in our valentines this year). With each post, Flint made a donation to the American Heart Association. And for funsies, we made a video to help promote our Valentine. #snlspoof #silly
How to get started
If you think a cause marketing campaign might be good for your company, here are some simple tips to get you started:
- Find a cause that fits with your brand culture and is something your employees will support. Whether it’s donating time or money, your employees will be integral in ensuring the success of your campaign.
- Set goals that are feasible. Don’t shoot for the moon if there isn’t budget for it. And make sure you have enough time and resources to follow through and make the campaign successful.
- Define how you are going to measure the success of the campaign. Increasing sales is a natural fit for most, but if there’s no way to tie directly to sales, finding a way to measure cause marketing can be challenging. Thinking outside of increased sales, maybe it’s increasing social media following or garnering positive earned media.
- Cause marketing is a relationship, and relationships take work. Make sure you take the necessary steps to nurture and support your relationship with the organization you are partnering with.
- It’s important to be transparent when managing your partnership. Being clear and honest when communicating will strengthen value and trust in your relationship.
Cause marketing isn’t new. But it’s also not old – and, it can have a place in your organization. Some believe it’s a ploy for brands to grow business and increase client support. However, it’s really so much more than that. It’s about utilizing your brand’s clout to support and bring light to important issues – to help make a difference.
Brittney Hanson also contributed to this article. As a public relations specialist for Flint Group, Brittney Hanson creates and implements strategic, results-driven campaigns to help our clients reach their goals. She holds a masters in management and has studied business in India. Always wearing a smile, Brittney believes bacon and pickles warrant their own food group.