Cause Marketing is Good For Both Your Cause and Your Company
Cause-related marketing, also known as “cause marketing,” was coined by American Express with its campaign in 1983 and is still an effective marketing strategy. Cause marketing can be described as a partnership in marketing that combines the brand or business with an organization or social cause group for mutual benefit. It draws consumers to a brand or business that supports a particular cause. This approach can alter the consumer’s preferences and improve public relations.
In cause marketing, companies integrate a charity into their marketing campaigns. They help raise awareness for a cause and earn a profit through their perception of social responsibility as elevated. The benefits of this partnership include an increase in revenues, the visibility of the cause’s mission, volunteers, connections with corporations and suppliers, from employees to suppliers, and knowledge of developing strategies.
It is interesting to see what the IEG sponsorship report shows that – starting in 1990 when cause-related sponsorship expenditure was just $120 million, the amount of money spent today increased 4.8 percent over 2012 and reached $1.78 billion in 2013. The most recent report from the Cone Cause Evolution study highlights that millennials and mothers tend to be the most susceptible to marketing that causes. According to the study, that 95percent of moms believe cause marketing is acceptable, and 9/10 of them would like to purchase a cause-related product. Of the mothers surveyed in the study, 93% of mothers were more likely to switch brands to help an organization, as opposed to 80% for all other categories.
The millennials aged 18-24 are among the most affected by cause-marketing. Ninety-four percent in this age group are aware of cause marketing, plus greater than half (53 percent) have purchased a cause-related product. This generation is aware of the social impact of their companies and makes their choices based on environmental and social issues.
Whatever the segment of marketing, 81% of customers would like to help a company’s cause-related products. According to the study, 75% of people would be willing to give comments, and 72% would think about volunteering.
The majority of customers have a more favorable opinion of a brand that supports a cause, and 80% of them are more likely to choose similar brands. Here are a few examples of companies that use cause marketing to their advantage.
Dancing in TOMS’s Footsteps
TOMS, which was founded in the month of May 2006, is an excellent illustration of Cause Marketing. For every pair of shoes they sell, they donate one pair of shoes to children living in an emerging country. The way they demonstrate this is in their site’s slogan, “You buy a pair of TOMS, and I give a pair to a child on your behalf.”
The company has a simple campaign that relies on word-of-mouth. In 2012, more than 2 million pairs of new shoes were donated. Thanks to this remarkable campaign for cause marketing, TOMS earned over 1 million dollars in revenues in the first year of its operation and more than 45 million in revenues after just seven years. That’s pretty impressive!
Phones for Good: TELUS and Free the Children
TELUS is the largest telecommunications provider in Canada. They have partnered with the global charitable organization Free the Children for their “Phones for Good” campaign. The program gives $25 to local causes in selected communities for each new customer of TELUS.
Since the campaign began in 2011, TELUS has donated more than $2.8 million to local community initiatives. They’ve seen many benefits from this, too, as phone sales have increased 29% over the forecast, and TELUS increased its Facebook presence by more than 30,000 followers.
TerraCycle’s mission is to cut down on the amount of waste produced by offering methods to raise money by recycling materials for nonprofits as well as for-profits and schools. The companies that produce the waste pay for the recycling efforts, and TerraCycle transforms the garbage into valuable products such as benches for parks and backpacks.
From 2008 to now, TerraCycle is now collecting more than 2.5 billion pounds of waste from post-consumer use, developed more than 1,500 items, and giving more than $5 million to charities and schools. They receive an average of 551,156 visits to their website each month and more than 255,000+ mentions on social media each year.
How do you give back to the causes you support through your business? Please share your story of success!