Before we dive into how a business can get into cause marketing, first we need to answer the question what is cause marketing?
Cause marketing is defined as “a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a nonprofit organization for mutual benefit.” It differs from corporate giving in that corporate giving generally refers to charitable donations that are tax deductible whereas cause marketing refers to a marketing relationship that isn’t necessarily based on donations.
So how can cause marketing help your business? Well, recent data has shown that as much as 87% of consumers have said that they would switch from one company or brand to another if the other brand were associated with a good cause. Nearly 95% of college-aged students have shown preference to organizations that they believe are socially responsible. When it comes down to it, it’s not so much what you do, but what you don’t do as a business.
If your small business is looking to get into the cause marketing game, there are a few things to consider. First, you should pick a cause or charity that is close to your heart. If you just choose to work with a nonprofit because you think it’ll make your business look good, but you don’t care too much about their cause, you would be less likely to form a strong relationship and less likely to do much good for the cause. Besides, if you choose to work with an organization that matters to you, your team, and your customers, you’ll be more likely to work hard and make a difference.
Secondly, try to find a cause that is not only close to your heart, but also your brand. For example, the apparel and footwear brand Reebok teamed up with Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer and serves as Avon 39’s national sponsor. Through these collaborative events, Avon 39 has managed to raise over $500 million for breast cancer prevention and research. For a successful and solid cause marketing campaign, you have to find the right affiliation.
Lastly, if you’re going to make the leap to cause marketing, remember to contribute more than just money. Making a difference doesn’t just take money; it takes product and service donations. If you do more than just write a check, it shows that this organization and their cause means a lot to you and you care deeply about what they do.
Cause marketing is an excellent way to help nonprofits while also boosting your business. Consumers are more aware of the brands they purchase from and they want to know if your business shares their passion to make the world a better place. When done properly, cause marketing relationships can make a real and meaningful difference.