Cause-related marketing is a mutually beneficial collaboration between a company and a nonprofit to build goodwill in the community and raise funds for a 501 © charity. It positions companies as good corporate citizens dedicated to philanthropy.
Cause-related marketing is very beneficial for businesses as it also builds relationships, awareness, and competitiveness. Consumers want their purchases to matter and they are demanding that brands stand for some sort of cause.
Allen Marketing Communications, Inc. , a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, shares insights about key trends as it pertains to cause-related marketing.
Being Socially Conscious
Sustainability has been the biggest growing trend. Businesses are being held accountable for how they treat the planet. Knowing their products are made environmentally safe or how their brand positively impacts society is important to consumers.
A study showed that 78 percent of “Americans believe companies should not just focus on making money but also focus on ways to make a positive effect on society,” according to The Balance Small Business.
Consumers would be willing to change their buying habits by switching to products from a more socially conscious company.
Companies Asking Consumers to Make Changes As Well
“Companies have sometimes turned the tables on consumers. They ask for behavior changes, not just the purchase of products,” according to The Balance Small Business.
The focus is on leading healthier lives and staying safe. Companies support a cause by also asking consumers to support the same cause through a behavioral approach.
Along with this trend, “companies have shown interest in engaging with Generation Z as they tend to be more digitally active which allows more ways to communicate with them. Teaching them through fun online interactive programs has proven to be a successful way to connect,” according to The Balance Small Business.
Companies have also awarded scholarships through these efforts. The use of hashtags has also been an effective way to create engagement through social media.
Coming Up With Effective Practices
As the environment for cause marketing has grown, so has the public opinion on what collaboration between a business and nonprofit has not been successful. Through the use of social media, the public voice is heard within seconds when a marketing campaign is not effective.
Good practices in cause-marketing are important as it builds credibility. It is important to provide the general public with information about the 501 © charity and to clearly state how much money will actually be donated to the non-profit. Transparency will help customers understand how their dollars will support a worthwhile charity.
Here are key channels for cause-related marketing.
Omni Channel Communication
It is important for the cause-related marketing campaign to have a unified, seamless message across all forms of communication – media relations, advertising (traditional and digital), social media, email marketing, direct mail and YouTube videos,
Event sponsorhips are another way for companies to elevate their profile as a good corporate citizen. Liquor companies often invest heavily in event sponsorships to secure tremendous consumer visibility -- event signage, sales promotional items, media relations, banner ads and social media outreach.
Concerts, sporting events, as well as charity fundraisers are popular event sponsorships.
Licensing is another way for a charity to raise funds simply by allowing a business to use the charity’s logo on promotional materials to promote the company’s products or services
“This is great because you receive more funding and notoriety through people wearing your logo on a shirt or sipping coffee out of a mug with your mission written across it,” says Nonprofit Megaphone.
Donations through Purchases
When a company pledges to donate an amount of the product price to a nonprofit. It is usually a limited time offer to inspire consumers to purchase a product and a percent.
Major retail chains use the month of October to donate a percentage of their sales to a breast cancer foundation in October since it is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
They give the public enough information about the charity being helped through emails or pamphlets so consumers can research it. It also tells consumers how much will be donated. Informing the public exactly what is being done is an important tactic to build transparency and maintain an effective practice.
Cause-related marketing is a win-win for companies and nonprofits since it engages consumers to make purchases and have a percentage of sales support a worthwhile 501 © charity.
Our lifestyle brands PR professionals are here to help. Give us a call.
By Athanasia Gouvatsos at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Tech At Work - DIY Or Hire A Pro?
In today’s modern workplace, technology can be used to streamline business functions, organize and track projects and tasks, manage money, and help connect people for collaboration.
While there are some tech functions you can likely do on your own, or with a bit of help and training, there may be areas where it makes better sense to invest in a technology professional. Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, shares the following solutions to help you make the right choices for your business.
According to Pew Research Center, a large majority of consumers use the internet to research products and services, read reviews, and connect with possible service providers. As such, you not only need a website for your business, you need a site that’s functional, easy to navigate, and in some cases, interactive.
At minimum, the website should provide an overview of who you are, what you do, and why consumers should choose you. You also need to make it easy for people to reach out to you, ask questions, or shop with you if you provide products or services online.
While just about anyone can build a very basic website, it is time-consuming, it can be difficult to keep updated, and it’s not likely to have the polished and professional look of a professionally designed site. Consider working with a professional web designer, and don’t be shy about working with a freelancer. These experts typically make around $15-$30 per hour, in case you’re asking “how much do web designers make?”
Cybercriminals are continually changing their game plans, and according to the FBI, it’s essential that you’re keeping your information, and that of your clients, safe and secure. While there are many things you can do on your own - like backing up data, regularly changing passwords, and using firewalls - having an expert review of your security systems can be a business lifesaver.
A cyber security professional can test your site for weaknesses, evaluate your needs, and provide you with direction on best practices for protecting you from ransomware, theft, and viruses. You may be able to get along just fine with a consultation or assessment once or twice a year, but the services themselves should be considered essential.
Eventually, it’s smart to have a cyber security/IT professional on staff or to work with a cyber security monitoring agency. Note that this typically costs small businesses around $24,000 per year.
Collaborative tools like team sites, workflow programs, and project management software can help teams stay organized and working in sync, regardless of where they’re located. Social media can be great for amplifying your content and messaging and reaching your clients and customers.
Problems can arise, however, when people don’t know how to effectively use their tools. The same goes for new software systems.
It can be to your advantage to bring in a corporate trainer to help educate staffers on self-operated tech systems to ensure they’re being used effectively. Not only is this a smart move when you’re onboarding new hires, but it can also be a good professional development tool. Costs here can range significantly depending on the type of software and the number of employees you’ll be training.
Financial Management Systems
Gone are the days of writing notes in a ledger, but today’s accounting systems can be somewhat complex. There are many “all in one” products that allow you to do everything from invoice and print receipts to track employee hours, log tax deductions, and even generate detailed financial reports.
If you’re comfortable with the software and confident in your ability to ensure what you’re plugging in is accurate, that’s great.
If you’re using it as your primary technology to manage all of your financial systems, it doesn’t hurt to have a consultant in on occasion - especially around tax time and budgeting - to ensure you’re getting the most from your technology. An accountant usually charges anywhere from $30 to $500 an hour.
Tech makes a lot of business operations easier to manage, but the key is in ensuring you have the right tech for your business and using it wisely. Having the right business entity is also important, as it pertains to how you pay taxes, and the liability protection you have in place. You can do the legwork yourself, hire a pricey attorney, or utilize an online formation company.
Our boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency is here to help. Give us a call.
Guest post by Chelsea Lamb of Business Pop
Photo credit: Pixabay
Wellness Trends for Children
Health, wellness and self-care are new buzz words during the past year. The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely shifted focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle not only for individuals but for their children as well.
According to the Insights Family report The Next Generation of Families, “research firm has found that US kids ages three to 12 are 51 percent more concerned about their health and wellbeing than they were last year.”
Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency spotlights key trends as it pertains to wellness for children.
Mental Health Is Front and Center for Younger Children
Mental health has become a bigger topic now and has expanded to younger children. “Almost 20 percent of six-year-olds say mental health is one of their top three concerns—surpassing both bullying and violent crime. To cope, 39 percent of US families are engaging in some form of meditation or mindfulness activity at least once a day,” according to Kidscreens.
The lockdown has shifted the spotlight on mental health concerns as kids were unable to go about their normal lives interacting with other kids
Multi-Generational Wellness — Grandparents and Grandchildren Engage in Wellness Activities together.
After a year of lockdown, the Covid-19 vaccine has made it safe for family members to reconnect for in-person gatherings and to minimize the sense of loneliness brought on from isolation.
Global Wellness Institute reports “Generational wellness, where we have older family members being able to participate with younger members of the family, and, in fact, without even being a family member. There is a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose and that someone was there that they could connect with.”
Grandparents must tend to their own health while also engaging grandchildren in activities that involve exercise and healthy eating. Wellness activities such as taking grandkids to the park or just on a walk are simple ways how grandparents and grandkids engage in wellness activities together.
Kids are very active, so for grandparents to engage with them, they must also stay active too. It can be done by hiking, fishing, lawn sports, or running. Engaging in these activities has also proven to build a stronger bond between them.
Technology has created an innovative way to keep track of your health and wellness from sleep to breathwork. For example, an apple watch can detect when you should stand up or when it is time for you to take a breath.
“Families are starting to actively seek out brands that support their health and wellness. In the U.S., the percentage of kids with Apple Watches jumped from 1.6 percent in 2000 to 5.1 percent in 2001,” according to Kidscreens.
Apps on your phone can track how many steps you’ve taken in a day, how many calories you’ve burned, and keep track of your sleep schedule to build a healthy lifestyle.
The pandemic has created a need to have a healthy immune system where our bodies can naturally combat any virus. Thus, Apps that helped monitor your diet became in huge demand.
School Nutrition As A Science Supports Wellness
Research has shown “that improved nutrition in schools leads to increased focus and attention, improved test scores, and better classroom behavior. It can also create healthy eating habits, growth, and intellectual development.”
A healthy lifestyle helps contribute to schools’ effort to provide a strong education. It is important to help kids build these habits while they’re young so they build a strong foundation to live a long healthy life.
Parents Renewed Interest in Children’s Curriculum During Lockdown
The pandemic undoubtedly has brought everyone closer. Due to remote working and remote classes, parents and children learned how to work together while their parents worked from home and kids studied from home.
As a result, parents became more involved with their kids’ schoolwork and got a first-row view of how teachers were educating their kids. These trends continued past the stay-at-home mandates where parents became more involved to ensure their kids are getting the attention and education they deserve.
Some parents have also embraced flexications -- an escape for three or four weeks or longer -- with parents working remotely and children enrolled in virtual classes anywhere in the world. Families embrace new ways of mixing business with pleasure by traveling during the off- and shoulder seasons during the school calendar year.
As things slowly get back to normal following the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the wellness industry has focused on children's overall mental and physical wellbeing.
Our travel and lifestyle public relations professionals are here to help savvy marketers capture their share of wealth in the wellness industry. Give us a call.
By Athanasia Gouvatsos at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Hot springs, also known as hydrothermal springs or geothermal springs, are natural hot waters heated by energy from the depth of the Earth and it rises to the surface. The geothermal springs are often created from the volcanic activity near the waters, making the hot springs the Earth’s natural spa.
Research shows the hydrothermal waters are “rich source of sulfur, calcium, magnesium, among other minerals essentially being a multivitamin for skin.” The heat in hot springs envelopes and helps to soothe aching muscles. The minerals present in the water get soaked up by the skin and stimulate certain bodily processes.
Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, spotlights key trends as it pertains to the hydrothermal springs.
Connecting with Nature
The Covid-19 pandemic has inspired wellness enthusiasts to escape for the great outdoors for hot springs therapies since there is ample space for social distancing.
Wellness enthusiasts “are seeking more connections with nature. Converting an outdoor patio into a spa treatment area proved to be very successful.” In fact, some wellness establishments are “providing more private spaces in individual soaking tubs, tubs, tents, domes and yurts,” according to Hot Springs Connections.
Wellness establishments are operating at reduced capacities providing opportunities for guests to connect with nature in their own space to give a more personal experience. Some establishments are offering private spaces such as reserved lounge chairs and cabanas.
Aside from the experiences, wellness enthusiasts are also looking to connect with nature through the services. For example, products or treatments being more natural or the healing and wellness practices incorporating natural practices as well.
Immune-Boosting Activities for Mental and Physical Health
There has been a significant shift in the past year focusing on personal wellness and health. In the wellness sector, hot springs have been no exception. Thermal waters contain minerals and salts to hydrate and protect your skin from potential damage.
“Massage, yoga, pilates, hot-cold experiences, forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku), aqua therapy and many more activities are being woven into the hot springs offering, stretching the reach beyond the traditional relaxation and escape market to the proactive, self-help, life-engaging and motivated consumer. This has manifested itself into a one-day vacation where visitors are provided a “business or first-class” hot springs experience with more space and time to enjoy time away from their busy lives,” according to the Global Wellness Institute.
These activities are meant for both physical and mental relaxation and to help guests find their zen, peaceful serenity.
Multi-Generational Wellness Experiences
The Covid-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for many spas to redesign their locations. One of the most effective changes has been optimizing their use of onsite natural resources.
“Hot springs are being designed with infants and seniors in mind to provide environments, activities and accessibility for people at all stages of life. Experiences range from baby baths and walk-in pools to massaging hydro jets and water slides,” according to the Global Wellness Institute.
Many guests have noted that incorporating high-quality design is imperative when creating extraordinary experiences. It has also helped them prepare for the coming changes in sanitation codes by the CDC so when the time came to welcome back guests.
“Whether it is a high energy fun or low impact and easy entry pools, hot springs facility design is taking heed of the visitor;s age and ability (mobility). Within the facilities and in different resorts in hot springs regions, facilities are providing separate spaces for high and low energy activities, enabling tranquility and activity to be offered without compromising on the experience of either,” according to the Global Wellness Institute.
As a result of working from home, it has created a necessity for people to take a break and get away for a couple hours, even if it’s for some fresh air.
Hot springs establishments have set up work spaces for wellness enthusiasts to mix business with pleasure. It provides a space for workers to come relax during the day. And, for those who still need to work, the wellness spaces offer a change in scenery for those who still have to work during those hours.
Cleanliness and Hygiene
Although sanitation has always been a core of the geothermal springs industry, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for wellness establishments to post information about the health and safety protocols.
Hydrothermal establishments have clear markers to ensure ample space for social distancing. Establishments are operating reduced capacities with smaller groups to give a more personalized experience.
There are more opportunities for personal experience at these spas by providing more space to be on their own and at peace. Geothermal venues are now offering towels for purchase instead of renting them.
Our travel and lifestyle public relations professionals are here to help Give us a call.
By Athanasia Gouvatsos at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, a national celebration of a meatless diet and healthy lifestyle. Some individuals become a vegetarian to adopt a healthier way to eat or to avoid hormones typically used in animal foods. Others choose a vegetarian diet due to their personal beliefs -- religious, animal rights, or environmental.
“Plant-based food retail sales were worth $7 billion in 2020, posting a 27 percent growth rate overall for products that specifically replace animal-derived options, according to SPINS data released by the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA),” according to Food Dive.
Research also shows a plant-based diet has major health benefits such as reducing risk of cancer, lowering blood pressure, preventing type 2 diabetes and promotes bone health. Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a boutique food and beverage and lifestyle public relations raises awareness for a vegetarian diet in honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month.
A vegetarian, by definition, is someone who does eat meat due to religious, animal rights, or environmental reasons. Over the years, the definition of a vegetarian has expanded to include the following.
The Covid-19 pandemic has reinvigorated interest in a vegetarian diet as a natural way to boost one’s immunity. During the last year, fast food establishments have expanded their menu offerings to include more vegetarian choices for customers.
Health conscious consumers can simply use the vegetarian options listed below to reap the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
In honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month, it is worth noting that Vegetarian Times magazine is a trusted source for information as it pertains to getting the necessary proteins and nutrients from a vegetarian diet. In recent years, a vegetarian diet has become trendy as innovative food companies have introduced plant-based burgers, chicken, fish, pork and sausage on the food market.
Our food and beverage and lifestyle public relations professionals are here to help food and beverage marketers raise awareness for vegetarian products. Give us a call.
By Athanasia Gouvatsos at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
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