Cause-related marketing enables for profit companies to launch campaigns in line with social causes, ideals, or even goals that are significant to the company and raise brand awareness and money for worthwhile charitable 501 © organizations. “Companies employ this method to promote social responsibility and raise awareness of an issue” as noted by HubSpot.
Cause-related marketing can attract new consumers and strengthen brand loyalty among consumers at the same time. We tend to associate and connect with people with similar interests, morals, hopes, dreams, etc.
We don’t give the average American consumer enough credit. Nowadays, people are really good at gauging authenticity. If the issue a company picks doesn’t make sense to the customer, they’ll start to question everything else, and then the whole campaign falls apart.
On the other hand, if the issue does align well, but lacks genuine care and support from the company, then the cause-related marketing campaign won’t succeed too. People are pretty good at reading between the lines. If it seems disingenuous or lacks authenticity, it will not make it far in the market.
Cause-related marketing can raise awareness for several issues or causes – social justice issues, environmental issues, animal rights issues, wild-life preservation issues, disaster relief, or education issues, just to name a few. In this blog, Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a boutique marketing and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City, highlights the top six cause-related marketing trends.
Free Action Campaigns
In 2023, free-action campaigns, which can either result from collaborating with a non-profit organization or a business developing their own cause, will be a hot trend in cause marketing. Free-action campaigns are typically tied to a slogan of the cause and come with a hashtag. For the most part, the slogan will also be the hashtag, but this isn’t a requirement, it just keeps things consistent.
Including your audience in the discussion and giving them a platform to magnify their voice means a lot more to consumers than you might think. Empowerment is a strong feeling, and consumers should feel as if they are empowered to start the conversation and bring change. Creating a hashtag will motivate people to join the conversation in order to bring awareness.
As VR becomes more accessible, it is no surprise that it will be a trend in cause-related marketing for the upcoming year. According to Nativa , “companies can create immersive experiences for their customers that allow them to feel like they are directly involved in the cause. This can be a powerful tool for marketing and fundraising as it can create a strong emotional connection with potential donors or customers.”
By including a VR experience in your campaign, brands will encourage greater customer involvement, and set you apart from other businesses.
Buy One Get One (BOGO)
Many avid shoppers may be familiar with the term Buy One, Get One, but for the purpose of cause-related marketing, it refers to “Buy One, Give One.” In its simplest form, if a customer purchases something from your business, you'll either donate that exact same item or something else of equal value to a good cause.
This concept appeals to consumers who already include and consider the cost of the product in their monthly spending. They’re not spending any more money than they usually do, therefore, they will feel good supporting the cause.
Charitable Sweepstakes and Raffles
Getting people to tune in and accept your message is an accomplishment in itself, but the greatest challenge is to convince people to change their behavior. People have a tendency to stick to their own ways, which can prove to be a challenge when implementing a cause-related campaign.
One of the best ways to approach this obstacle is to involve the consumer as much as possible. HubSpot “found that if your business regularly holds contests, it would be clever to tie one in with a campaign that supports a cause. Entries can spark a stronger connection to the brand, and in-turn potentially build a strong relationship to the consumer. The more involved people can be in the contest, the better the customer will feel about their participation, as well as their perception of the company.”
For many years, climate change has been a topic of concern among many individuals. Now, more than ever, people are realizing how real the impacts are and how much it is costing our planet. Change is needed sooner rather than later, and companies are realizing this too. Next year, we can expect more companies to engage in environmental-cause marketing.
Each year, there is a growing number of organizations searching for ways to lessen their carbon footprint, with some even achieving carbon-neutrality. “Environmental causes … are becoming increasingly important to consumers, and they are likely to support businesses that align with their values,” Nativa.
Epic Company Collabs
Two is always better than one. In this case, this is absolutely true. Expect companies coming together and joining forces to make greater change. This can manifest in either the companies making a joint cause or supporting an existing non-profit.
The audience of the two companies, in addition to the audience of the non-profit, would garner an improvise amount of attention. By working together, they can reach a greater audience, and in turn create greater change.
Cause-related marketing is very straightforward, and if executed correctly, it can be very meaningful. Supporting causes and upholding the same beliefs attracts customers, as well as fostering and strengthening brand loyalty.
In the grand scheme of things, it seeks to boost earnings while benefiting society. “Oftentimes, companies will partner with a nonprofit organization for campaigns … Other times, companies choose or create a cause to support.” (Source: HubSpot) Either way, the community being supported benefits from the good inspired by cause-related marketing.
Our marketing and lifestyle public relations experts are available to help businesses in implementing this marketing approach.
By Rania Perales at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.