Many of us like to give back to charities, schools, and other organizations that help make the world and our locales a better place to live. A lot of businesses do this via philanthropy, donating funds to any of the thousands of good non-profit organizations who fight diseases, injustices, and poverty.
While philanthropy is a huge benefit to our society, there is another way to help: Cause Related Marketing.
What is Cause Marketing?
It is rather easy for a CFO to sign a check to a good support group and move along, feeling good about it. But cause marketing requires more dedication.
Here is the definition according to Wikipedia:
Cause marketing or cause-related marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a “for profit” business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit…Cause marketing differs from corporate giving (philanthropy) as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax deductible, while cause marketing is a marketing relationship not necessarily based on a donation.
This illustrates the main point of cause marketing – it is about putting forth effort and support beyond financial considerations.
How Your Business Can Help
There are a variety of ways to help with cause marketing. Some examples include:
- Providing employee support or labor for events or charitable collection campaigns
- Driving increased awareness of issues that are not commonly understood
- Pledging to donate a share of profits from specific product sales – and actively promoting the charity and the pledge campaign itself
- Donating premium products or services to a silent or online auction
Using Social Media for Cause Marketing
Aside from the general goodness around contributing to important programs, cause marketing provides a ready-made vehicle for creating a buzz. If a cause truly matters, there will be emotional support for it. Don’t forget, emotions are what drive people to share content, to like it, and to rally behind an idea.
Social media is ready-made for this use
We want to talk about topics that matter to us personally. By promoting a good cause on social media, you not only drive awareness and create interactions worth sharing and talking about – you also put forth your own brand in a positive light.
There are true benefits for all involved. The efforts help the cause move forward. The public learns more about an issue about which they are very likely to be passionate. And your business generates goodwill among the local or national audience.
A Challenge to All Companies
What causes can you most align yourself with as a business? What are you doing about it?
Don’t take the easy route and just donate money. Really dedicate time or resources to doing something that matters. Not only will it help the cause and those in need, but your business will reap useful branding and goodwill benefits.
I’d love to hear some examples of cause related marketing that you have been involved in. Please post your stories below, or email them to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.