‘Cause’ marketing that links your company or brand to a non-profit group or charity enables you to promote your business while you give something back to your community. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this kind of marketing is that it’s been shown to make customers feel better about deciding to purchase and that translates into an increase in repurchase intentions.
Consumers transfer their emotional bonds
Many people have emotional bonds with a non-profit group. They may even be regular financial contributors or do volunteer work for a non-profit organisation. When these people see a business that’s supporting this organisation they’ll often be predisposed to purchasing from it. “Look at what you sell and understand the targets you’re trying to reach. Then align yourself with causes that will bring out the emotions of that audience, from a grassroots, a community and a media standpoint,” advises Rodger Roeser, of Justice & Young Public Relations in Cincinnati.
Employees feel better about their employer
Surveys consistently show that whether candidates are choosing an employer or employees are deciding whether to stay with their present company, the degree to which a business demonstrates a social conscience is perceived as increasingly important. In fact, a majority of employees of companies in many industries have said they’d work for less money if they felt their employer was socially responsible.
It’s good for PR and community relations
Naturally, there are a lot of positives about supporting a cause that will benefit the image your business has in the community. You’ll be seen as a good corporate citizen and as an organisation that contributes to the welfare of everyone in the community.
Seek alignment with your business and your customers
There are thousands of causes and some will no doubt relate to your business activities. Find a cause that has a link with your company, no matter how tenuous, so that people will understand how your business fits into the cause overall. The cause needs to also be related to the interests of your customers. It should align with their feelings and beliefs, and not be in conflict with other organisations they might want to support.
Tell the world what you’re doing
Although it might seem a bit ‘commercial’, your business will only benefit if it tells the world at large about your involvement with the cause. You need to spell out what it is you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It will also help if your business becomes a conduit for your customers to help the cause by making donations through your website or at your business premises.
Your cause marketing activities should be part of both your external marketing and your internal communications. It should be featured in your promotions, your packaging and your website, as well as referred to in your employee newsletters.
Give your employees and your customers a chance to participate in the cause by hosting a function or sponsoring an event where the proceeds go to the cause
Ask the cause you’re supporting to promote your association with them. They have every reason to do this; the non-profit world depends on donations and they like to tell prospective donors that they’ll be in good company when they part with their funds.
In today’s competitive world consumers want to know what a business stands for. Cause marketing will tell them about your business values and reassure them that part of their purchase money is going to a good cause.