The case for cause marketing
Without getting political or overly focused on sociological issues, it’s easy to be cynical these days. Everywhere we look, forces are at work to erode our trust in institutions and individuals. But I firmly believe that most people still subscribe to the fundamental values of community and the importance of doing things for the common good.
One of the core values of our agency has always been the belief we have a responsibility to “give back” to the community in which we live, work and play and which has supported us so faithfully for the past 35 plus years. That’s why we have always tried to lend our “talent, time and treasure” to organizations that serve the greater good through social services, arts, education and more.
Extending that belief to the broader arena of marketing, the case for cause-related marketing efforts has been well documented. A 2008 study by Cone, Inc. and Duke University showed that 85 percent of consumers “view a product or brand more positively when it supports a cause they care about, and 79 percent would probably switch brands (price and quality being equal) if one of the brands was affiliated with a good cause.”
One doesn’t need to look far for examples. On a national level, the success of a social business like TOMS Shoes has been phenomenal. A few years ago, P&G’s Always brand introduced the #LikeAGirl campaign to address societal issues pertaining to the self-confidence of girls of puberty age. And Ben & Jerry’s commitment to sustainability and other social issues is legendary.
On a local level, we have been proud to assist McDonald’s with its cause marketing initiatives. And it’s much more than the company’s historic commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities. The Pack-A-Backpack program is a great example of a local cause-related partnership to help assure area children in need are well equipped for the new school year. Special Armed Forces and Veteran’s Day giveaways and support for local Special Olympics are just a few of the other programs McDonald’s actively supports to help make a difference in the community.
If you think cause marketing is just for large organizations, think again. We are currently working with enFocus, a regional firm providing innovative consulting services to area businesses and non-profits. EnFocus has recently undertaken a significant role in an exciting project to promote CPR training for eighth graders in local schools.
Collectively, these are all great examples of the multi-faceted benefits of cause-related marketing. We often refer to this as “doing well by doing good”. Marketers enhance their brand reputations while enhancing the quality of their local (or global) community. It truly is a win-win opportunity.
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