The Difference a Marketing Campaign Makes
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 80 percent of consumers believe that businesses are responsible for addressing societal issues. Cone Communications, with Echo Global Logistics, stated in a 2013 report that 91 percent of consumers would switch to a brand that supported a worthy cause, 92 percent would purchase a product with social and environmental benefits in mind, and 67 percent had already done so within the prior year. Cause marketing, or cause-related marketing, involves combined effort between a brand and a nonprofit organization regarding a charitable or societal cause or effort.
Several giant brands such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Jeep, Subway, and more have participated in cause marketing campaigns. According to online publication, The Balance Small Business, there are several ways in which brands and organizations come together and benefit from the efforts of the public. The point-of-sale method is when a cashier asks a customer to consider including a donation with their purchase at the register. Advertisements for the campaign may also be placed at checkout. A classic example of this is McDonald’s Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and their donation boxes that are placed at the counter of every McDonald’s. A purchase-triggered donation is when a percentage of every product purchase – a Starbucks drink, for example – is donated to a cause. Some companies pay nonprofits to use their branding on products and merchandise. When anything labeled with the nonprofit’s brand is purchased, a percentage goes to the nonprofit. Message promotion and employee engagement call on the work of volunteers to make a difference, while digital programs use online services to market and collect donations.
The obvious benefit of cause marketing is that good deeds are done – children are fed and/or educated, life-saving healthcare is made accessible, contributions are made to the environment, and much more. Cause marketing also raises awareness of ailments that affect the public, such as drug abuse, mental health stigma, disease, or animal well-being (such as homeless pets or health conditions of which pet lovers should stay aware). On a business scale, not only do nonprofits benefit from the awareness and the publicity, cause campaigns also boost brand image. Brand image is important it boost profits for the company and those profits can in turn continue to benefit the nonprofits it partners with and the people and movements they serve.
Corporations have the money and the connections to cover the overhead of many organizations whose missions are to help those in need. Even if the corporation in question can’t pay for all or some of it, most have the advantage of public awareness on their side, so that individuals can pool their resources together for a cause. When blessed with the means, it is only responsible to use them for good.