Cause Marketing

July 1, 2015 9:30 am

Starting in the 1960’s with the dawn of the Jerry Lewis Telethon held every Labor Day weekend by businesses to raise funds for research for Muscular Dystrophy, businesses began to harness the power of promoting beneficial relationships between causes and businesses.  Since that time businesses have really flourished with the win-win solution of Cause-Related Marketing.  Take for example TOMS Shoes by Blake Mycoskie, where the  purchase of one pair of shoes means a pair of shoes is given to a person in need.  They also contribute to more than 70 countries for safe birth programs, clean water programs, and eye exams for people in need.  This partnership that involves hundreds of companies to help the poor around the globe has made this company synonymous with charitable giving and good business practices.  What is cause marketing, how can it be done and what are the benefits are the focus of this weeks blog.

What is cause marketing? – 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. This dual benefit can lead to awareness about a cause as well as being a positive way of promoting a company’s brand.

Cause Marketing By-The-Numbers -Consumers and employees tend to favor and are drawn to companies that support a cause.

  • 90% of consumers would switch to a brand that supports a cause, when price and quality are equal.
  • 41% have bought a product because it was associated with a cause or issue.
    83% wish more of the products, services and retailers they use would support causes.
  • 85% have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about.
  • 79% of employees feel a stronger sense of loyalty to their employer at companies with cause marketing programs.
  • 69% of employees decide where to work based on a company’s support of a cause. (Source: Vernon Graphics and Promotions)

Common Types of Cause Marketing

  • Point-of-sale program- Consumers donate at a register to a cause such as through a coin canister or electronic donation.
  • Purchase-Triggered Donation – This type of donation occurs when a consumer buys a product or service. For example, over the holidays, the department store chain Macy’s traditionally donates a dollar to the Make-a-Wish Foundation for every letter to Santa dropped into its special store letterboxes.
  • Employee Action Program – In this type of program a company doesn’t just donate money but rather uses its workforce to be socially responsible.  For example a company may donate employees hours to volunteering at a cause sponsored by the company.
  • Licensing programs – Companies may decide to put a non-profit logo on their products to promote both the product and the cause simultaneously.
  • Social Media Programs – Companies may use Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms to assist local causes.



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