Business and consumer values evolve all the time.
Recent studies have shown that more than 60% of consumers want to buy from brands that have a real purpose. This indicates that in today’s world, people tend to support companies that are active members of their communities, maintain good ethical standards, and exhibit social responsibility.
Cause marketing is an endeavor that checks those boxes, and more.
This concept is based on the relationship between a for-profit business and a nonprofit organization. It may also include charitable and philanthropic campaigns that the business executes, but by and large, cause marketing is about a beneficial partnership with shared values and common goals.
“We look for causes that align with our clients’ core values,” says Sally Shireman, senior account manager at DeanHouston. “If the business and the cause have similar goals and passions, it will benefit both brands.”
Cause Marketing at a Glance
The primary goal of a cause marketing campaign is to bring awareness and engagement to the nonprofit organization and its campaigns by way of partnering with the business. This typically involves the business helping the nonprofit with marketing and advertising strategies, campaign assets, collateral, and organizing and hosting special events.
For the business partner, the partnership with the organization can help establish a stronger relationship with nearby communities, increase employee advocacy, and show strong support and involvement by helping promote good causes.
Detailing the Partnership
Like any project or campaign, a clearly defined strategy will help the overall execution and the likelihood that both groups will maximize their collaborative efforts.
Having a good understanding – even an affinity – with the cause is key. This will enable employees to be more willing to participate and align the audiences of both organizations. In doing this, it will make the campaign stronger and generate good vibes across both brands.
“Cause marketing is a win-win for both organizations,” Shireman said. “One of the most beneficial is the impact it has on your employees. It’s a good feeling that boosts morale and productivity.”
It’s crucial during the planning stage to determine what the nonprofit needs against what the business can provide. This is a key part of the mutually beneficial collaboration.
The products or services provided by the business are usually dependent on the cause as well as any needed resources – whether it’s an event, awareness campaign, or another project. Monetary assistance is one way to help, but it shouldn’t be the only way.
There are many other, important opportunities to support the nonprofit by providing tools and resources they may not have. These may include:
- Email campaigns
- Website development
- Photos and videos for social media or website
- Event planning or venue reservations
- Volunteer staffing
- Product donations
- Audience extension and participation
- Social media content sharing
Throughout the process, co-promoting for and collaborating about the common cause will only improve the chances for success. With social media and content sharing, plus word-of-mouth promotions, two audiences become stronger than one.
Here at DeanHouston+, we are proud to actively support many wonderful organizations such as Spark Ventures, Epilepsy Alliance Ohio, Friends of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, IL and the World Affairs Council – Cincinnati. We share with these groups a common belief in their missions, a strong alignment in values, and we look forward to many more years of our strong partnership.
How will you get involved in your community? For guidance in establishing your cause marketing efforts, feel free to contact us or watch our cause marketing presentation below.