Have you ever thought about supporting a cause in your company, such as a charity or social issue, to increase marketing visibility – and to do good? Cause related marketing is a big deal among big brands nowadays. More brands are taking a stand on social issues than ever before.
Of course, small businesses have always supported their communities with donations. You can't call it marketing. Marketing cannot even be their primary goal. In fact, many small businesses get marketing benefits for support reasons.
In the following the advantages of the cause marketing in a small company are explained in a few minutes. We'll also cover examples of root cause marketing, how to boost it with ads or PR, and how to create a root cause campaign – all with expert advice.
Cause Marketing or Cause Marketing is when a company supports a charitable cause or a social problem and benefits from marketing. To better understand the definition of cause marketing, consider two examples:
Companies that deal with cause marketing do so in part because they believe that it helps them win and retain customers.
Corporate social responsibility has grown in importance in recent years as many consumers base their buying decisions on their beliefs.
According to the Edelman 2018 Earned Brand Study, every second consumer is a belief-driven buyer. Or as Edelman puts it: "Buying on faith is now the new normal."
This means that consumers make a conscious buying decision from companies that share a common belief or obligation. Online shopping and social media have opened up a world of opportunities for consumers to spend their hard earned money on. Belief-driven consumers spend it on companies with shared values.
So we see CEOs of major brands publicly expressing their positions on social issues. They take a stand, even if they are controversial. In the past, companies were probably very concerned about not showing support for social issues. Fast forward to today, and a social cause could be at the heart of a multi-million dollar advertising campaign.
"As a small business, it is important to tell the world or the local community how positive you are," said Saru Saadeh, co-founder and CEO of AdRobin.
In an interview with us here at Small Business Trends, he highlighted three main advantages of cause-based marketing:
Saadeh should know because he and his company are actually participating in their own charitable cause, the Aspire to Be Foundation. “We helped ourselves to develop a small program that relates to the matter. This cost us about $ 850 a month for a short time. And it was worth it. "
But he saw other small and medium-sized businesses spend more than $ 5,000 a month on marketing. "It depends on the business, the cause and the scope of the initiative."
You can achieve a greater marketing impact by combining cause marketing with a PR campaign, an advertising campaign, or both, says Saadeh.
“The hard work required to position a brand as causal is worthy of recognition. For this reason, cause marketing will usually be followed by public relations that focus on communicating the cause and its success, ”he says.
An event accompanied by a PR campaign can lead to well-deserved media. In other words, the news media may want to write about your cause and business. You deserve even more visibility and goodwill.
Advertising also helps to make things bigger and reinforces your marketing campaign. “It helps spread the news about the causes and attract more customers. Advertising can be the engine to achieve positive effects and to communicate them. "
Of course, according to Saadeh, the costs for advertising and public relations are often above the basic costs for marketing. “PR and advertising always require some resources in advance. For example, take a low-cost situation like the grocery store that accepts donations from its customers. If the store decides to add up the donations and advertise its participation in the fundraiser, the marketing costs will increase at this point. "
"However, these can be offset by higher sales," he adds. One way to measure the impact on sales is to compare sales or conversion rates before and after an advertising campaign rolls out.
It takes a while until marketing alone has an effect. However, advertising usually produces quick results and the impact can be more measurable.
Nike is a large brand that serves as a case study for various cause-related marketing campaigns. For example, the company has placed ads to promote women in sports.
And who hasn't heard of the Nike campaign with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick? The ad simply says, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. "
Another example are companies that campaign for LGBTQ rights. In fact, the human rights organization issues a ranking called the Corporate Equality Index of large companies that support the cause. Many have carried out marketing campaigns. Check out examples of how companies display their affiliation with ads.
Dove offers several examples of cause marketing. One of them is the #ShowUs campaign, which underlines the positive attitude towards the body. The following picture says it all.
How to Run a Cause Marketing Campaign
So you are convinced. How do you start with event marketing? Simple:
It should be something that you believe in and that you want to sincerely support. This should bring you and your team satisfaction regardless of the marketing benefits. Use the cause marketing examples above as inspiration.
If you want other ideas, DoSomething.org identifies 24 different types of causes. These include animal welfare, body control, bullying, disaster relief, homelessness, mental health, physical health, MINT, the environment and women's rights.
Avoid pitfalls. If a small business chooses something that is too polarizing or political for the taste of its customers, this can lead to failure. Boycotts, customer losses and financial losses can result. The author John Ringo coined the term "wake up, go bankrupt" to describe exactly this.
Think about how much you can afford to pay for a campaign each month. Choose a monthly amount.
If your budget is tight, consider a fundraiser for customers. Your company can mainly serve as a central gathering or merging point. In this way, you involve customers and make it easy for them to be part of the cause.
A donation matching campaign can also be inexpensive. With this type of campaign, your company offers to allocate donations up to a certain dollar amount or proportionately. Set a limit on your attendance (e.g., up to $ 5,000) to make budgeting easier.
You will get more for your money if you boost your cause marketing with ads or PR efforts to get media attention. Be sure to consider the cost of PR and advertising.
Create a plan for related PR or advertising campaigns. Write down what you will do, when you will start, where you plan it, and what it will cost. Find out about campaign details such as messaging and graphics. If you are unsure about your own skills, ask an agency for help to do a good job.
No type of marketing can be considered a success unless you are tracking the results. Before you start marketing, establish a baseline, e.g. These include, for example, the amount of sales, the leads generated, the size of the customer base or other indicators. You can measure the results later, after the campaign has started.
One reservation Saadeh warns of: price increases. "Don't expect customers to pay more for your products or services just because you started causal marketing. It's better to measure the growth in social and digital awareness, total sales, or growth and retention rates of leads. Because marketing is more about getting customers to choose you – not how much they are willing to pay. ”
You can also measure typical PR or advertising metrics to the extent that you use these techniques to improve your cause marketing. With digital ads, you can measure impressions, click-throughs, and conversion rates. PR campaigns can be the number of interviews and articles written about your company, or campaigns related to the topic.
The best marketing campaigns related to the cause go beyond just paying money to charity. You actually involve employees. These can be employees who volunteer for special occasions or otherwise work directly for the cause.
Communicate regularly with employees about the cause. Better yet, involve them in communication so that they feel part of it.
DoSomething.org wants to focus on the issue, not the campaign. It is important to talk about what you stand for … for your values. Make it longer than a single fundraiser or one-off advertising campaign. Walk the talk.
Finally, celebrate all the great things that are happening around the thing. Set milestones for your campaign and let everyone know as soon as one is reached. But don't stop here. Talk generally about why you are committed to it and how you would otherwise like to support it.
At the end of the day, remember that doing good is right for society. You also feel good. “You and your team will get the personal satisfaction that comes from being part of a company that is bigger than your company. It is priceless, ”adds Saadeh.
Images: DepositPhotos and Nike, Dove lead to marketing examples
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