A cause-related marketing program is not an anonymous or low-key donation to a charity but one that lets the public know that your business is socially responsible and interested in the same causes that its consumers are.
Choice of partnership is important; your cause related marketing (CRM) activities should reflect your company’s reputation within your target market and can positively differentiate your company from your competitors, providing an edge that delivers other benefits, including:
Increased customer loyalty
Enhanced company image
By choosing a cause you are passionate about, cause-related marketing is emotionally fulfilling. It’s a way to build a business model that mirrors your personal values, beliefs and integrity and engages with your key markets.
Eunice Azzani, an executive volunteer on the AIDS Foundation Board recently said; “If you’re helping with a cause you believe in, people will see that you care. And they’ll realize you will probably care as much about your work.”
There are many approaches to CRM, but essentially it is an agreement between a business entity and a charity to raise money for a particular cause. The business entity expects to profit from this arrangement by selling more products/services and by enjoying the “halo” affect of being associated with a respected charity or cause.
The key is to never lose the marketing focus of your community partnership efforts. Even though the work is philanthropic, your cause should generate interest in your company and motivate people to engage with it. Select a cause that is important to your target market, and make sure your target market sees that connection.
It’s clear that Cause Related Marketing can have a significant impact, but it’s not a magic wand: like any other marketing activity it must be planned and implemented well. Charity is a sensitive subject for many consumers – they want to know that a business is helping, not just meddling.
Facts & Figures
In a recent study conducted by Research International on behalf of Business in the Community –
48% of participants confirmed they had switched products to support a cause with their purchase.
During Persil’s partnership with comic relief their sales rose by 19% over the preceding year and market share increased by 3%.
68% of participants confirmed that they buy a higher priced or premium product to support its associated cause.
70% of participants confirmed a positive impact on a company’s brand perception when engaged in CRM.
“Get it right and consumers will listen and act. The mutual benefit that comes from an effective Cause Related Marketing programme is more than just a theory – it’s a tangible and growing asset to business.”