We now truly live in a digital age and this means that we are now a global community and share a greater awareness of hardships and emergency situations that may not have been the case in the past.
For those of us old enough to remember Live Aid, this was a global event which raised awareness of severe inequalities and famine in Africa and it was a phenomenal success, raising millions of pounds in aid and providing some epic entertainment into the bargain.
Cause marketing follows in these footsteps and is a cooperative effort between for-profit and non-profit organisations that offers a mutual benefit by providing the knowledge and the resources needed to help resolve a particular crisis or situation that they feel strongly about.
The growth of cause marketing
Even if you take a cynical approach to the motives behind cause marketing when you look at some of the global brands involved, it is hard not to be impressed by the impressive amounts of money raised in this way for local and national causes. You could even seek legal help from the likes of specialized law firms like H3 Solicitors to see if there can be any negative ramifications due to the marketing strategy and take steps accordingly!
That said, corporate cause sponsorship is predicted to grow by a further 3.7% overall in 2015 compared to last year, and sports sponsorship in the U.S for example, is pushing nearer to 5% and approaching $15 billion.
Slacktivist to activist
It seems that more than 60% of us are likely to be more inclined to support issues offline, if we have first registered our support and interest in a particular issue online.
The transformation from slacktivist to activist appears to follow a similar route for many of us, by liking or following an organisation online before taking action on a more localised level.
It also seems that if a cause strikes a chord with us, consumers are 90% likely to switch their allegiance to a brand which is associated with a good cause, if the product is of comparable price and quality.
Research by Nielson suggests that consumers will also be willing to pay more for goods or services if they believe that the company is giving something back to society in return.
Finding a partner
If you are trying to find a supplier who can supply Canon ink cartridge replacements for example, that should be relatively straightforward, but finding a partner for your cause marketing program may be a little more challenging.
If you are running a non-profit organisation, your aim will be to find a situation where your cause and the business partner share a natural connection, such as a toy retailer working with a children’s charity. You can also make use of tools from places like UpMetrics to report on any investment from both businesses and grantees alike and let people know exactly the impact that their generosity has had.
If you run a business and want to make a worthwhile contribution and raise awareness of a cause that is close to your heart, the reverse scenario applies, although it is also preferable if he chosen cause has a good understanding of technology and how social media works, so that you can formulate a marketing strategy which you are both comfortable with.
When it is approached in the right way, cause marketing definitely has the potential to be a win-win for businesses and non-profits alike.
John Sollars started his printer cartridge supplier company in 2002 which is committed to paper recycling schemes. He enjoys sharing his printing insights online.