6 Best Practices for Your Cause-Related Marketing Program

Well-run companies are fully aware of their social responsibility. They know the value of investing in their communities.

Cause-related marketing programs can, of course, accomplish two goals: Help deserving organizations increase revenue and propel your business to a profitable stronger image.

What works?

Assuming it’s a worthwhile cause, you and the nonprofit must have the right tone of voice in your approaches. A compelling campaign will talk with – not at – your audience. Engagement is the key objective.

ID-100297509Here are the six best practices:

1. Make sure it’s a win-win

Words matter. You’ve heard the adage, “Charity begins at home.”

Both the charity and your company must profit. Many marketers mistakenly using the term “cause marketing” vis-à-vis “cause-related marketing.”

The term cause marketing is a misleading term. It represents a danger because what happens is the focus goes more on the charity than the sponsor.

Your goal should be to help a charity while you help your company to sustainability.

Therefore, because the two goals are intertwined, I prefer the term, cause-relating marketing.

2. Inspire with simplicity

It might sound cruel but you must write at the sixth-grade level while accomplishing two goals in your messaging.

Firstly, use an economy of words so that the average busy person easily understands your message. That means writing for the ear of people who lead hectic lives.

Secondly, arouse and enthuse your audience to act.

3. Tell a story effectively with visuals

My research shows the time spent using the average Web site is only three minutes, five seconds.

Mega Web sites attract visitors for 30 minutes or more at a time.

But the stat also means half the world’s Web sites have a high bounce rate – users take a quick look at the content and leave right away.

It’s the same story on television. The attention span for many people is quite short, which why marketers create unique videos.

The trick is to create a brief video that effectively tells your story with a call for action.

Businesses aren’t successful when society crumbles around them.


4. Include a physical display

To illustrate your points, include physical components that easily illustrate the intent of your message – simpler, the better.

Be creative in being relevant. Try to surprise your audience – unpredictability will further your cause.

5. Use an integrated marketing approach

It used to be that one traditional medium worked in cause-related campaigns, but no longer.

Focus on earned media, public relations, social media and traditional mediums like radio and TV.

To capitalize on the tendencies trending in lifestyles so far in the 21st century, incorporate a myriad of messages tailored for each medium to broadcast your message. Because each medium has a different audience and sub-audiences.

6. Ask for a commitment

Your objective here is to convince your audience to commit to taking action get involved by giving you feedback. That’s also known as starting a dialogue or engagement.

Once you get people to participate, it’s much easier to get donations.

And use a proven technique: Prevent buyers’ remorse by stressing relevant information.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are editor’s picks:

Cause-Related Marketing Can Increase Sales by Double Digits — The Biz Coach has long-advocated cause-related marketing. Customers love community-minded businesses. Now, he’s happy to report on a major study.

Techniques to Influence the Feelings of Your Shoppers — With all the digital channels available to you, you have a unique marketing opportunity. But chances are you’re not fully capitalizing on your customer engagement.

Critical Essentials to Develop the Best Marketing Formula — There are critical essentials for marketing, which includes the right channels and developing the right message. That includes the right branding slogan and logo. Unless your targeting upscale consumers, many consumers prefer value marketing — not cute, which doesn’t necessarily mean selling at a lower price than your competitors. Hyper-consumerism is history. Humor is great, but more importantly, traditional values with a purpose are in vogue. Why? Consumer attitudes are changing.

For Top Sales, 5 Rules for Targeting the Right Prospects — If you target the right prospects, you’ll save time and money and increase your revenue. There are five rules to follow. They’re developed for B2B but work for B2C, too.

Businesses aren’t successful when society crumbles around them.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Cause-Related Marketing Can Increase Sales by Double Digits

Marketing success largely depends on brand trust.

If you’re unsure how to increase sales and about what approach you need to create brand trust, consider cause-related marketing.

Cause-related marketing is one of the 10 best marketing tips.

businessman-562572_1280A study showed it tremendously drives sales, according to a communications firm, Cone, and Duke University.

It was a 2008 study, but its conclusions are timeless.

The study’s respondents participated in a simulated shopping spree at a pseudo-convenience store.

In the first of two phases, the shoppers used money provided in the study and bought products in four consumer-good classifications associated with-and-without a charitable cause.

Strong sales

The cause-related products resulted in strong sales:

— 74 percent increase for a shampoo

— 28 percent increase for a toothpaste

The second phase included adults shopping online for shampoo and toothpaste.

It resulted in the respondents spending about twice as much time reading cause-related ads as they did in viewing the generic ads.

Plus, the cause-related ads generated a 19 percent sales increase for the toothpaste brand, and a five percent increase for the shampoo among the male and female participants.

Among women shoppers, the shampoo resulted in 14 percent higher sales.

“It’s much easier to make a purchase by clicking a button than it is to pick up and experience a brand in the richer store environment; the results of our study likely lie between the impulsive online shopper and the deliberate in-store shopper,” said a Duke researcher, Gavan Fitzsimons. “One thing we know for sure consumers are paying more attention to cause messages, and as a result, are more likely to purchase.”

Despite obstacles in a recession, the study also suggested 52 percent of consumers expect companies to continue their support of charitable causes. Twenty-six percent expect companies to increase their charitable support. Eighty-five percent look more favorably at a socially responsible company.

Preferred causes

The top two consumer preferences for cause-related marketing: Economic development and education.

The study also showed these consumer attitudes:

  • 89 percent want business, government and charities to partner on causes
  • 91 percent feel businesses should communicate their support of charities
  • 58 percent said companies fail to explain their good deeds

Here’s an example of how to implement cause-related marketing: If education is a hot button for you, and ­it is for me,­ consider setting up a foundation to award scholarships. Contribute a portion of every sale to deserving students to further their education or training.

Cause-related marketing should not be overlooked, particularly, at year-end in approaching the Q4 holidays. Consumers will love you. Plus, it will help you to get top results from your marketing plan.

You can help deserving organizations increase revenue and propel your business to a profitable, stronger image if you use the six best practices for your cause-related marketing program.

From the Coach’s Corner, two additional points:

Firstly, implement marketing plan essentials for best results.

Secondly, avoid being myopic, especially in the fourth quarter. Q4 is stewardship season ­and for budgeting. Many businesses find they need to cut budgets, and they’re often laying off workers, and slashing marketing and human resources training programs. That’s a short-term need, but what about the long-term?

If you’ve been using the right approaches in marketing and human resources, your employees, training and brand equity are all assets. The companies that announce layoffs, especially between October and January, find they lose brand trust. Customers are far from impressed. They’d rather do business with a company known as a good employer.

More than ever, you need to maintain top-of-the-mind awareness ­ in the marketplace with great marketing and customer service ­– whether you’re a B2B marketer or if you target consumers.

So it’s important to find a happy balance between your assets and liabilities for short-term and long-term growth. Avoid cutting muscle in your business and when the economy recovers, you’ll be well-positioned to increase your market share. That’s a promise.

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, and the problem is I do not know which half.”

-Lord Leverhulme


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.