Cause Marketing

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 at 12:44 pm by bryna
Spread the word! Cause marketing is good for your business.

Spread the word! Cause marketing is good for your business.

It’s hard to bring things back to business as usual when the world is suffering in such plain view. There are always causes to support, funds to be raised, and people who will be in need. But this morning Haiti was rocked again by aftershocks, and the rest feels small to me again.

I mentioned  last week that I had planned to be on a plane to Haiti for two weeks of humanitarian relief work, as of January 27. That trip has since been cancelled. I’m not going to talk a lot about me here, but since I had told you last week, I thought I would update the status of said venture.

But let’s bring this back to you. Why should your business care about Haiti, or any cause for that matter? Because it’s good marketing strategy.

Wikipedia says:

Cause marketing differs from corporate giving (philanthropy) as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax deductible, while cause marketing is a marketing relationship generally not based on a donation.

Yesterday, Kerry gave a great example of cause marketing (although you might argue that because a donation was involved it wasn’t pure CM). Lou’s Cozy Grill in Belleville, Ontario ran a promotion to raise money for Haiti relief. The benefit is two-fold: money raised for a good cause and great PR for Lou’s. Who doesn’t like a win-win?

I’m loosely classifying this under “cause marketing” because even though it wasn’t strategically executed, I love the fact that they gave it a shot. I don’t know how much money they raised, but I’ll remember their effort, and I’ll swing by to grab a coffee. While I’m there, I might buy a sandwich, or grab breakfast–whatever. The point is that consumers want to know that the brands they align themselves with support a vision beyond their own bottomline.

A clearer example is found in the actions McDonald’s restaurants implemented to support and promote the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour initiatives. For example, all Canadian McDonald’s restaurants turned off their roadside pole signs and roof beam lighting to conserve energy for Earth Hour. The support wasn’t monetary–it was action driven. McDonald’s was trying to build a reputation as  a socially responsible organization, and both McDonald’s and WWF benefited from increased awareness. That awareness translates into dollars. It’s an indirect root to acquire sales and revenue, but it’s good business.

And that’s where you step in. Does your marketing plan allow for cause marketing initiatives? What organizations do you align yourself with? Are you maximizing these low-cost opportunities for PR?

If not, we can help. Contact Engine Communications today to shift your marketing plan into high gear.

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{ 2 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. Another insightful and well-written blog post, Bryna – Engine is lucky to have you!

  2. Well thanks, Ally! I appreciate it 🙂

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