There’s a growing demand from consumers to know what people and organizations are doing to make the world a better place. Standing for a cause can help your business stand out and draw in the type of customers you want.
What is cause marketing?
Cause marketing is a type of collaboration between a nonprofit organization and a for-profit business, where the for-profit business is supporting the nonprofit cause in some way.
Benefits of cause marketing
There are numerous benefits for both your business and the nonprofit partner you are supporting. It can increase brand awareness and exposure for the organization, which may have limited resources and budget for marketing, helping to get their cause in front of an audience that might otherwise never learn of it. It can also lead to many benefits for your business, such as:
Have you thought about trying cause marketing, but you don’t know where to start? Maybe you tried before, but the marketing plan never took off. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
1. Give from your heart.
Cause marketing is most successful when you are supporting a nonprofit that you and your employees truly believe in. Take some time to consider what issues and causes matter to you and your team the most. Involve your employees in discussions. Sustained support and effort come more naturally when you give from your heart.
2. Consider a cause related to your business.
The cause you select does not need to be directly related to your business. However, if you can make a connection between your business and the nonprofit’s mission and values, you may be able to elicit more involvement and a sustained drive behind the campaign. Choosing a cause that couples well with your business is a worthwhile approach.
3. Think about making more than just a monetary contribution.
A dollar-value donation will be appreciated by a nonprofit that likely has a tight budget. However, there are plenty of other ways to support as well. Maybe you or a staff member has graphic design skills and can help the organization update their marketing materials. Perhaps they need volunteers at events or to support their limited staff. There are many ways to help. Once you pick your cause, ask them!
4. Formalize your partnership.
Reach out to the nonprofit you want to work with and take the time to explain your interest and plans. Gather their thoughts and learn more about them and any initiatives they have going. Having a better understanding of the organization will allow your business to better support them and develop marketing ideas that will be mutually beneficial for both parties. Solidifying how and when contributions will be made are important items to discuss.
5. Map out a marketing campaign.
Once you formalize your partnership with the nonprofit, work with them to map out and co-promote your campaign. Mapping out your marketing plan proactively, working with your partner nonprofit in the process, and choosing a strategic time to launch can ensure everyone is getting the most out of the collaboration. Both the kick-off time and length of campaign are important. Consider high and low times for both parties.
You will likely get more traction if both parties are promoting on social media and elsewhere. Remember to:
Always remember to keep any call-to-action upbeat, clear, and easy to follow. If you have access, using customer relationship management (CRM) software can aid you in finding the right audience to promote the cause and raise awareness. It can streamline sending follow-up messages of thanks for those who participate and contribute.
Small businesses have typically supported their communities by giving back. Marketing may not be the priority when doing so. However, there are many marketing benefits to garner, and it can lead to exponential support for the cause that you care about. It’s a win-win!