Retailers may have expanded their selling business online; however, with increasing number of business owners having the same idea in mind can make it difficult for growing sellers to withstand popular brands that already have a setup of potential customer base online.
Considering the early years of print advertising using banners, flyers, radio ads, to the evolution of search marketing that includes SEO tactics to rank up search engines, to multi-channel marketing that included multiple sources (TV, newspaper, etc.), to inbound marketing with the advent of social networking sites that include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and lately the wider use of digital promotional advertising through email, mobile, and website- marketing has come a long way!
Cause marketing a promotional buzzword for retailers
Marketing was started off with an effort to influence consumer’s purchase decisions, however; with the increasing competition, sellers are seen to be shifting their goals towards increasing relationship and retaining clients for long-term purchases.
Cause Marketing or Cause-related Marketing can itself describes it’s meaning. If you still confused, sellers who involve combined promotional tactics with a non-profit organization for a valuable purpose to both is called “Cause Marketing.”
Examples of Cause Marketing from retail brands and how does it help?
Dove- Embrace your own beauty
This popular personal care brand started its first cause marketing campaign named Campaign for Real Beauty back in 2004. The combined effort included marketing and communication agencies as Ogilvy & Mather, Edelman Public Relations, and Harbinger Communications (in Canada) along with other specialized consultants.
About the campaign
The campaign was started on a series of billboard advertisements showcasing regular women to encourage vote by passers-by on describing the natural beauty as mentioned in the image below.
Today, Dove Real Beauty campaign is performed over televisions and digital media encouraging women from across the globe to eliminate self-doubt and encourage them to embrace their real beauty.
How does it help?
Apart from allowing women to gain self-esteem and body confidence, the brand helps them to deal with beauty-related issues and body confidence as they grow older. Dove’ Self Esteem Fund supports the campaign; however, reaching 17 million young people with self-esteem education has surely helped the brand a larger customer base and increased sales opportunities over the years.
Starbucks- Share a cup for a good cause
In 2015 Starbucks Corporation gave $29 million in cash, including $14 million to Starbucks Foundation. The funding was to support their community building program, including their cause marketing effort with the Global Fund and partnership with Red.
About the Campaign
Starbucks Red is a combined effort to save lives by collecting funds to help finance HIV/AIDS prevention, education and other treatment programs. Raising more than $13 million and counting on, Starbucks Red frequently performs their cause marketing campaigns like you can see in the image below.
How does it help sellers?
Partnering with an organization already focused on the same social cause has helped Starbucks not only gain improved popularity but also, attracted a large number of to make frequent purchases(increasing sales) and allow customers feel good by contributing towards charitable causes that could save lives.
Macy’s- Be their surprise
Inspired by New York Sun’s famous Yes, Virginia Santa’s editorial page invited believers of all age to drop off their gift wish-letters to Santa at a Macy store or via macys.com/believe. Macy launched its “Believe Campaign” in an effort to raise funds to help needy people across the globe.
About the campaign
Launched in 2008, Macy’s Believe campaign contributed more than $30 million to non-profit organizations through their signature programs. Since 2003, Macy along with their customers and associates donated more than $93 million to Make-A-Wish through many projects.
What do you learn?
Bringing a smile to children with life-threatening medical conditions is not only helping the brand improve the relationship with their existing customers, but also allows them multiple opportunities to attract the eye of all those people who are already supporting the same cause.
Quick tips to perform a successful cause marketing campaign
1- Raise cause for the betterment of your community
Whether you are thinking to raise funds on your own or looking forward to partner with a non-profit organization, it is beneficial to work for a cause that can offer a value to your existing customers, who in turn, can be a good word of mouth for your brand in their networks.
2- Connect with organization in the same field
There are many non-profit organizations working on the same social purpose, however, not matching strategic nature of your brand may not create a good impact on your cause marketing campaigns. Therefore, considering organizations that are contributing towards the cause your wish to perform will be effective and quick to increase engagement.
3- Take advantage of social media
Lastly, you would like to perform promotional tactics over social media platforms to spread a word about your cause, as they’ll allow you to be in front of millions of people who visit their favorite networking on daily basis. The louder you are, the better chances of your cause being spread across the web!
“Cause Marketing” has surely helped big retailers a growth market of great potential, however, many small and medium retail business owners are seen to be embracing it. Instead of struggling in improving brand reputation, performing the right cause marketing can help retailers earn lifetime brand value among targeted audience.