Making The Connection: Cause Marketing For YOUR Business
Every business needs some type of marketing machine. A cause marketing approach (and a complete PR Campaign built around it) can provide the most comprehensive and effective results for the amount of time and money put into a campaign. So what is cause marketing, and who can benefit from it? At it’s base, cause marketing is defined as a mutually beneficial partnership between a nonprofit and a for-profit. Some easily recognized examples include Tide’s “Loads Of Hope” Campaign that provides free mobile laundry stations in disaster areas, or Yoplait’s “Save Lids to Save Lives” program that gives a portion of proceeds to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.
Now that we have identified what cause marketing is, let’s explore the second part of our initial question – Who can benefit from it? A skilled and creative marketing or PR professional (an Alive & Fab associate for instance) is able to compose a meaningful and result driven campaign for almost any business type. Unless the core of the business is widely viewed as something that directly opposes community or positive values, such as a cigarette manufacturer, your consultant will be well able to make obvious and enhance the connection between your particular business and giving back. It may be difficult to picture this for your business, especially if you are a small business and are temped to think this approach is reserved only for the big corporations like Tide and Yoplait in our examples above. Keeping in mind the nature of small business and its direct impact on the community it serves, as well as the economic impact (especially with today’s economy) are a good start in making the connection.
I was recently given the opportunity to explain this to a potential client. The owner of the new cafe was very excited about a method that would help his establishment stand out from competitors and convey community values to customers. The owner was not, however, clear on how a campaign like this would work specifically for his business. After speaking with him about A&F’s connection with many charities, I discovered that there was an interest in donating the cafe’s day-old pastries to a deserving charity instead of throwing them out when the cafe closes for the day. Some major companies, like Starbucks, are known to do this on a local level. Using donations to form a relationship with local nonprofits would be an awesome giving back highlight for the cafe. I also suggested family friendly meal packages, supporting local schools through appreciation nights and fundraising opportunities, and more. A complete PR campaign tailored to this cafe, founded on the cause marketing premise, will forge a strong connection with its customers and make media outlets more likely to feature the cafe’s news and events. The keys to success with this method are 1) finding the genuine connection between your business and the community and 2) working with a knowledgeable marketing or public relations professional to strengthen, and highlight that connection.
To get started using Cause Marketing to improve your brand or business, contact Alive & Fab today by visiting our contact page here.