Introduction to Cause Marketing Cause Marketing is the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. (Wikapedia) The company puts the power of its brand and marketing behind the nonprofit’s cause to generate profits for both. (Daw, p. 1) The for-profit has the ability to reach consumers the nonprofit would not be able to for donations, while making the for-profit appear more socially responsible to consumers. “Numerous studies have shown cause-related marketing has helped increase a company’s profits. (Wikapedia) It also raises awareness for the nonprofits cause and reaches more supporters while increasing funding for the cause.
“Today, more and more companies are realizing they can no longer afford to be anonymous benefactors or disengaged citizens. ” (Daw, p. 28) In recent years the term has come to describe a wider variety of marketing initiatives based on the cooperative efforts of business and charitable causes. However it is important to differentiate cause marketing from corporate philanthropy or sponsorship, it is in fact an intersection of the two. Sundar, p. 208) The objective of all cause-related marketing programs is sales and a promotional campaign is undertaken to that end. Sponsorship and corporate philanthropy is a fixed amount of money which is negotiated and donated in advance to a nonprofit organization for an event or program. (Sundar, p. 208) In return for sponsorship the nonprofit uses its marketing to promote a companies involvement and support of the cause. For example, the company’s logo will appear on the nonprofits marketing materials for an event.
Overview of Findings Studies done by Cone Inc. a marketing communication agency that tracks American attitudes towards corporate support of social issues, have brought cause marketing data into sharp focus. (Sundar, p. 207) In the Cone Corporate Citizenship Study the consumers’ answer to the statement, “I am likely to switch from one brand to another that is about the same in price and quality, if the other brand is associated with a cause. ” has been staggering. In 2001 81% agreed they would switch brands, in 2004 86% would switch and in 2006 89% stated they would switch brands if associated with a cause. Cone Case Studies 2001, 2004, 2006) “Cone research reports…have identified key motivators that are driving changes in the corporate sector: employees, communities, and consumers are all demanding that companies play an active role in building community and demonstrate what they stand for.
Cause related shopping is the second and third means of providing charitable gifts for those who planned to give a charitable donation over the holiday season. (Daw, p. 2) In fact the British Business in the Community 21st Century Giving Research showed that 83% of those who participated in a cause initiative said it enabled them to support a charity more that they would have otherwise done. (Daw, p. 32)This is dramatic indicator of consumer attitudes and an important differentiator for product marketing.