Marketing is challenging for any business, and ecommerce is no exception. You have to master technology, branding and complex buyer behavior.
Younger people are more likely to shop online. However, they also may be more likely to disregard online advertising. You need a marketing plan that helps you to stand out and build credibility with online audiences.
A cause marketing campaign has the unique potential to build loyalty for your brand by supporting charitable causes. This can make customers more likely to keep shopping with you. They may even recommend you throughout the years. Such dedication is valuable in the constantly changing online marketplace.
What is Cause Marketing?
Cause marketing is a win-win for business and not-for-profit causes. For-profit and not-for-profit companies can team up to provide marketing benefits and increased profits for both.
Furthermore, businesses can focus on social causes throughout marketing. People are more likely to remember and be loyal to a brand that is strongly associated with a charitable cause.
Businesses have used a cause marketing campaign to draw positive attention for many years. American Express might be one of the best as well as first cause marketing examples. They gave a penny for every dollar spent on their card for three months to restore the statue of liberty. This cause marketing campaign had a positive effect on the American public's opinion of American Express.
Cause marketing is marked by a willingness to donate or reduce revenue for the cause. However, many businesses find that well-designed cause marketing campaigns increase earnings considerably.
Perhaps the most distinctive thing about cause marketing is that it is bigger than a brand. It allows direct engagement with customers that helps a brand to become part of the culture.
Are Cause Marketing Campaigns Effective?
Cause marketing is exceptionally effective, and it's only getting more critical. Millennials and Gen Zers may respond especially strongly to marketing for a cause.
- Earn more. Brands that people believe are making the world better earn more and have higher purchase intent (Marketing Dive 2019).
- Avoid losing customers. 64% of people avoid brands that they don't believe have an excellent social impact (Edelman’s Earned Brand Study 2018).
- Attract new customers, especially among young people. 69% of Gen Z is more likely to buy from a brand that contributes to a cause (7 Ways to Use Cause Marketing in Your Email Campaigns 2020).
- Take a stand. 66% of consumers think that brands should take stands on political and social issues (Forbes 2020).
- Embody what Americans think is important. 72% of Americans believe that it is important to buy from companies that reflect their values (Good.Must.Grow.’s 2019 Conscious Consumer Spending Index).
Benefits of Cause Marketing
Cause marketing has a wide range of benefits. Practically any business can take advantage of this form of marketing. Cause marketing may have a special meaning for online retailers, eCommerce of all kinds, and any other company that may be lacking in natural attention-getting.
From boosting service and product sales to improving the public's impression of your business' dedication to corporate social responsibility, there are many reasons to team up with a great non-profit organization.
Get attention while building, not losing credibility
Although millennials make over half of their purchases online, only 6% of them think that online advertising is credible. Cause marketing is another way to reach clients online and through social media without directly advertising your products or service. You can raise awareness for your cause and your business at the same time, escaping the scrutiny and disregard given straightforward advertisements. This is especially important for companies that operate entirely online.
Millennials are more receptive to advertising, especially online advertising, that is relevant to them, including causes that matter to them. 66% of young consumers view a brand more positively if it is associated with a cause, and 58% are more likely to buy from the brand (DoSomething Strategic).
A well-targeted social media campaign that explains how your business is helping the good cause that your consumers already care about is a cause marketing example that can get a lot of positive attention for your business, quickly and inexpensively.
Win in the race for loyal customers
Every business, from an entrepreneur just setting out to a well-established multi-million dollar company, wants loyal customers. Loyal customers bring in more loyal customers by telling friends and family about a company, displaying brands, and supporting each cause marketing campaign.
You may not want to wait around in the race for loyal customers. Corporate giving has increased by 15% in two years. Cause marketing is growing, and you don't want to be left behind as more brands begin adopting corporate social responsibility.
Customers are becoming more loyal to brands, but only a few brands win out with each customer. (Yotpo 2019) If you want to be in the handful of companies that have a customer's loyalty, you need an edge over the competition.
A third of customers have already stopped purchasing favorite brands by 2019 because they lost trust in the brand. You want your customers to trust you more thanks to your commitment to a cause, not to change brand loyalty because they lose confidence in your brand.
Stable revenue growth
Cause-related marketing doesn't just raise awareness for your cause and business--it increases income. 71% of Millennials are willing to pay more for something if they know some profits will go to charity.
Furthermore, 67% of people are happy to pay more to have a great experience. The satisfaction of contributing to a good cause can aid customers' experiences and will make them even more willing to pay more.
Cause marketing can dramatically improve customer loyalty. Customers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that they believe is committed to a nonprofit organization or cause. Increasing a customer's loyalty by just 7% can increase lifetime profits per customer as much as 85%.
Loyal customers are more likely to keep purchasing from a brand. Increasing retention of as few as 5% of customers can result in an increase in revenue from 25-95%.
Cause Marketing Examples
Kenneth Cole has a number of initiatives to further their causes of social justice and equality. Their Tied with Pride campaign combines a line of rainbow-detailed Pride clothing and shoes with a fundraiser and an extensive digital and social media campaign. This comprehensive strategy has cemented the role that Kenneth Cole plays in the LGBT community.
Natori values strong business ethics throughout their company and marketing strategy. Many other clothing brands contract with overseas factories and have no control over living conditions and wages for their workers.
Natori, on the other hand, built and controls its own manufacturing plant, which allows it to maintain high wages and quality of life for its workers. They go further to bring their ethical campaigns to customers with an integrated giving campaign in their eCommerce platform.
White + Warren
White + Warren doesn’t just make the softest and most fashionable cashmere that you can buy--they care where it comes from. They work hard to integrate ethics throughout their company, from the Mongolian herders where they source the Cashmere to the women who buy their garments. They have giving initiatives supporting charitable causes including the American Heart Association and let customers donate with every order.
As a cause marketing example, they use controversy and giving back simultaneously, making a strong statement as well as increasing brand loyalty.
Nike has many positive initiatives. During the Coronavirus quarantine, they recruited athletes to help promote their message to play inside.
Dove is one of the most poignant cause related marketing examples. They have been developing their reputation with a cause marketing campaign aimed at making real women feel beautiful for a very long time.
By giving away a shoe for every shoe that they sell, Toms formed a marketing campaign based entirely around cause marketing.
Levi has begun cause-related marketing by starting a free skatepark for kids in India.
Savage x Fenty.
Rihanna extends sizes for all products instead of creating distinct lines for different body types. Her cause-related marketing of appealing to every woman equally is present throughout the products, marketing, and every other aspect of her lingerie and clothing lines.
What is an Effective Cause Marketing Strategy?
The benefits of cause marketing are substantial, but unless you utilize an excellent cause marketing strategy, your investment will be wasted.
- Clarify your brand identity. Know what you want to communicate with your cause marketing campaigns so that you can create a plan that accomplishes your goals.
- Research causes. Choose a cause that aligns with your business values. Some nonprofit organizations are better conceived and more likely to last and work well with your business.
- Organize. Develop specific ways to proceed with marketing and make sure that everyone is on board and understands the mission. Consider various types of cause marketing to choose a plan that will work well for your company.
- Check language. You do not want to release any advertising or marketing language that could be considered insensitive, so it is essential to check and recheck your campaign to be sure that you are inclusive and respectful.
- Be patient. Developing a new brand image based around a cause takes time. Some brands, like Dove, for example, have been working on developing their campaign for many years.
How to Promote Cause Marketing Campaigns
- Let consumers know how they're helping. Utilize newsletter and social media updates about how customer spending has allowed the company to contribute to the cause. A good example or two of specific success stories are also helpful.
- Launch campaigns to prompt more spending. For example, match a donation to a charitable cause on every purchase.
- Banners reinforcing your corporate social responsibility in every email and on social media, as well as in every other advertising campaign.
- Welcome consumers to your social media and website pages with information about your cause.
- Reinforce why customers should feel good about your company after they have made a purchase.
- Encourage customers to share their involvement in your social cause.
Creative Cause Marketing Examples
A cause marketing campaign opportunity may occur when you are least expecting it. World and national events and unrest can create openings for you to start a campaign that appeals to the specific needs of customers going through a challenging time.
War, pandemic, and economic depression are unique times. It isn't hard to find a charitable cause to contribute to at such times. Opportunities for a compelling cause marketing campaign are plentiful when the nation is distressed.
Cause marketing examples during such times abound. Not only is it a good marketing decision to get involved, it is the right thing to do.
E-commerce brands have an especially valuable opportunity to reach out to customers during times when shopping in stores is more complicated. Consumers are more likely to reach out to new businesses and try new things when so much of life is changing.
- Make or sell products that you usually don't. Unexpected products may suddenly become some of the most valuable commodities, so stretch your business to see how you can creatively meet demand. Doing so isn't just a good business decision; it also is a way to help the cause at this time. Finding ways to make products cheaper is also crucial at such times.
- Defer payments. Wherever possible, now is the time to increase goodwill with your customers by allowing more extended payment plans and deferred payments wherever possible. Be sure to cite your dedication to the cause of helping people get through this challenging time as your reasoning.
- Build a new normal. If you can offer a product or service that shapes the new normal of living after a disaster, you can establish yourself as an essential part of this new lifestyle.
- Help, however you can. Whatever your business can do to make things easier on your customers or offer something valuable during this difficult time will increase the positive perception of your business.
- Respond. You may be swamped with requests that you can't do anything about, but it is essential to respond quickly to build trust with customers.
- Be consistent. Maintaining consistent posts on social media and your blog may be more difficult during this time. Still, it is crucial to maintain consistency so that you remain present in the minds of your customers as a voice during a crisis.
Start Your Campaign Today
If you're ready to start a campaign that will help your business to stick in the minds of your customers, build trust and loyalty, and do something good in the world, a campaign built around a charitable cause is a great choice.
Make sure to do your research and create a corporate social responsibility campaign that will work for you. Using a solution like ShoppingGives makes it easy for you to raise money for a charitable cause and incorporate powerful marketing campaigns in your business. To discover deeper insights on how your brand can get started with integrating cause marketing for your business, download the free Your CSR Playbook: Power Strategies For Social Impact Success.