Why “Cause Marketing” is Huge in 2020

Cause marketing is not exactly a new concept but market trends show this strategy is increasingly popular in recent years. What’s more, the sheer goodness of intent behind this strategy is sure to evolve, improve and flourish even further in 2020.

But what is cause marketing and what should you know about it?

In this article, we take a close look at this unique strategy and how businesses in every industry are using cause marketing to generate traffic and create new customers.

What You Should Know about Corporate Giving and Cause Marketing

Corporate giving was huge last year and refers to an effort by for-profit businesses to deploy high moral and ethical standards.More specifically, cause marketing is a collaboration between a non-profit and brand of some kind. Got it? Corporate giving ensures the brand is socially responsible and cause marketing is a marketing program that uses a charitable cause to benefit the brand image.

In this sense, cause marketing is mutually beneficial and can help raise money or awareness for charity, while bolstering a brand in the eyes of the public.

Just one more thing you should know…

Corporate giving will most often involve a tax-deductible donation!

Why Consumers Care More About Cause Marketing

At a time when the online world has made everything so much more transparent, it should go without saying that consumers pay more attention to the intricacies of a business. For instance, we not only know how products are made but also what ingredients or materials are used during the process. And that’s important because many ingredients or materials are bad for the environment.

Think about palm oil and single-use plastic – many people will not support business that use them.

Anyway, the point is, people care about the practices and beliefs behind the brand. In fact, recent studies show that 50%+ of consumers are now more trusting of businesses.Moreover, these studies illustrate how over 90% of consumers will choose one brand over another just because of whatever cause they represent or support.

That being said, there is another major reason as to why a brand might deploy cause marketing…

You see, cause marketing is also a differentiator. In other words, cause marketing is a way for brands to set their product or business apart from the competition. Let’s take a look at some examples: 

Kool8 is a water bottle that not only looks good and gets the job done but also does good at the same time. Designed as a fashionable bottle to carry and insulate drinks, Kool8 is industrial strength and the most eco-friendly bottle on the market. Great product right? Right.

But Kool8 have also used cause marketing to take things up a notch and give 20% of their profit to underprivileged regions around the world. In other words, everyone that buys a Kool8 bottle is helping the environment, while donating money to people in less fortunate places in the world.

Another great example of cause marketing is Veganuary – a month long effort that tries to promote the benefits of a plant-based diet. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the organization used digital marketing in the United Kingdom to create a fanatical following. One year later, the same concept was rolled out in Australia and the United States with more than 60,000 people signing up.

Meanwhile, Tiesta Tea is a fast growing tea brand with a fiercely loyal fan base. However, the impressive growth of Tiesta Tea is not down to the great tasting tea alone, for cause marketing has played a pivotal role for the brand. You see, the Tiesta Tea Foundation provides assistance to disadvantaged areas, while helping people in need who are closer to home. For instance, the “Living Well” project installs wells for farmers in Nigeria. Meanwhile, TTF organize events and promotions in various cities in the United States to create awareness for people with disabilities or special needs.

Cause Marketing: The Strategy and Methods that Actually Work

Now, you should know that cause marketing is like any other form of marketing – complex. With this in mind, there are so many ways to join forces with a non-profit and this collaboration will look different depending on the industry. It’s not all about the money either and most non-profits will benefit more from the publicity and expertise which they might receive through a collaboration.

Here’s a few points that matter for every collaboration in cause marketing:

Relevancy – Collaborations must feel relevant and make sense in the eyes of the public.

Core Beliefs – Choose a cause that will inspire and excite the brand employees.

Mutually Beneficial – While a brand should never expect too much from a charity or non-profit organization, there should still be a clear benefit for both sides.

As a rule, the non-profit should be relevant to the brand and industry. For example, it makes sense for an outdoor brand to line up with a conservation or environmental cause. On the other hand, it might look strange for a hotel brand to collaborate with a homeless charity. Either way, the brand must initiate a collaboration that will make sense to both employees and the general public.

But Cause Marketing is Still Marketing

Social media is arguably the best place to promote and talk about a collaboration. However, it’s important for both the brand and non-profit to develop a clear plan for every social media campaign.

That is to say, nobody will know about this collaboration unless you tell them and cause marketing is all about marketing whatever is happening in the first place!

Final Thoughts

At a time when competition is so high in every industry, brands must search for ways to stand out from the crowd. Aside from pricing, cause marketing is an obvious answer and an opportunity to help non-profits and send out the right public relations message. However, cause marketing is not just about good deeds and this strategy is already proving a powerful way to generate new business.