The marketplace used to be driven by competition amongst price. That is no longer the case. The consumer used be loyal to price, product, and brand. That is no longer the case.
Today, consumers are attracted to organizations that are socially-responsible, whose values most align with their own, and who are active in giving back to their community.
Tapping into this idea is known as: Cause-Based Marketing.
Cause-Based Marketing is inherently good. It provides a wealth of intrinsic benefits. And, it's good for business, though that's not really the purpose of the concept.
Cause-Based Marketing can be defined one of two ways, depending on what you're doing.
First, cause-based marketing can refer to a collaborative effort between a for-profit brand and a non-profit organization for the purpose of pursuing a mutual benefit. The term can also be employed to refer to a for-profit brand engaging in a marketing campaign built to support a social or charitable cause.
Cause-Based Marketing is a good thing.
Here are some insights on how to build a good cause-based marketing strategy.
Start with something you believe in.
Don't just go with what's sexy. Invest in what matters to you the most. Trends aren't worth much in this space. This is about passion, not growth. In short, the only way you'll find success here is if you genuinely care about the cause.
Avoid optical allyship.
'Supporting' the cause of the moment or attempting to capitalize and exploit a popular movement will kill your brand. Defining your support as only contributing money or paying lip-service to the cause could be fatal. Consumers are able to see right through these tactics.
Work to integrate the cause into your brand, allow it to grow with you, make it a part of what you're doing...not just some side piece.
Collaborate with the cause.
Demonstrating a willingness to actually work with the cause, or the organization, is your best bet at success. Not only is the most moral path, but it will appear most genuine.
Work with the organization to help them grow.
Collaborate on the campaign, maximize its effectiveness. Work to not only build the core of the campaign, but help the organization gain exposure.
Put an emphasis on earned media.
Cause-Based Marketing can, and should, have many components. However, a key tenet of this type of campaign will revolve around a strong public relations campaign. That is, connecting with stakeholders without paid advertising.
Engage in actions that will draw attention to your cause, build excitement, and generate long-term loyalty from the consumer.
Cause-Based Marketing has many faces. It can be accomplished a lot of different ways. What's most important to understand about this form of marketing is that its core purpose is not for your organization to profit or gain exposure, though, if done effectively, will happen.
The purpose of this type of outreach is to provide a benefit to an organization doing meaningful work in your community.
MDW Agency was founded on these principles. That's why we launched our Marketing For Good initiative. From the beginning, we knew that we were going to invest in our community because when our neighborhood is thriving, so are we.