While creating a company mission statement and publicizing company values is the first step to developing a relationship with their community, companies can further develop a relationship with local stakeholders through cause marketing: collaborative campaigns between a company and a non-profit organization. In fact, cause marketing may be a necessity for some, as two out of three consumers think it's important for businesses to get involved in key issues.
Cause marketing campaigns can include raising money for local charities, sponsoring charitable events, and other partnerships that lend your company goodwill and values-based reputation in exchange for funding or outreach. Every business can benefit from cause marketing—the challenge is finding the right cause, partner, and campaign strategy. Ask yourself these questions about your business to create a strong cause marketing strategy.
What Are Your Business Goals?
Every business should have a handful of short-term and long-term goals. These can include revenue-related goals, such as increasing sales by 10%, doubling your percentage of return customers, or rebuilding your customer support tech stack. But they can also be qualitative, such as reducing plastic waste by a sizable percentage, setting DEI goals, or filling your supply chain with ethical vendors.
Your business goals don't have to have to be about what level of support you offer to non-profits or the number of cause marketing campaigns you have throughout the year. But by reflecting on your business goals, you can identify opportunities for campaigns that align with your brand and overarching strategy. Cause marketing is a particularly useful mechanism for achieving business goals related to increasing brand awareness or increasing customer loyalty.
What Causes Align with Your Business Values?
Identify causes that align with your business values—preferably, they'll align with your business niche, as well. For example, a sports nutrition business could support a local rec center or community sports programs. An organic foods store could align itself with farm-to-table initiatives or local food banks. If your brand is all about reducing waste, partnering with recycling organizations is a good move.
The core principle here is that you want to prioritize alignment:
- If a cause aligns with your brand values, then employees and customers will naturally be more interested in the cause.
- If a cause aligns with your company niche, it creates stronger recognition with new prospects who may not know about your brand values yet.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Take that alignment one step further and consider the values of your target market. If your demographic is motivated by social consciousness, consider cause marketing campaigns focusing on reducing your carbon footprint, diversity, fair trade, or other similar policies. If your audience cares about the local community, keep your cause marketing initiatives local, as well.
For some niches, cause marketing might not motivate your audience. In these situations, your employees may care, and you might find new customers collaborating with a respected non-profit, but your marketing budget is better invested elsewhere.
How Will You Measure Success?
Just like with any marketing campaign, measuring the results of your efforts is crucial. First, decide what metrics are a sign of success: more in-store visits? More sales? More leads from through the campaign? Once you know what success looks like, put the tools in place to measure your success:
- Analytics tools that can measure changes in online activity
- Marketing attribution tools that determine activity generated by the cause marketing campaign
- KPIs and goals that establish the boundaries of success and failure
Can You Make a Meaningful Impact?
To really be successful, cause marketing should make a substantive, measurable impact that inspires your audience. Otherwise, it’ll feel like lip service. Meaningful impacts require time, money, and effort, so be sure you have the resources available to create a strong cause marketing campaign before you get started.
Cause-related marketing campaigns don't have to have a giant scope; you don't have to make national news. But whatever the scope of your campaign and efforts are—no matter how wide or narrow—make a meaningful impact.
Put Your Best Foot Forward in Cause Marketing with Mid-West Family Madison
Cause marketing can be a great fit for your business if your business values, customer interests, and business goals align. If you think cause-related marketing campaigns are a fit for your business, Mid-West Family Madison is here to help. Our team can help you develop a strategy, reach out to media partners, and build momentum—contact us today to learn more about the next steps.