Today is World Corporate Social Responsibility Day.
From a business standpoint, it’s also the perfect opportunity to employ cause marketing.
Cause marketing is a public relations strategy that leverages the public’s demand for socially responsible corporations by forging an alliance between a for-profit company and a non-profit organization (or “cause”).
Under a cause-marketing campaign, a company incorporates a philanthropic agenda as part of its marketing strategy, garnering ongoing media attention and visibility through cause-related events, public relations activities, internal communications, merchandising, advertising, package design, online social media, and marketing. Cause marketing principles can be applied to any business model, whether the corporation is business-to-business or business-to-consumer, and regardless of company size.
Here’s the Top 5 Reasons Why Companies Engage in Cause-Marketing Campaigns:
Reason # 1 Give a Boost to Sales
Cause marketing attracts media attention, which gives the public greater awareness of the company. When properly implemented, cause marketing attracts media attention, which gives the public greater awareness of the company. And greater publicity (especially positive publicity) always translates into a bigger bottom line and desirability factor. A company that engages in a cause-marketing campaign enjoys increased sales because consumers show a greater interest in conducting business with charitable corporations. Because cause-related marketing impacts a company or brand’s image, it also impacts customer loyalty, which means that a company sees repeat sales from its existing client base and attracts new ones.
Reason #2: Build Brand Awareness
Did you know Famous Amos Cookies began with no advertising budget? No advertising budget whatsoever. However, in a textbook case still studied in college marketing classrooms today, Famous Amos and Literacy Volunteers of America (another little-known brand) partnered to develop grassroots media events that spread the message nationwide. With the help of Rosica Mulhern & Associates and its founding partners, Bill Mulhern, Marilyn Rosica, and John Rosica, the team-built brand awareness for Famous Amos Cookies, which eventually was purchased for millions.
Reason #3: To Improve Employee Morale
Companies that face high employee turnover and demoralized employees can ignite their employees’ passions by engaging in cause marketing. Common sense dictates that happier employees are more productive employees. If employees feel deeply passionate about a cause and understand that the company is concerned with more than profits, the company will see greater productivity and lower turnover. Companies that engage in cause-marketing campaigns will witness the entire corporate culture change for the better. Employees, excited about going to work, will feel good about the work they do.
Reason #4: Manage or Avoid Crises
In a perfect world, cause marketing should be proactive. Optimally, it should begin long before a company faces a public relations crisis, so that if and when an obstacle presents itself, the company has already established itself as a charitable one, and the fallout is not devastating. But let’s face it—many companies turn to public relations only as a solution to a crisis. If properly executed, cause marketing can help counter-act the reputational damage of a crisis by showing stakeholders your organization cares about a cause. This helps improve your brands image in the public eye.
Reason #5: Create a Fresh Public Relations and Publicity Strategy
One of a company’s main challenges is to keep itself fresh in the minds of its audiences when the company has nothing new to report. Ongoing media attention helps corporations (both business-to-business and business-to-consumer) build their brands by providing third-party endorsements, thereby boosting credibility and visibility. Cause marketing gives a company an evergreen story to tell. In terms of public relations coverage, this practice keeps the momentum going; it keeps the spotlight on the company year-round.
Nearly every company, regardless of size or objectives, should incorporate cause marketing into its public relations strategy. To order The Business of Cause Marketing, from Noble Press, visit Amazon.
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