Category Archives: Cause Marketing

Why Cause Marketing Matters

What is cause marketing or cause-related marketing (CRM) and why is it important?

Cause marketing is a public relations and marketing strategy. By forging an alliance with a nonprofit or “cause,” a company can leverage the public’s demand for socially responsible corporations and achieve its business objectives. Its relevance and power has never been more important than it is today.

Did you know that up to now, only 5% of all nonprofit giving came from corporations? This indicates that companies must not know the value or understand the impact – on business and marketing. Here are some important facts about cause marketing:

  • Successful cause marketing can bolster sales, build brand awareness, improve employee morale, help manage or avoid a crisis, create a fresh public relations strategy, all while making a positive contribution to the community
  • 84% of Americans think charitable giving by corporations is important (product, dollars, services) and a company’s charitable giving affects nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans’ purchase decisions
  • Cause marketing demonstrates compassion and community involvement, which leads to improved recognition/awareness, emotional connectivity with customer, and increased loyalty
  • 89% of consumers say they want brands to shift money and resources to produce products that help people meet pandemic-related challenges

In partnership with Lakeland Bank today, Chris Rosica, president of Rosica Communications, presented on this timely topic – highlighting cause-related case studies and instructions from his book, The Business of Cause Marketing. These included:

  • Selecting a strategic charity/cause marketing partner
  • Ensuring your cause-related marketing initiatives get noticed
  • Utilizing CRM to bolster reputation management and impact crisis communications
  • Executing media events that command attention
  • Coordinating photo opportunities and visuals that appeal to media, which typically ensures media coverage
  • Measuring the impact on employee retention and customer and public perception

There are numerous cause marketing examples Rosica’s PR agency has been involved with, including Famous Amos Cookies, Rollerblade, Stew Leonard’s, HALOLIFE, Healing Hands, Verizon, ShopRite, and numerous others. All garnered print and broadcast media coverage with clear and compelling messages about the company and its mission, and some campaigns won national awards for the results.

When it comes to photo opportunities, here are a few we created, resulting in tremendous media coverage:

  • “Kicking off” Boys & Girls Clubs week for Boys & Girls Clubs on the 50-yard-line of Giants Stadium with kids, the State Director of BGCNJ, and a former Giants player
  • Instead of a traditional ribbon-cutting to open a new restaurant in Ridgewood, New Jersey, we created an ice sculpture ribbon and had the executive chef, restaurant owner, and mayor cut the “ribbon” with a chainsaw
  • Rather than the predictable oversized check presentation to a nonprofit, on behalf of a leading supermarket client, we created the world’s smallest $10,000 check – with a giant magnifying glass, which we gave to a hospice organization

These are just a few examples from Rosica’s book, The Business of Cause Marketing, that he discussed at this seminar. Rosica says, “Do good and do well.”

Top 5 Reasons Why Companies Employ Cause Marketing

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.

Contact pr@rosica.com for more info…

Pilot Searches for a Cause

In the limelight since he was 12, 23-year-old Jamail Larkins feels he should use his high profile for mankind’s betterment. Jamail has become increasingly interested in the need for organ donors, specifically among African Americans.

As an official ambassador for the Federal Aviation Administration, Larkins would like to eventually see an organ donor box printed on all pilots’ licenses, similar to those on a driver’s license. As a member of an African American family, he recognizes the need for awareness in his community (18 people die each day waiting for organs and 35 percent of patients awaiting kidney transplants are black). However, after countless phone calls and mailings to numerous non-profits for organ donation, Larkins passion for this cause has not yet found a home. He offers his help at no cost to a non-profit.

It seems that the red tape surrounding most non-profits is putting the squeeze on the charitable spirit they were originally created to embrace. Responses like “we have already allocated donations for 2007” or “we don’t have enough staff to facilitate your contribution” ring fear into the heart of do-gooders everywhere, while, at the same time, all organ donations seem to be languishing.

As pioneers in cause related marketing for the past 27 years, we have seen a marked change in not for profit organizations and attitudes. Jamail wants to help and perhaps you can help him help.

Public Relations Contact: Rosica Strategic Public Relations

Cause Marketing

Cause marketing or cause-related marketing is a public relations strategy that forges a strategic alliance between a for-profit company and a non-profit organization (or “cause”). A cause partnership is symbiotic: The non-profit organization benefits from heightened awareness, increased donations, and improved recognition and volunteerism, while the corporate partner improves customer loyalty, employee morale and retention and increases sales without sending too transparent a commercial message. A cause marketing program can also preempt or quell a crisis. With this strategy, a company incorporates a philanthropic agenda as part of its marketing strategy, garnering media attention and visibility through cause-related events, internal communications, merchandising, advertising, package design, online marketing, etc. While many U.S. citizens view cause marketing as a corporate responsibility, consumers reward brands and companies that embrace “giving back.”

Cause Marketing’s History and Examples:
“In today’s corporate culture, companies are not just encouraged but also expected to give back, to embrace a philosophy of corporate social responsibility,” cited cause marketing pioneer John Rosica. In 2000, the management of Parade Magazine, and several national charities that Rosica’s cause-marketing firm has aided through the years (including Literacy Volunteers of America, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Birthing Project U.S.A.) recognized Rosica for his work in this field and proclaimed him to be the “father of cause marketing.” While Rosica has furthered awareness of the practice of cause-related marketing, corporate America has a long way to go as their donations, according to a July 10, 2006 Newsweek article, still only represent about five percent of all charitable giving. Seventy-seven percent of giving comes from individuals’ donations. The study was conducted by The Boston Foundation and Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.

In its cause marketing practice, Rosica has partnered countless corporations with non-profit entities. Some of these successful campaigns include Famous Amos Cookies with Literacy Volunteers of America, Mark Smith with the Seeing Eye Foundation, Revlon with Birthing Project U.S.A., Independent Jewelers with Cure Autism Now, as Rollerblade with a childhood obesity effort.