Cause marketing | Five years of lessons learned

publication date: Aug 13, 2019
author/source: Jessica Avery

Cause marketing is not the exception, it's the expectation but it is more challenging than it has ever been. What's worked in the past will not work in the future. Canadians are giving. To be successful, business/charity partnerships need to be innovative. Strong cause marketing programs and not-for-profit partnerships are more necessary than ever for corporations. This is because cause marketing has become the norm. If you are not doing cause marketing or you’re doing a poor job at it, rewards are being left on the table.

Concerns about personal finances, the upcoming election, and pessimism about the future is depressing public engagement in cause giving. Also, public support and interest for causes is highly tied to what's in the news. For instance, when the environment is in the news, public interest in that cause for companies will rise. However, awareness is not the same as understanding.

As part of engaging in cause marketing, your company needs to be authentic to yourself. Everything is interconnected - everything a company does, both positive and negative, impacts cause marketing. While there are benefits, there are risks to taking risk. However, if you know your cause and your audience, then your risks will benefit your company. The Nike Colin Kapernick campaign was controversial but was true to their mission and their customer-base.

It is worth noting that cause marketing is highly market.

Finally, there are four key ingredients to a great cause marketing program.

  1. The program should tell a story, and describe what makes the cause different and its impact.
  2. It should also be easy to participate in.
  3. Multiple touchpoints provide greater opportunities to reach potential donors to grow funds and recognition.
  4. And lastly, the best initiatives tailor the message to speak to a target audience.”

Jessica Avery is Vice President, Canada, Ipsos Marketing. Ipsos does a regular marketing survey on what Canadians expect from corporations and how they should interact with the charitable sector. This article is a recap of her remarks at the Corporate Partnership conference. Any errors in transcription are due to too many smart ideas happening so quickly. 

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