For a small business, having a presence in the community is a big contributor to success. When a brand is recognized as local, it gives those who prefer to support "one of their own" the incentive to do business with it. Consumers are interested in companies that understand where they are coming from and care about the same things they care about.
That's where cause marketing comes in.
What is Cause Marketing?
Cause marketing is a collaboration between a for-profit business and a charitable non-profit organization or social cause for the purpose of building awareness. It can center around things like supporting an event to raise money for the homeless or attaching a brand name to a non-profit that helps illiterate adults learn to read. By supporting a worthy cause, your brand gets to help the community while increasing profitability. It's also a good way to develop a relationship with your target audience.
The Benefits of Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is beneficial to consumers and business owners alike. Seventy-one percent of shoppers report that they prefer to support companies that are aligned with their values. They want to spend their money with brands that get who they are and believe in things that are important to them.
Businesses that engage in cause marketing enjoy:
- Increased engagement with the target audience. When customers make a purchase, they are also supporting their favorite causes.
- Attracting new customers. When your brand supports a cause, it brings the awareness of those who may not have purchased from you before.
- Long-term loyalty. Companies that are vocal about what they stand for get repeat business from customers who feel the same.
- Revenue growth. Belief-driven shopping has given cause marketing a competitive advantage: 71% of millennials say they are willing to pay more for products if they know that some of the proceeds are being donated to charity.
- Making an impact. When a business supports a cause, the community benefits and the business is enhanced.
Cause marketing provides brands a way to make a difference in the world while reaching business goals.
How to Get Involved
Deciding to get involved in cause marketing is one of the best decisions a small business can make. There are a few ways to participate in cause marketing initiatives.
Partner with a local business or charity.
Decide which values you feel strongly about and research non-profits that work to support those ideals. Set a budget based on what you can spend and craft messaging that reflects your involvement. The message should be memorable and strike a chord with people. Donating a percentage of sales to the cause can encourage consumers to shop with you.
Host an event or virtual drive.
Hosting a live event to generate money for the cause is a good way to drive awareness. It can be something as elaborate as a gala or as simple as a special sale in your store. Offering support for a larger event being put on by several businesses is also a good option.
Work with a media partner.
The best way to make a lasting impact with your cause marketing is to partner with a media company. Meredith Nashville offers small businesses several opportunities to join in with already established initiatives.
Surprise Squad brightens the lives of deserving individuals by partnering with local businesses to provide needed help. Through nominations, people from the community are surprised by a team made of representatives from the business and News 4 Nashville to make something happen. For example, an area car dealership recently partnered with the Surprise Squad to donate to The Bridge Ministry, an organization that works to alleviate the suffering of the homeless, the working poor, and underprivileged children.
4 Your Community highlights individuals who are working to make a difference. Your business can make a difference by sponsoring these segments.
Cause marketing is an effective tool for generating awareness while doing something positive for the community. Contact Meredith Nashville today to learn how you can participate.