Cause: It’s good for business.

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5 promotional programs that can help your business benefit from cause marketing.

How would you like to get 90% of your competitor’s consumers to switch to your brand? Maybe you would rather be able to connect with the 43% of people willing to pay more for your products?

Are you salivating yet?

cause_imgThere is only one thing you have to do. No, it does NOT involve selling your soul: quite the contrary. What you have to do is align your company with a complementary non-profit and help them raise money, awareness or consumer engagement for a social or environmental cause, then tell the world about it. Or what we call: cause marketing.

According to a recent Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility, 43% of respondents admit to willingly paying more for products and services from companies that have implemented programs that give back to society. Given a comparable price and quality, 90% of consumers said that they would be likely to switch to a brand that supports a good cause: this according to a Cone Communications and Echo Research study.

An older Cone Cause Evolution Study from 2010 reported that 83% of Americans wanted to see more cause marketing! The study also cited Moms and Millennials as the biggest proponents. When it comes to food and beverage products, 94% of moms want to know if the product they’re buying has a socially responsible tie-in.

Moms and Millennials! Okay, food marketers, are you salivating now? If not you may want to check your pulse.

So, here is a sample of five cause marketing promotional programs. Some of them are amazingly simple. Others are more complicated. All of them help companies demonstrate the heart and humanity of their business.

  • Pinups – Next to a coin jar, this may be the simplest retail program to implement. For a small donation, the consumer purchases a paper icon and writes his or her name on it. The store or restaurant running the program then displays it by hanging it on the wall. Businesses aligned with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals have raised hundreds of millions of dollars this way.
  • Facebook Likes – This is a very straight-ahead promotion. Whenever someone ‘likes’ a business on their Facebook page a donation of a predetermined amount is made to the designated non-profit. This program has the added benefit of building social media engagement for the sponsoring business.
  • Purchase-Triggered Donation – In this promotion every time a shopper makes a purchase of a designated product a donation is made to the chosen non-profit. For the participating business, Purchase-Triggered Donation programs build sales. These sales help offset the cost of the donation.
  • Sweepstakes/Contest Promotions – Many manufacturers run annual sweepstake or contest type promotions to support their retailers. The business goal is to engage the consumer and generate sales. With a little creativity, these promotions can also take on a social or environmental mission. Many times they are done in support of the retailer’s own philanthropic mission.
  • Cause branded products – A cause branded product is a long-term commitment on the part of a manufacturer. It involves producing and promoting a product that joins the manufacturer’s name with the cause in a very substantial way. However, if the association between the brand and cause is mutual and genuine it can pay off for the non-profit by providing the security of long-term income and can benefit the manufacturer by infusing a huge amount of goodwill into the brand’s DNA.

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