In today’s world adverts are thrown at us constantly, we can’t escape them. So in a world filled with constant content how do you stand out? One way companies are trying to separate from the pack is by using a method called “cause marketing”.

Cause marketing is a rather nebulous term but a quick google search turns up this definition:

“Cause marketing or cause-related marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. The term is sometimes used more broadly and generally to refer to any type of marketing effort for social and other charitable causes, including in-house marketing efforts by non-profit organizations.”

After 9/11, a survey of Americans has threw up an interesting fact. More than 80% of Americans said they were likely to switch brands, if the price and quality were equal, to help support a cause. 13 years on and the statistics stay at the same level. Now more than ever, a cause-related marketing programme must demonstrate as well as communicate a genuine support for the cause if you want it to be successful.

Today, there are countless cause-related marketing programmes around the world by all types of brands. For a corporation, the benefits include building brand and customer loyalty. There have also been many cause-related marketing failures, too. These programme’s failures are usually linked to a lack of real support for the cause.


So what can you do to make sure you create the best campaign possible?

Pick your cause carefully.

Ensure that the cause fits with your brand; if you’re looking to increase customer loyalty make sure that it’s a cause that fits with what your customers care about. If you don’t know what they care about then ask them!

Make sure you communicate the partnership correctly.

In some cases partnerships have seemed like a blatant grab for publicity or even sales. Make sure the cause comes before the marketing.

Get your employees involved.

Cause marketing can be effective inside a business as well as outside. Giving employees a way to give back or support projects they care about can dramatically improve morale and engagement!

Set some realistic expectations.

A poorly managed partnership can produce dismal results. Setting an unrealistic goal can put customers or employees off, a goal of eradicating malaria in Africa is an excellent if lofty goal but if you fail to meet that goal the campaign as a whole will be viewed as a failure.


Making sure that the customers or employees know how their money/time has helped make a difference is really important. If you want an engaged and happy audience then you should keep them informed of the overall progress. Allowing them to support the campaign in extra ways, such as sharing the campaign or providing feedback keeps the campaign engaging.


These are just the basic building blocks, appointing a dedicated manager and giving them the tools they need to create a successful campaign will ensure your cause marketing project is the best it can be.