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HOW TO INCORPORATE CAUSE MARKETING IN YOUR PROMOTIONS: 8 UNIQUE WAYS TO SUPPORT A CAUSE WHILE MAKING PROFITS

Cause marketing is a type of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) wherein the company’s promotional campaign serves the dual purpose of increasing profitability while contributing to the betterment of society. The general public today, is more aware and conscious than ever of the social and environmental phenomena around them. People are also greatly educated and possess a basic understanding of various business practices, which were once esoteric, secretive, and not very well known. Marketing strategies, industry practices, their environmental impact, and customer involvement and rights are topics that people are now commonly acquainted with. While customers have become well-versed with previously recondite areas, they have also developed a belief that big businesses owe a duty to society, and must play their part in addressing societal issues.

Businesses certainly play an extremely vital role in the regulation of the economic ecosystem of the world. In a customer-centric world, where businesses are in constant competition for the attention of their customers, it is important to look at more than just the brands or the pricing. Studies and reports often show that customers are likelier to switch to using a brand that supports a social cause than one that doesn’t, holding significant precedence over quality and price. The customers are keen on recognising that it is more than just the company’s interests that are at stake, it is a global community that is owed allegiance to. Customers are also switching to avail the products and services of business upholding and providing social or environmental benefits.

It is a powerful tool being leveraged by many corporates as well as non-governmental organisations. As it serves double the benefits of a normal and usual promotional campaign, cause marketing, or cause-related marketing, is useful in order to achieve the envisioned business goals as well as sustainably ensure attainment of social and environmental objectives. The term is also used to refer to the efforts of collaboration between a business and a non-profit organisation for mutual benefit. It may also include an activist message in advertising. It furthers positive public relations, customer relations, brings additional marketing opportunities, and has many other benefits.

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An ideal cause marketing strategy adopts an inclusive and focused approach. It may vary and differ across industries or brands; however, some commonalities exist, and are necessary for success in the campaign.

Here are 8 innovative and unique strategies for effective cause marketing:

1. Choose something you relate to- Cause marketing works mainly upon the belief and faith in the cause that is being projected. The cause must not be entirely foreign or alienated from your goals. Take up a cause you relate to, and believe in, in order to reach the audience with your cause. The belief forms a main ingredient of the promotion, and if the choice is something that the business will find worthy to collectively pool energy, passion and time into.

2. Choose something you can relate with- A subtle difference, but a great one; choosing something that is related, directed, and not random or general, is very important. The more specific the cause, the more credible the campaign. It is best to keep the cause somewhat related to the brand, so that it brings in a connection, and helps the customers perceive a logical link.

3. Contribute more than just monetarily- Financial help can be helpful, required, and of course, appreciated, but it is not the only way in which a meaningful contribution can be made. Adding value in the form of talent, time and expertise, and integrating social good directly into business, is just as important. In addition to raising funds, raising awareness is the need of the hour too.

4. Collaborating with the non-profit organisations- Working with the charity sector to provide them with extra funds, exposure, and support would maximise the productivity and efficacy of your promotional campaign. It protracts your involvement and effectuates your assistance, making it more emphasised and taking it the distance.

5. Highlighting the importance of social and earned media- A strong and bold emphasis on social and earned media project your marketing campaigns much further than can be imagined. Developing a multi media base and designing cause marketing campaigns accordingly will improve the visibility of the campaign in each channel. User-generated and user-targeted content is specifically encouraged, and caters to the needs and likes of the consumers.

6. Be innovative and unique- There are plenty of cause marketing examples out there. What makes yours stand out? Coming up with a novel or innovative solution to an age-old problem, or improvising on a technique that can greatly improve lives, concerted efforts in concentrating on bringing about a change reflect sincerity and build trust, drawing the public gaze and spotlight on to your business.

7. Identify relevant social causes- To gauge in-depth and analyse how social-cause marketing affects consumer perceptions, you must study the reactions and the knowledge of the general public on day-to-day social and environmental issues, news, and other sources. The causes that you would like to support and take up must be of importance and value to the society at large, in order for it to have a noteworthy impact. Its relevance and futuristic approach, including its prospective run, are important factors to be considered when choosing a cause to promote.

8. Impact implementation and policy- Try factoring in the difference you could make legally or politically by suggesting and impacting changes in policy framework and implementations in society. This helps you reach out to the consumer and actively participate, demonstrative of your actual concern and convincing the target audience that you’re not here just for the profits. Any moral obligation on a business imposes a social responsibility that accompanies, and carrying it out through modifications that matter, will allow you to create an impression that actually matters.

In all, it is essential to incorporate cause marketing in tour promotions. It grows your business while furthering a cause, and uniquely pays off, with no moral baggage and a substantial benefaction to the community on the whole.

Cause marketing can help you get ahead, while you take something forward.

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