Cause Marketing: Make a Positive Contribution to Society and Your Business

    • danner-spencer-headshot.jpg
    • Spencer Danner

      Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility
      Mar 17 2023

Cause Marketing: Make a Positive Contribution to Society and Your Business

ESG has risen to the forefront of the consumer conscience and is actively reshaping how businesses invest and operate in today’s economy.  If you’re wondering what’s behind the ESG movement, let’s start by breaking it down.

ESG stands for environmental, social and governance and refers to a host of issues that impact the society in which we live. Concerns, range from clean water and climate change, to social matters, including human rights, mental health and breast cancer prevention.

A recent survey indicates that 75% of Americans expect businesses to positively impact society. Eighty percent of consumers are willing to financially back their commitment by paying more to purchase from companies that actively support ESG initiatives.

Fortunately, businesses are right in line with their customers’ expectations. Ninety-one percent of business leaders responding to a recent survey agree that they have a responsibility to act on ESG matters and make a positive contribution. 

However, adherence to ESG initiatives isn’t only good for the community. Through cause marketing, a company can utilize their support of ESG issues to publicly define the organization’s brand persona and even create a way for customers to make active contributions to the world in which we live.

What is Cause Marketing?

A cause marketing strategy is a collaboration between two organizations who both stand to benefit from the collaboration. It can also mean when a company engages in a charitable or social campaign.

The Goal of Cause Marketing

When starting a cause marketing campaign, it’s important to remember that your end goals are different from other types of promotional initiatives. Instead of actively promoting a product or service, cause marketing helps to define your brand by demonstrating your values. In essence, you’re promoting your good works and inviting others to join the cause.

Many organizations start a cause marketing campaign by developing a product line or service to support an issue they champion. For example, FNBO invests in community organizations that provide access to mammography services for low-income women.  By underwriting this care, we help to eliminate cost barriers to crucial preventive screenings and reinforce the importance of early detection.

To let others know of our support, we have developed the breast cancer awareness debit card. When customers see the card design, they immediately understand our commitment to the cause and are provided an avenue to join us in raising awareness. We also use debit card designs to increase understanding around additional issues, such as kindness, mental health and Hispanic heritage.

Tips for Starting a Cause Marketing Campaign

Given the goals of cause marketing, it’s important for your approach to be rooted in the values of the company.  Cause marketing efforts undertaken sheerly for the promotion or sale of products will be viewed as inauthentic by consumers and could negatively impact your brand.

 It’s also important to give thought to the products you use to underscore your commitment. In today’s age, customers are looking for more than a business relationship based on the sale of products or services. Instead, they want to join a circle of caring. Cause marketing products should support this goal by easily increasing awareness of the issues you support.

Ultimately, cause marketing allows companies to open avenues of giving and support to their customers and deepen bonds through caring, encouraging long term relationships and brand loyalty.

The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.