One way to create brand awareness and demonstrate social responsibility for your business is by a cause marketing campaign. These have a dual purpose: to increase company profits and contribute to the betterment of society as a whole.
Cause marketing campaigns date back to the 1980s. One of the most successful campaigns in history is American Express’s 1983 campaign, which raised $1.7 million to restore the Statue of Liberty in partnership with the Ellis Island Foundation. For this campaign, American Express promised to donate a penny to the restoration of the Statue of Liberty for each new card issued in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 1983. The success of this campaign sparked the cause marketing trend.
Before starting a cause marketing campaign, you should learn the best practices. Keep reading while we go over a few examples of successful and unsuccessful campaigns.
What Makes a Successful Marketing Campaign?
A successful marketing campaign will be well-aligned with your company’s core values and objectives. For example, The Body Shop, a beauty and skincare brand, partnered with Tinder, a dating app, to restore the rainforest in a cause marketing campaign. They did this by creating a Tinder profile for a monkey in Vietnam, which provided information about the Bio-Bridges program.
The Bio-Bridges initiative was launched in 2016 to help create a way for endangered species to meet, mate, and repopulate. Overall, the campaign was successful because it was well-aligned with its opposition to cosmetic testing on animals.
What Can Go Wrong With Cause Marketing Campaigns?
To avoid getting criticism from your campaign, it’s best to align the supporting cause with your company’s brand. Most donations will come under scrutiny if the cause marketing campaign involves donating to an organization. For example, in 2019, Burger King launched a cause marketing campaign related to mental health awareness. This campaign included company donations to Mental Health America, which people criticized because some felt as though mental health is unrelated to the company’s brand.
With that, some questioned whether the company provided meaningful mental health support to employees. To avoid falling under scrutiny, make sure to align your campaign with your company values.
Tips For Cause Marketing Campaigns
The first tip you’ll want to note is to align the marketing campaign with the company’s values and history. As you consider more partnerships and causes, ensure that there is no conflict of interest between your company and your supporting cause. To apply this tip, you could ask your colleagues what kinds of causes, charities, and nonprofit organizations your company has supported in the past.
Secondly, you’ll want to think about the financial aspects of your campaign. After all, the costs and benefits of a cause marketing campaign may not add up. Some companies in the past have been secretive in disclosing how much it’s cause and corporate partners each benefit.
Finally, you should evaluate the legal aspects involved in cause marketing campaigns. Core principles like transparency and disclosure should be considered when planning a cause marketing campaign. While planning a marketing campaign, review your material for clarity and specific details, and check for any state or local campaign laws or regulations that apply to your company’s campaign.