The Benefits of Cause Marketing for Businesses
Donating a portion of your sales can be an effective tool to achieve a variety of goals. No matter who you are or what your business is selling, the benefits of cause marketing are plentiful and compelling.
Making the case to donate with every purchase in a fledgling organization can seem challenging, but the business rewards you'll reap will be well worth the relatively minor impact to your margins. To help you see why donating will actually help you make more money in the long run, we have compiled a summary of the many benefits of cause marketing and the statistics to back them up. Any one of these benefits could easily justify the per-sale donation, but taken together, it’s hard to believe there are still businesses out there still not taking advantage of all that cause marketing has to offer.
Cause marketing can provide a lasting boost to your business's sales
When used properly, cause marketing can cause shoppers to buy more from your business. Simply stating that buying your listings benefits a cause has a very powerful effect on shopper psychology. When a good cause is involved, purchasing decisions become about more than just a combination of price, quality, and need; and that's a good thing for your business and the world.
Offering this additional social benefit can strongly influence decisions such as which products to buy and even how many to buy. This is especially true if one competitive product is supporting a cause and the other is not. These sales-boosting benefits of cause marketing are even more pronounced among the sought-after mom (2.1 trillion annual buying power) and millennial (200 billion annual buying power) demographics.
Cause marketing can earn you new customers
When it comes to choosing between two competing products, cause marketing can make all the difference with shoppers. Not only will it help you win the hearts and minds of undecided shoppers, it can even lead your competitors’ customers to switch to your brand. In fact, nearly nine in ten U.S. shoppers said, given equivalent price and quality, they would be likely to switch brands to one that supported a cause.
If your competitors aren’t leveraging the benefits of cause marketing already, it may provide the competitive edge you’ve been looking for. If they are, then you should strongly consider adding a cause component before you lose your socially-conscious customers. We all know winning a customer back is much harder than preventing them from having a reason to leave in the first place.
Cause marketing can differentiate products
Shoppers are the ultimate creatures of habit. Getting them to change those habits often takes more than a lower price or a claimed superior product. Customer loyalty is great when it is on your side, but when you’re the underdog in the market, it mostly working against you. If you’re going to have any chance of gaining market share, you’ll need to achieve strong differentiation between competitors’ products and yours. And as far as brand differentiation goes, there are few strategies more potent than supporting a good cause.
Indeed, global shoppers rank social purpose as the number one deciding factor when choosing between brands of equal quality and price—even beating out your current enemy, brand loyalty. With TOMS (625MM valuation) and Warby Parker (1.2B valuation) serving as shining examples of massive successes in notoriously hard-to-enter markets, it’s clear that cause marketing can be your business's ticket to the top.
Cause marketing can increase customer loyalty and trust
Want to keep the customers that you have? Then you should have a thoughtful strategy to in place to ensure you cultivate their loyalty and trust. Consistent quality and good customer service are a great start, but no brand strategy will have the same kind of impact as supporting a good cause.
Making a positive impact in your customers’ world can do wonders for their image of your business. This is nearly unanimously true across all U.S. consumer segments, though it is important that you don't select a cause that comes across as cause-washing or a poor fit (e.g. KFC’s Buckets for the Cure campaign). But if you do it right, you can reap one of the most valuable benefits of cause marketing of all: the loyalty and trust of your customers.
Cause marketing can satisfy rising customer expectations
The tides have been shifting for years, but millennials are taking the social responsibility movement to a whole new level. Given that millennials will have more buying power than any other generation by 2017, your business would be wise to seek to increase your appeal to this socially-conscious demographic.
However, it isn’t just the millennials. In fact, the vast majority of global shoppers believe that brands need to place at least equal weight on societal interests as on business interests. Okay, so you need to give money away to charity right? Wrong. Again, global shoppers overwhelmingly believe that simply giving away money to a good cause isn’t enough, and instead have grown to expect your business to integrate your giving into the very core of your business.
If you think something's missing from our list of benefits of cause marketing for businesses, don't hesitate to let us know.