Cause-marketing is one of the most reliable advertising strategies. Customers appreciate when small businesses give back to the community. The Breast Cancer Charities of America recently reported that 79 percent of consumers would rather buy from a company that is socially responsible than from an establishment that doesn't participate in a charity.
The advertising strategy is simple – small business owners choose a cause and design a marketing campaign that simultaneously generates awareness for it and the brand. Traditional marketing tools like unique promotional products can be used to advertise a local enterprise and a charity.
Follow these helpful hints when developing your next cause-marketing campaign.
Choose a cause you believe in
Forbes writes that consumers can easily spot when companies are trying to exploit an important cause for marketing purposes. Entrepreneurs should not pick a issue because it is trendy or popular – that sort of cynical behavior will have a negative impact.
The news source recommends that small business owners should pick causes that they personally believe in. An authentic campaign will help a local establishment endear itself to the community and support a worthwhile cause. Alternatively, Entrepreneur Magazine writes that the entire staff should have a say when it comes to choosing a charity or cause. The collaborative approach ensures that every employee is invested in the campaign.
Promotional marketing products help companies show support for specific causes and engage consumers in the campaigns. Traditional branded items can be re-purposed to create awareness for a charity or prevalent issue. For instance, a business could give out promotional key rings modeled after the red ribbon used for World AIDS Day.
Yahoo Small Business Advisor points out that promotional gifts help campaigns garner larger followings. Small business owners have options when it comes to distributing their charitable gifts. Employees could give the promotional items to every customer at point of sale terminals or hand them out as thanks for donations.
Hold or sponsor an event
A special event can generate more awareness for a cause then other marketing tools. Entrepreneurs who want to attract donors to their establishments can hold promotional giveaways in conjunction with a charitable function like a food drive. Every contributor should be rewarded for their good deed with small prizes.
Alternatively, local businesses can partner with each other and a charity for a community event. The unified approach usually generates much more interest for a cause and participating companies than individual efforts.
Cause-marketing shouldn't be entirely one-sided. A small business shouldn't generate profits from an awareness campaign without actually helping a charity. Companies have to give more than advertising space to a cause – they should should actively participate and donate. Even small contributions can effectively demonstrate to consumers that entrepreneurs are not simply capitalizing on a cause.
Entrepreneur Magazine recommends taking the efforts a step further and donating time and effort, not just money. Employees should volunteer with a nonprofit organization multiple times per year. Owners should make volunteerism a requirement for all of their staff members to ensure participation.
The benefits of cause-marketing
Small business owners can reap enormous benefits from a cause-marketing campaign. The Breast Cancer Charities of America writes that charitable advertisements help independent companies compete with large chains that possess vast marketing resources. Local establishments that raise awareness for a cause can boost their credibility among consumers and compete with corporations for market penetration.
The news source also points out that cause-marketing reduces employee turnover. Staffers enjoy working for a company that is socially responsible. Many workers choose to stay with their employers because not many businesses participate in charities and important causes.