Cause marketing is playing a bigger role in consumer consumption.
In fact, a 2021 study from IBM Institute for Business Value found that 44% of consumers will choose a brand or product if it aligns with their values.
A cause marketing campaign can significantly improve your brand awareness and provide a positive lift for the cause you support. But what is cause marketing, and why should you embrace it?
What Is Cause Marketing?
Most nonprofits rely on the generosity of their community of donors and grants for funding, and spend the majority of their budget on their mission. That means they often have a very small budget for marketing, if any at all.
But many nonprofits would benefit from marketing, both for general awareness of their cause and to solicit donations.
Businesses can help nonprofits with this through cause marketing — a marketing campaign that promotes a nonprofit or cause aligned with a business.
This can be a campaign by a business in support of a cause, a campaign by a media company for a nonprofit that a business sponsors (like a radiothon) or a campaign for the nonprofit that is underwritten by a business.
Cause marketing campaigns can make a big impact on a nonprofit, but they can benefit a business too. Let’s talk about some of those benefits.
Consumers prefer purpose-driven brands
Consumers today have more options than ever for almost every purchasing decision they make. A marketing message explaining why your business’s product or service is the best may not be enough to inspire a purchase.
Consumers now want to spend their money with businesses that show social responsibility — in essence, that they are focused on making a positive impact on the world, not only driving profits.
A 2020 report from 5WPR found that the majority of Americans 18-55+ believe it’s important that companies they buy from align with their values.
It’s especially important to young adults who are increasing in purchase power. 90% of Gen Z, born from 1997 to 2012, believe that companies must act to help social and environmental issues and 75% of them will do their research to ensure the company is authentically supporting the cause, according to research by Porter Novelli/Cone.
Supporting a cause shows consumers that you are more than a company; you have the compassion to seek ways to make a positive impact on the community. Choosing a nonprofit to partner with highlights your values and shows that you are making a real impact with an organization.
People want to work for purpose-driven companies
The effects of your company’s support will also reach your employees.
The same consumers who expect the companies they purchase from to match their values and be more purpose-driven also expect the same thing from the companies they work for. This is especially true for Millennials, or people born from about 1981 to 1996 — and they make up more than half of the American workforce.
Purpose-driven companies have 40% higher levels of workforce retention than other organizations, according to a 2020 Deloitte study.
Getting your employees involved in giving back can also help with employee engagement. At Federated Media, we developed a program called Federated Media Engaged – On the Move. Co-workers are encouraged and supported to use company time to volunteer for charities throughout their communities. More than 5,000 hours from at least 120 workers have been donated to causes that our employees care about. It’s consistently rated one of our employees’ favorite benefits year over year.
Supporting an important cause or nonprofit, especially one that makes an impact in your community, shows both prospective and current employees that your business cares about people.
Cause marketing at Federated Media
Cause marketing is near and dear to our hearts here at Federated Media. We support more than 15 local charities in our South Bend and Fort Wayne markets each year through a variety of events, such as B100 and K105’s annual radiothons for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. WOWO’s annual Penny Pitch radiothon collects donations every year for a different nonprofit in the Fort Wayne area. Radiothons are a great way for businesses to get involved with cause marketing for the first time since the events are already established.
Federated Media also helps businesses partner with local nonprofits to underwrite marketing campaigns. For example, Home Comfort Experts has helped support REAL Services’ with radio and content marketing since 2017. This helps REAL Services advertise their events and services and Home Comfort Experts knows they are helping an important organization get their messages in front of more people.
If you’re interested in starting a cause marketing campaign, Federated Media can help! Contact us today to get started.