Cause Marketing Cause Marketing | Giving back continues to be profitable

Cause Marketing is good for both your cause and your company

Cause related marketing, or cause marketing as coined by American Express with their campaign in the ‘83, continues to be a powerful marketing strategy. Cause marketing is a strategic marketing partnership that couples a brand or company with a social cause or cause-related organization for mutual benefit. It attracts consumers to a company or brand that patronizes a specific cause. This strategy has the potential to alter a consumer’s choice environment and boost its public relations.

In cause marketing, marketers implement a charity into their advertising campaign. They raise a charity’s awareness and gain a profit from their perceived elevated social responsibility. Benefits from this partnership include increases to: revenue, visibility of the cause’s message, volunteers, connections to corporations network from employees to suppliers, and experience in strategy development.

The IEG sponsorship report reveals – from back in 1990 when cause sponsorship spending was $120 million – the current-day amount spent grew 4.8% from 2012 and hit $1.78 billion in 2013. The recent evaluation from the Cone Cause Evolution study highlights that mothers and millennials are most prone to react to cause marketing. According to the evaluation, approximately 95% of mothers find cause marketing acceptable, and 9 out of 10 want to buy such a product. From those surveyed, 93% of mothers were more willing to change brands in order to support a cause, compared to 80% in all other demographics.

Millennials, aged 18-24, are second most affected by cause marketing. Ninety-four percent of this age group acknowledges cause marketing and more than half (53%) has purchased a cause-benefiting product. This age group is socially conscious of companies, and they base their decisions on social and environmental issues.

Regardless of the marketing segment, 81% of consumers want to support a company’s cause related product. According to the survey, 75% would like to offer their feedback and 72% would consider volunteering.

A staggering 85% of consumers have a more positive opinion of a company that supports a cause, and 80% are more likely to switch to similarly priced brands. Here are examples of companies that incorporate cause marketing.

Dancing in Tom’s Footsteps

Toms, established in May 2006, donates one pair of shoes for every pair of shoe sold to a child in a developing country, as per their website’s mantra, “you buy a pair of TOMS and I give a pair to a child on your behalf.” The company uses a simple campaign and relies on word-of-mouth. By 2012, over two million pairs of new shoes had been donated. The effects have been over 1 million dollars in revenue in the first year of the business and over 45 million dollars in revenue after seven years of the business.

Phones for Good: TELUS and Free the Children

A social media effort inspired a younger audience to be active with “Phones for Good.” This TELUS program donates $25 to Free the Children from the sale of designated phones. Since, phone sales rose 29% above forecast, and TELUS gained over 30,000 Facebook fans.


TerraCycle’s goal is to reduce waste by offering ways to raise funds by recycling items for nonprofits, for-profits, and schools. Companies that produced the waste fund the collection efforts, and TerraCycle turns the waste into products such as park benches and backpacks. Since 2008, TerraCycle has collected more than 2.5 billion units of post-consumer waste, created more than 1,500 products and donated more than $5 million to schools and nonprofits. They have an average of 551,156 visitors on their website per month and over 25,000+ social media mentions yearly.

How are you giving back to causes through you company? Share your success stories below.

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