Cover Story: Pay it Forward
The idea of aligning your brand with a charitable cause makes sense on two fronts: one, the obvious altruistic joy derived from helping those that are less fortunate and, two, it can help make consumers more likely to buy from you. What motivation is driving today's retailers to jump headfirst into cause-based marketing campaigns isn't of concern (let's hope it's reason No. 1). The fact is retailers are doing good for others.
Whether that's Macy's back-to-school campaign that saw the retailer donate $1 to DoSomething.org for every designated QR code that consumers scanned from within Macy's mstylelab (or juniors and young men's department) or Ikea rewarding its Facebook fans who invited their friends to the retailer's inaugural "Bring Your Own Friends Event" at its retail stores (special deals and giveaways were part of the event) with a donation to Save the Children, the common theme is retailers are attaching their marketing efforts to worthy causes.
The use of cause-based marketing seems to be working, too. Consider the following that was revealed in the 2012 Edelman goodpurpose study:
- 47 percent of consumers have bought a brand at least monthly that supports a cause, representing a 47 percent increase from 2010;
- a 39 percent increase in consumers saying they "would recommend" cause-related brands to friends;
- a 34 percent increase in consumers who "would promote" cause-related brands;
- a 9 percent increase in the number of consumers who said they would switch brands if a similar brand supported a good cause; and
- 55 percent of respondents believe CEOs need to make a long-term commitment to address societal issues.
The following pages of this cover story highlight retailers who have enjoyed success with cause-based marketing campaigns, giving further proof that this model does indeed work. There's also a handy four-step guide that can help your company decide which is the right charitable cause for it to support. With the knowledge that cause-based marketing works and the information you need to get started, what are you waiting for? It's a win-win situation for retailers and nonprofit organizations.
Using Facebook for Cause Marketing
Facebook marketing campaigns seem to be all warm and fuzzy recently as retailers are realizing that solving problems and helping those in need can be a very effective marketing tactic. The goals for Facebook cause-marketing campaigns vary: for some retailers, engagement is the goal; for others, the goal is increasing the number of in-store shoppers; and for still others, increasing fan count to their Facebook page is at the top of the list.