The pandemic has escalated the need for brands to play an authentic and active part in improving people’s lives and redressing the damage done to the planet.
Marketing should not just be about building brands and driving sales, but it should also endeavour to make a difference. This is called cause-related marketing, the symbiotic practice of promoting a brand while positively impacting people or the planet.
The change that Covid-19 has brought about will undoubtedly change how companies do business for the foreseeable future.
There is no returning to ‘normal’, only to what we will find on the other side of this pandemic – and it will most certainly not look like the normal of recent years. In essence, this crisis has revealed the threats of the self-serving way that we do business and how it negatively impacts people and the environment.
Many brands and their marketers have experienced unprecedented difficulties in the last 18 months and have suffered adversely as a result. This suffering has created empathy and an appreciation for meaningful help.
Businesses can make real change
Your organisation can implement tangible change in people’s lives if it has the authentic desire to do so. When you combine marketing and corporate social investment efforts, this is amplified because both entities are working towards a common goal. In a South African context, there are so many issues and challenges for an organisation to champion and be loved for doing so.
Marketing is no longer just about your brand
To solely communicate what your brand offers and how you provide your services or products is no longer enough. Consumers don’t want to feel that they are simply buying a product or service but that they are buying into an ideal. They want to feel that they support a brand or company that has a purpose and stands for something more.
Cause marketing attracts the right stakeholders
Thanks to the availability of information and the rise in consumer activism, customers are more likely to make their purchasing choices based on what they know about a business and what it stands for. When a brand’s purpose aligns with a cause that a consumer is passionate about, loyalty ensues, and your customers become your best brand ambassadors.
Cause marketing allows your brand to attract consumers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders that feel connected because of the cause you support and the purpose you live out.
Doing good gives your brand purpose
A business needs a clear purpose for operating to gain new customers and build deeper connections with current consumers.Cause marketing is the way we drive trust through communicating your lived purpose to your market by:
- Creating positive brand associations
- Creating relevance
- Forging positive emotional connections with consumers
- Building a point of difference
The power to change behaviour
Storytelling that taps into emotions is a means of cultivating empathy and is the most powerful way to persuade people to step closer to a brand or a cause. Campaigns can change behaviour and perceptions, challenge norms and inspire consumer loyalty by extending the organic and promoted reach of your messaging.
Conclusion: your cause marketing strategy
A brand’s purpose is lifelong and should inform decisions made at every level of the organisation, including partnerships with a cause. When choosing a cause or something to stand for, take a long-term view, and consider how it can be a part of everything your brand does. Your cause marketing campaign should be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy, and it should include dedicated marketing campaigns aimed at specific target audiences.
It is important to conduct market research and explore key insights to understand sentiment towards your brand. Develop behaviour-changing ideas and test solutions to inform your overall strategy. Drawing on identified change-makers, we can help implement the campaign for a lasting, purpose-driven outcome, assessing the impact and adjusting accordingly to maximise ROI.
[dot]GOOD’s purpose is to create a community of social change-makers, to understand and help communicate the purpose behind organisations. “Doing things well isn’t enough anymore; you have to do things right too. Socially conscious communication leads to better relationships, better business and ultimately a better world. In South Africa, today’s beneficiaries will become tomorrow’s consumers,” concludes Baretta.
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