Cause related marketing is becoming more and more prominent in today’s society, where non-profit organisations are teaming up with profit organisations to support causes.
Cause related marketing is the “joint funding and promotional strategy in which a firm’s sales are linked (and a percentage of the sales revenue is donated) to a charity or other public cause” (WebFinance 2015).
It can be seen as an effective way for businesses to increase profits and brand reputation while also making a positive impact on the wider community.
“Cause related marketing is a highly effective way to build the brand, to reinforce, demonstrate and bring life to corporate values and to make corporate social responsibility and corporate community investment visible” (Adkins 1999 p.4).
But what is the consumers response to cause related marketing, and does it really improve sales and brand reputation?
Many studies have been conducted over the years in order to gain insights and attitudes towards businesses that are involved in cause related marketing. One particular study aimed to reveal the effects of strategic and tactical cause-related marketing on brand loyalty. It was found that consumers have a significantly enhanced level of brand loyalty as a result of cause related marketing as long as the firm had a long-term commitment to the campaign and the campaign is related to a low involvement product. (Van Den Brink, Odekerken-Schroder & Pauwels 2006, p.15).
Another study was conducted in order to understand the influence of cause related marketing on consumer choice. The study indicated that information regarding a business’s support of social causes can affect the choice to purchase products (Barone, Miyazaki & Taylor 2000, p. 248). However, this study did find that the consumer’s choices is found to depend on the perceived motivation of the company’s cause related marketing campaigns.
From the research I have conducted and the collection of articles, it is evident that cause related marketing is an effective way for businesses to improve their brand reputation, increase sales and also support a cause. However, it is so important for these for-profit businesses to ensure they complete sufficient research and choose to support causes that they feel strongly about. If consumers feel that businesses are only running cause related marketing campaigns to increase sales, consumers will be less likely to support their campaign.
Here are some examples of cause-related marketing campaigns:
“Gucci in association with UNICEF”
Adkins, S 1999, Cause related marketing who cares wins, Reed Educational and and Professional Publishing Ltd, Woburn, MA.
Barone, MJ, Miyazaki, AD & Taylor, K 2000, ‘The influence of cause-related marketing on consumer choice: Does one good turn deserve another?’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 28, no. 2, pp.248-262.
Business Dictionary 2015, Cause Related Marketing, WebFinance, viewed 13 May 2015, <http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/cause-related-marketing.html>
Markadiction 2014, Cause Related Marketing, online video, 21 August, YouTube, viewed 13 May 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1s65IGuRMM>
Van Den Brink, D, Odekerken-Schroder, G & Pauwels, P 2006, ‘The effect of strategic and tactical cause‐related marketing on consumers’ brand loyalty’, Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 23, no.1, pp.15-25.
Sixcia Devine 2014, 6 tips for Creating a Cause Related Marketing Campaign, online video, 8 March, viewed 13 March 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd0XhHRv7hw>