Something that has grown more prevalent in recent years and actually adds a dimension to the whole “win-win” nature of effective marketing is Cause-Related Marketing (also simply called “cause marketing” by some). This is where an organization partners with a cause or purpose and agrees to help fund the cause or purpose by allotting or donating a portion of its profits toward that cause. For example, 7-Eleven stores has adopted as its cause of choice the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In addition to donating a portion of its profits to help cure Muscular Dystrophy, 7-Eleven sponsors several events and even donates the manpower of its employees for the coordination and execution of the event. I’ve seen this first hand in some of the events my family and I have helped with.
Cause marketing is potentially a triple win. The company wins through the added goodwill that may be gained by supporting the cause (though caution must be taken to align with a cause whose reputation is build on a sound foundation!), the customer gets to benefit by knowing that in addition to getting value for the product purchased they get to play a role in helping a cause, and of course, and the cause who needs the funds gets to benefit by leveraging the resources of the for-profit organization (though the cause must also be careful to align with a reputable organization). Win-win-win!
Currently this type of marketing and branding is very popular, especially with Generation Y consumers. Generation Y is very interested in doing business with, and working for, organizations who “give back” and are working to do some good in this world. Choosing which cause(s) to align with is not a decision an organization should make hastily, but it it does offer many benefits that make it worth a look.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Theresa