May 27 ,2016
Do you have your strategy and audience defined and in place, but are not sure how to measure success?
The appropriate measuring tools will depend on the objectives you’ve set, as with any marketing plan, but in cause marketing there are a few key things that should always be measured:
During the initial stages of your campaign, the reach metric will determine how many people within your audience were exposed to your new messaging. Increasing awareness among your target audience is the very first step in initiating a deep connection. Work with your marketing agency to determine which types of reach will prove the most effective for your specific brand and campaign.
Odwalla Campaign by Good Solutions Group
If the reach portion of your campaign proves successful, it can facilitate the audience behavior flow from awareness to engagement. This is especially important in cause marketing because interaction and a positive voluntary response from your audience are good indicators of their attitude and willingness engage with your brand.
Example: The Odwalla Plant a Tree campaign drove 35% of all website visits and Facebook fans for the brand during promotion, demonstrating that audiences took initiative to learn more about the brand’s activities.
Business initiatives that are relevant to your audience and are positively impacting communities often drive significant earned media, driving broader reach. Apart from saving you advertising dollars, having a third party such as community papers, bloggers and news networks brings credibility to what you’re doing. This campaign for Coca Cola earned over 600 million impressions worth $2.5 MM, but also, it demonstrated that those that chose to write about the campaign decided it was valuable news for their readers.
Think back to the reason your organization decided to develop a cause marketing campaign. What were some of the attitudes toward your brand that needed to be addressed? Was one of your goals to create a stronger emotional bond with your audience? Were you hoping to increase brand loyalty? Determine your starting point, the audience attitudes and compare it to where you are now to evaluate if your cause marketing is influencing brand sentiment.
Cause marketing done right will support your business goals, and these should be monitored closely during the timeframe of your campaign to evaluate the success of your efforts. Good Solutions Group monitored Dasani’s retail sales throughout the time of the campaign created to communicate Dasani’s evolution into a plant-based bottle, which helped reverse purchase decline at retail from -15% to +76% average, with a high of +239%.
A recent survey by Kelley Blue Book reveals that corporate social responsibility can lead to sales increases for the automotive industry as “Sixty-two percent say they are more likely to purchase a vehicle brand if that brand is promoting a social good campaign.”
Subaru was mentioned as a leading automotive brand with campaigns that maintained long term impressions: “For those who have heard of specific social good campaigns, Subaru had the highest percentage of recollection at 61%”
Our campaign for Subaru aimed to create awareness of the new Subaru Outback model in 2010, and a cause marketing partnership with parks allowed for active lifestyle audiences and park lovers to test the cars at in-park events. By measuring test drives and impressions, engagement and awareness were evaluated to be successful.
Increased Sales is another business oriented measurable outcome to be monitored after your cause marketing campaign. According to the Cone Communications Social Impact Study, millennials are 89% more likely to buy products and services from companies with a CSR initiative. To get any idea of how much effect a cause marketing campaign can have on sales, keep in mind that Good Solutions Group campaigns average a 201% ROI.
A combination of all these metrics and others as needed to evaluate your specific campaign can help keep your efforts on track and evaluate whether your audience is having the response to the campaign messaging that you hoped for.
May 20 ,2016
An organization that truly believes in its cause should seek to ensure that its practices support the cause within the business first.
An article recently published on Inc.com comments on the idea that marketing should be about a bigger concept – a movement. The Small Business Saturday movement is highlighted as evidence that consumers place high importance on business models that impact their communities. A brand name and competitive pricing are no longer enough.
For cause marketers, this information is nothing new, as signs of consumer interest in social responsibility have been growing over the past several years. Now, however, the cause must become part of the business model.
A company that donates to wildlife preservation for example, cannot develop source materials for products that are tested on animals, without risking backlash and loss of trust. Sometimes these conflicts aren’t as easy to spot, making an intentional and thorough review of business practices alongside cause efforts absolutely necessary to identify and address any contradicting messaging in brand image and business practices.
In 2014, a healthy foods influencer from foodbabe.com challenged Subway’s fresh food image and pointed out that Subway bread in the U.S. contained a chemical used to make rubber soles and yoga mats. The blogger Vani Hari says she “targeted Subway because of its image of serving healthy food.” As a brand advocating for a cause, its important to see that business practices are adjusted to enhance and support a commitment to a cause. Subway appropriately responded by creating a new recipe without the ingredient in question, and to better align its food items with its fresh food claim.
This opportunity to respond to issues that are important to target audiences is a big component of cause marketing. At Good Solutions Group, listening to the target audience comes before and throughout each step of the campaign to ensure that programs support and increase in value, transparency and alignment of goals to the consumer-brand relationship.
A sign of a successful cause marketing campaign immediately displays contribution toward reaching business objectives as it did in this campaign for Odwalla that aimed to plant trees across 50 of America’s parks. Odwalla, a healthful juice and food brand, was able to demonstrate its commitment to its environmental roots while delivering 200,000 food samples to its target market.
Beyond marketing, businesses depend on relationships with consumers and other stakeholders, and this move can support initiatives across different department within the organization, such as sales, community relations and public relations. Public Relations Society of America website states that “CSR activities must be aligned with the organization’s core mission, values, and service or product. These activities must work to achieve business objectives and should have measurable outcomes.”
Integration of corporate social responsibility efforts should change your business to make it better, to make your impact stronger, and to build trust and transparency with consumers and other stakeholders. Don’t know where to start? Give us a call.
Mar 05 ,2015
Cause marketing is not just for do-good-ers. Cause marketing can drive strong business results and ROI, while simultaneously signaling to your consumers and employees that you are the kind of company they want to be associated with. Good Solutions Group (GSG) CEO Shari Boyer has six principles that make for successful (and award winning) cause marketing programs.
1. Find a cause that resonates with your corporate culture and values.
The Odwalla Plant a Tree program is a great example. In 2009, GSG connected Odwalla not only to its environmental roots, but also to lifestyles of health and sustainability, a demographic otherwise known as LOHAS, through an innovative program that allowed consumers to “plant” a tree in a state park by voting online.
2. Clearly state the result or goal of the cause campaign.
In the Odwalla Plant a Tree program example, Odwalla clearly stated the number of trees they would plant each year, if enough consumers visited the website. And they did! The program “sold out” of the trees within 2 weeks.
3. Local problems or issues resonate more than national.
The Plant a Tree program was successful because it allowed consumers to choose which state they wanted their tree planted in. It made a difference in their backyard, not across the oceans, and far away. Not that consumers don’t care about causes far away, but campaigns with local impact see strong results.
4. Educate the consumer about the cause.
In the Odwalla case, the website was full of fun and educational facts about the power of trees. Consumers could learn about the cause, while they were voting.
5. Engage all stakeholders
Cause programs shouldn’t sit in a silo, over in the Public Affairs Department. Cause programs work best when they are integrated with a Retail Partner (critical for driving sales results), Employees (through volunteer events), Press, and Consumers.
6. And lastly, be positive and focus on the outcome.
You don’t have to be all gloom and doom about the problem, instead focus on the positive outcomes that your campaign can accomplish.
Check back for more examples of great cause marketing campaigns on the blog.