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.