Industry viewpoint: to market or not to market your cause
I’m a cause marketer, but I’m also a consumer. I’m a consumer who wants to know what your company is doing to make a difference in our world. At first, I thought maybe because I’m immersed in this cause marketing space, my “want to know” was skewed — so I did some digging.
I asked a few acquaintances to weigh in on the topic and I was surprised that just about everyone jumped at the chance to talk about how their purchase was supporting something. From socks that protect rainforests, jewelry that donates a portion of the proceeds to mental health awareness to soap that funds mobile showers for the homeless and cosmetics that help girls learn to code, and so many more.
When I asked my teen daughter (Gen Z) if she thought brands who give back should talk about the good they are doing, her response was, “Of course. Why wouldn’t I want to support a brand that’s making an impact so they can continue to do so.”
My cause marketing friend, Joe Waters of Selfish Giving, recently shared several stats in his e-newsletter that blew my mind. Based on a survey of more than 2,000 adults ages 18-64, a majority cannot spontaneously recall a single brand by name that is taking care of the environment and fighting climate change, promoting diversity and inclusion or giving back to the community.
While there are a lot of companies and brands making a big impact, there’s a huge disconnect when it comes to delivering that message to the consumer.
At Healthy Family Project, we execute cause marketing campaigns in-store and on the digital level and have multiple strategies to bring the good our partner brands are doing and the impact they are making to the millions in our daily website, social and digital audience. The foundation to cause marketing is transparency.
Consumers expect companies to be authentic and transparent in their cause efforts. Companies should ensure their purpose and/or cause has real measurable outcomes and steer clear from sharing information that could be perceived as “green washing.”
While consumers and marketers seem to be split over how, when and if brands should tout their corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments, telling consumers about your company’s cause can have numerous benefits when done well and with transparency.