Cause-Related Marketing: It’s More than a Marketing Tool

When you think of marketing, what do you tend to think of? Sales? Social media? Billboards? Have you considered that marketing goes beyond those concepts? While, as a business, the primary goal of marketing is to increase sales, there are other benefits to having a strong marketing strategy. Whether your business has been passed down through your family for decades, or it is just a vision in your head, company image is imperative to have established. An image is defined as a visual representation of something, or a popular conception. Applying this definition to a company then raises the question of: what do you want your company to be represented by, and how do you wish it to be perceived? The elements of your marketing go into creating company image. Cause-related marketing (CRM) can be used to give a more positive image to a company. CRM can be tactical, which could look like the act of collaborating with a non-profit by donating a percentage of each sale to the cause for a period of time with little involvement by management and little resources. Strategic CRM is when the campaign is long term, there is much involvement of the management, and there is a large amount of resources flowing into the cause.

A study into the effectiveness of the two types of CRM found that tactical CRM expresses more improvement to a company’s image than strategic CRM. Tactical CRM was also found to expand the magnitude of the image of the company. Cause-related marketing can also create a layer of empathy within the business, helping to connect consumers to the brand. Consumers not only look for a good product or service, but they also search for content that encourages them to change themselves and the world they live in.

In a study of empathy-based marketing and the effectiveness of it, it was found that there is an overall consensus that brands are no longer attempting to market and sell their product, but rather they are trying to include themselves in the community.

The most significant finding, however, was that most participants in the study reported that the brand image does not directly influence whether or not they would purchase the product. So why, then, should you utilize CRM? While it is seen primarily as a marketing tool to improve the brand, it is also a means to support a cause or community. It demonstrates to consumers what exactly you stand for as a company. It shows that your business is more than just a business. You can utilize CRM to increase your sales, but use it instead to give back to the community that has supported you. After all, your company would not be successful had it not been for the support of those who believed in the mere vision of the business you had in your head, before it was even given a name.