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eCommerce and "Cause-Marketing" Causes a Win-Win Situation for Businesses

Posted by Nolan Wilson

on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 @ 10:28 AM

eCommerce is extremely competitive. Businesses are always looking for new ways to win over their customers and develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with them. Companies are also a lot more socially conscious and want to give back – enter Cause Marketing.

eCommerce and "Cause-Marketing" Causes a Win-Win Situation for Businesses


85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about.

Ecommerce and Cause Marketing - A Different Way to Differentiate
Cause marketing is the perfect solution to build a deeper relationship with your customers, it is an effective way to differentiate from your competitors, and it provides you with an avenue to give back to a cause that is meaningful to your business.

Cause marketing is straightforward. It is the combined effort of a ‘for profit’ business and a not-for-profit organization or charity. The two organizations come together for mutually beneficial reasons. The not-for-profit entity gets more exposure and creates a new stream of donations, and the ‘for profit’ company improves its social value, increases visibility and creates a strong differentiator.

Plus, consumers are more willing to work with companies that give back, especially if a company is supporting a cause or charitable organization that is important to them.


It’s a Win-Win Proposition

Engaging in cause marketing is a win-win proposition. As outlined in Cause Marketing, a win, win!, there are four main mutual benefits of engaging in cause marketing:

  1. creating shareholder and social value
  2. connecting with consumers and employees
  3. communicating the shared values of both organizations
  4. generating revenue

hanes-cause-marketing.jpgPromotion: Hanes, The Salvation Army, Mark Horvath

How to Get Started with Cause Marketing

If you are looking for a new angle for your marketing efforts or want to start giving back through your business, getting started with cause marketing is a great option. Getting started with a basic campaign can be done in 4 simple steps:

1) Choose the non-profit or charity that you want to support
While it is important to choose an organization that has meaning to you, it is also just as important to choose an organization that your customers will be attracted to and want to support.

cause-marketing-whitespace.on.ca.jpg
Promotion: Great American Shake Sale

2) Create a Donation Model

This is actually quite simple, and there are multiple ways to approach how you will donate to the partnering non-profit. Your options are:

  • A percentage of sales
  • A dollar amount from each purchase
  • A fixed monetary donation per month

The key is to find a model that makes sense for your company. Make sure that you get everything in writing and outline all details of the agreement before moving forward.

cause-marketing.jpg

Promotion: Merry Maids Help Us Raise the Roof

3) Develop your cause marketing plan

Work collaboratively with the non-profit and come up with a way to market effectively.

  • What is the most effective way to collaborate?
  • How will you market the cause?
  • How will the non-profit market your partnership?
  • What messaging will be used to promote the partnership?
  • What platforms will you use for your marketing efforts?
  • How will you get customers involved?
  • How will the money donated be used to help?


Kellogs–cause-marketing.jpg

Promotion: Kelloggs Share Breakfast

4) Monitor, maintain, and make adjustments

As with any other marketing campaign, you need to track the success of the campaign.

  • How much did you invest in the campaign?
  • How will you track the success of the campaign? Increased sales? More customers? Increased website traffic?
  • What is your ROI?
  • How profitable is the partnership for you? For the non-profit?
  • If you are not achieving your targets, what adjustments are you willing to make?


panera-cause-marketing-example.jpg
Promotion: Panera "Food Chain Reaction"



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Nolan Wilson
Manager/Content Development

Nolan helps businesses plan, strategize and create content to support inbound marketing campaigns. He keeps up with the latest trends and developments in content development and SEO to ensure your content meets the ever-changing standards of Google and is positioned to help you exceed your online marketing objectives.

Let WhiteSpace handle your content so you can focus your time on what you do best – Successfully running your business.



Written by Nolan Wilson

Nolan is an avid writer, go figure! But more specifically, writing inbound online is his passion, and he's really, really good at it. You can follow Nolan on Twitter.
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