Small businesses and large corporations alike can benefit from cause marketing. Cause marketing is where businesses get behind a specific event, cause or non-profit as a marketing campaign.
When using this approach, make sure to make it all about the cause or non-profit. It is OK to add your name in the title of the event or product offering. When you speak of the event or product, praise the cause or non-profit (not yourself).
Leave your company information in the background. If you have someone speaking about the non-profit or cause, and your logo is in the background, than your logo will enter the consumer’s sub-conscious. This is very important. If the cusumer supports the non-profit, they will subconsciously like your organization as well. Subconscious marketing is more powerful than more obvious forms of awareness.
The other great thing about cause marketing, is that it feels good to get behind a nice cause. Supporting a wonderful cause or non-profit is what doing good business is all about.
Listed below are five very successful cause marketing campaigns that run in Denver, CO (some run nationally).
A locally owned and operated men’s hair salon and custom clothing store in Denver, CO (MetroBoom) hosts an annual fashion show. The fashion show benefits local non-profit organizations. Every year they feature their own customers and female models in the store’s custom made clothing.
The store states they get a great ROI from the marketing campaign. Their customers look forward to the event every year, and the non-profits raise valuable funds.
The Mask Project
Every year The Cherry Creek Shopping Center hosts The Mask Project. The Mask Project is where celebrities paint masks, and then place them for auction at The Cherry Creek Shopping Center. The proceeds benefit to the Denver Hospice.
This is always a lot of fun, and it is great strolling through the mall seeing all of the different masks celebrities have designed.
Last year I saw a few masks made in honor of a fallen soldier, and it was very touching.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House allows families of sick children to stay at the house, so that they can afford to stay with their child in a time of sickness.
I once met a man whose child had several heart surgeries, and his child was only 5 years old. Money just did not exist anymore. There are many families like that, and programs like this help keep families together who otherwise would have to stay apart.
Yoplait has a campaign called “Save lids, save lives”. Every lid of yogurt that is mailed in is worth 10 cents. They allow virtual lids to be submitted as well, for $1 credit up to $100,000. They donate $1.7 million to help fight breast cancer.
The campaign has helped raise awareness, and funds, for breast cancer.
A very successful campaign, and I imagine it will run until we have a cure for breast cancer.
9 News in Denver does the “9 Who Care” food drive every year. They not only collect food, but they launch a series of campaigns telling Colorado how great they are for donating food and being great community members.
I feel they make the food drive a little too much about themselves, and they should focus more on the hungry who need the food, and the generous Coloradans who donate.
Their campaign borders too much on advertising, and they use their own name too much when promoting their event. If they were more subtle, the campaign would be more successful. That being said, it is still a wildly successful campaign that will probably run for years to come.