Re-engineering Cause-Related Marketing

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Re-engineering Cause-Related Marketing

Marketers Get to the Core of Cause as Consumers Demand More
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From AdAge's GoodWorks Blog: Re-engineering Cause-Related Marketing #Cause #Marketing


Below is an article that was originally published September 27, 2011 on Advertising Age’s “GoodWorks” blog, written by Allison & Partners Co-Founder and Partner Scott Pansky.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 2:10pm


by Scott Pansky

Cause-related marketing programs are often looked at cautiously by consumers who have many purchasing options. Despite the controversy surrounding it, KFC's "Buckets for the Cure" campaign raised more than $4 million for breast cancer research last year. Both the charity and the brand took hits on their images as numerous organizations and donors questioned the relationship between a company selling fried food products and a healthcare organization. Yet, as an ongoing trend, cause marketing's staying power is due to marketing and foundation officers getting much more strategic in reaching their core audiences, consumers, retailers and employees.
At Allison & Partners, we have talked for years about how cause-related marketing should be ART -- authentic, responsible and transparent -- and numerous surveys have shown that customers and employees are demanding that companies be more transparent about their giving endeavors.
So why are marketers saying cause marketing is dead? Well, let's start with the obvious: The quote grabbed headlines and made people think. Yet, over the past few years, marketers have been paying more attention and their programs can be more direct through social media and employee engagement. Campaigns such as KFC's have led marketers and nonprofits alike to question even further why they do what they do. Is it about sales? Is it about reaching a specific demographic audience? Of course it is. Nonetheless, consumers and employees are demanding more; they are looking for relevancy that adds more credibility to the brands to which they are loyal. And they actually have higher expectations.
If we look at the Cone-Roper reports since the mid-1980s, they have all emphasized the value of customers' opinions on cause marketing and their willingness to switch brands and retailers. The million-dollar question corporations have been trying to answer is, "Can we build deeper relationships with our customers (retailers and end users) through a cause relationship and still increase sales?"



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