BlogMarketingWhat Is Cause-Related Marketing?

What Is Cause-Related Marketing?

Cause-related marketing is when a for-profit company helps out with a nonprofit cause. Cause-related marketing is also called cause marketing or social branding. The goal of these nonprofit organizations is to raise awareness.

Since when cause-related exists?

Cause-related marketing has been around since at least 1984 when Benetton used shocking images in their advertisements to create a straightforward conversation about AIDS–a complex topic to talk about at the time.

While some people may view this tactic as controversial, others laud it as effective while still feeling responsible and caring for those affected by the cause.

In 2006, Tide used a case study of a child killed from dirty clothes to emphasize their message that Tide can get out even the toughest stains.

In this example, Tide helped raise awareness and promote education about how household cleaners can harm children. Most people agree that if Tide could help save other children’s lives with their advertising dollars, they should do so without hesitation.

What is a cause-related marketing campaigns example?

One of the most famous examples is Toms Shoes, which donates a free pair of shoes for every pair bought. This idea was intended to help address the issue of shoelessness in impoverished communities throughout the world. The company also does other things like clean up beaches and fund vision care for those who cannot afford it.

Other companies like The Body Shop use their stores as drop-off boxes for used makeup, hair products, razors, etc., that people no longer want but would still be helpful to others. They recycle these items into entirely new products rather than throw them away or pollute rivers with them.

Patagonia has donated over $74 million between 2011–2013 alone to different worldwide by selling clothes with the most responsible environmental practices.

Another example, in 2015, Ben & Jerry’s introduced a vegan ice cream line made from almond milk and promoted it through an ad campaign with a cause-focused message which gained a lot of internet traction.

A video they posted on Facebook about their products using non-GMO sourced ingredients was viewed by over 1 million people! This is an excellent example of promoting not only your product but also brand messaging as well as organic marketing.

What are some examples of cause-related marketing that you’ve seen?

There are many causes supported by companies today. Some examples include breast cancer awareness, animal conservation, rainforest preservation, bullying prevention, etc. There are countless ways to raise awareness for issues that affect our world every day.

What can a company do with cause-related marketing?

A company that chooses to implement a cause marketing campaign has many options. For example, they can run simple awareness projects, launch educational campaigns, host blood drives, etc.

The possibilities are pretty much endless as long as they align with the company’s core values and make sense for their product or service.

Companies can also choose to partner up with other organizations doing good to amplify their message.

In general, companies using this tactic choose an issue that is of great importance to them personally. This helps establish trustworthiness and credibility because it shows customers that the company is willing to invest in the future of our world while still being able to achieve financial success–not an easy thing! In addition, brands can use their voice to grow awareness for issues that are important to society.

When it works, cause-related marketing builds brand loyalty and trust in the company’s leadership abilities while working towards a larger social good.

When executed correctly, this strategy can be highly successful because you get more customers and an army of people invested in your mission who will actively share your message with friends and family.

What is the success rate of cause-related marketing?

In general, companies who choose to implement a cause-marketing strategy have been seen as more trustworthy and preferable by consumers.

It’s also been shown that some customers are even willing to pay extra for those same brands. For example, in an article from 2014, it was stated that 49% of millennial women aged 18–34 would be willing to pay more for products and services from companies that support a social issue they care about.

Cause-related marketing is compelling and can dramatically increase brand awareness– but only if it’s done right!

For this reason, many companies will often hire experts in the field who specialize in cause-based marketing campaigns. These consultants help contribute creative ideas to help make the cause-related marketing campaign more successful!

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What are some examples of failures in cause-related marketing?

While there are many success stories, there are also countless failures. Just because a company wants to implement this kind of strategy does not mean it will work for its brand.

On average, only about 5% percent of companies implementing these strategies see positive ROI (return on investment).

If you want to use cause-related marketing, your brand needs to believe in the issue at hand. You can’t just slap an ad up online or on print media and expect profits to come rolling in afterward! It takes real effort and the right audience to distribute the message, so things get seen by enough people who are willing to offer support.

It can be beneficial if you’re serious about doing something great, but you also need to treat it like everything else in business: set goals and track your results! Only then will you be able to see if it is worth your while or not.

What does the future hold for cause-related marketing?

The world of marketing is constantly changing, with new technologies emerging every day. That being said, there’s no denying that this tactic has staying power behind it.

Millennials especially are more conscious about their values and who they buy from–which means they will notice any differences in what companies are saying through their messaging! This demographic will continue to shift consumer habits closer towards social good as more young people enter the workforce.


Cause-related marketing has been proven to be an effective strategy, but it can only work if the company is invested in the cause. For this reason, many companies will hire experts in the field who specialize in cause marketing campaigns. These consultants help contribute creative ideas to help make the campaign more successful.

A data-driven professional with more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO, PPC, automation, and so on. Privately tea lover, gamer, tech nerd, and traveler. I love writing about marketing!

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