Unpacking the Specifics of Cause Marketing

Cause marketing is a tactic that has been around for a long time. It is an extremely layered concept in which there are all kinds of brand-specific factors and components that come into play.

By definition, cause marketing is a tactic in which for-profit companies benefits a nonprofit charity or supports a social cause.

In this installment of This Week in Marketing, we do not bring in a guest to the studio and instead discuss the specifics of cause marketing one-on-one, as well as talk about the AMA’s upcoming Cause Conference in San Diego on 10/12/2018.

In the first segment, we go over the basics of cause marketing and the different forms it takes. Cause marketing can simply be a company’s annual contribution to a cause, it can be a joint campaign that benefits both parties, or in some cases, the cause can define an entire brand. Think Patagonia.

In segment two, we expanded on our discussion and introduced the different types of cause marketing and how brands have leveraged them in the past. Additionally, we give our own hot takes of why and how the different types of cause marketing can be beneficial in certain scenarios.

In segment three, we talk about a few of the keynote speakers attending Cause Conference. Perhaps the biggest name on the speakers list is Patrick Combes, who is widely known in the cause marketing world and has spoken for nearly 2,000 organizations! He has a great deal of philanthropic experience which includes things like building schools in Kenya and coaching prisoners to improve their lives.

In the final segment, we wrap up our preview of Cause Conference and talk about some ways consumers can be smart about the causes they support. Sadly, there are plenty of brands out there that miss the mark and most of the “good” they do is more talk than action. We also discuss some of the key ingredients that make up an effective cause marketing campaign, as well as what makes up a bad campaign – an example being KFC’s horribly misjudged “Buckets for a Cure” to support breast cancer research. Now, the crucial ingredient in cause marketing is congruency. There needs to be parallels between a business and the cause. In KFC’s case, greasy fried chicken and breast cancer have nothing to do with each other, thus the campaign was a miserable failure.

For more information about cause marketing, see the full installment below!

Click here to learn more about Cause Conference 2018 and register.


About the Hosts

Sam Wheeler is the VP of Content for the AMA San Diego. He is an marketing expert with Inseev Interactive that focuses in content marketing and data analytics. He loves to support businesses of all sizes. Some of his current projects include the Truck Driver Academy, and a new website crawler called Rapid Rex.

Apart from co-hosting This Week in Marketing, Kevin is a Senior Copywriter and Content Strategist for E2M Solutions Inc., a full service digital marketing agency specializing in web design, content marketing, copywriting, SEO for online and offline businesses, and more. Kevin also operates E2M’s in-house podcast The Marketing Microscope. When he isn’t focused on marketing, Kevin is working on his travel + leisure website: Impulsive Wanderlust.