Cause marketing continues to be a tactic used to create emotionally-grounded connection points with consumers. According to the International Events Group (IEG), spending on cause marketing in North America will reach $1.55 billion in 2009, a 2% increase over 2008. While a 2% rise does not seem significant, any increase in marketing spending is noteworthy as companies navigate the recession. The 2009 projection continues a trend of several years of growth in cause marketing expenditures.
What is the appeal of cause marketing compared to other types of sponsorship? Cause marketing can be effective when targeting specific audiences. The success of Yoplait’s Save Lids to Save Lives campaign resides in partnering with a cause (breast cancer awareness and research) that has great relevance to a key segment of Yoplait’s target market: women. The fit, or match between sponsor and cause as well as cause and sponsor’s target market are crucial to the success of cause campaigns. When consumers perceive a fit between sponsor, cause, and their own interests, the potential exists for strengthening the connection between a consumer and the company via their shared interest in the cause.
The marketing implications for supporting a cause or charity include opportunities to attract new customers, enhance loyalty among existing customers, positively impact sales, and even have the potential to sell products at a price premium. Past studies on consumer attitudes toward cause marketing have come to these conclusions. Consumers that desire for their consumption choices to go beyond satisfying their own needs and make a difference through supporting a cause or charity are the very audience that cause marketing seeks to reach. Expect to see cause marketing expenditures continue to grow in the years ahead.
Marketing Daily – “Cause Marketing Expected to Show Growth”