Brands are increasingly trying to gain customers and engender loyalty by highlighting their commitments to a particular cause. Enter cause marketing. Targeting a specific cause to wrap a marketing campaign around allows brands to connect with customers who are passionate about the cause, produce sharable content, and create great PR for itself. 1) Cause marketing allows brands to connect with customers who are passionate about a cause. As E.B. Boyd wrote: “People don’t connect on the Experience Project based on who they know (the “social graph”), as they do on Facebook. They connect based on what they care about (“the interest graph”).” Crate & Barrel did a great job of this with their recent campaign to support classroom projects through donorschoose.org. They had visitors vote on which projects to support and spent the money based on their decisions. This is a great way to get visitors to connect with others who feel strongly about a certain cause as they can discuss their thoughts on what the money should go to and why. 2) Cause marketing creates great PR for a brand. The effects of charitable giving reach much farther than a simple advertising campaign. The press is much more likely to take hold of a story surrounding the positive effects of a donation than those of an advertising campaign. Pepsi has garnered incredible reach from its Pepsi Refresh campaign, in which it took its $20 million Superbowl ad budget and used it to support causes voted on by visitors to its website. 3) Donating to charities and causes creates a plethora of sharable content. Videos, images, and articles of how the money was spent, why, what the positive results were, the before-and-after of the situation, and on-going correspondence with the people who were affected by the contributions all have great share value. People love to push positivity throughout their social networks. It makes everyone feel good about the world, and makes the sharer look smart and concerned about trending issues. 4) Experience Project makes it easy. With a user base of 5 million, growing by 5% per month, it’s already a large, highly defined community of people who have shown their regard for a certain cause. Last year they launched BroadCause, a site that highlights brands’ cause-related campaigns. This site is now expanding into a dashboard for non-profits and charities to manage their online campaigns from. Check out www.ExperienceProject.com and www.BroadCause.com for more details.
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