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Cause Marketing for the Holidays
During the 2009 holiday shopping season many brands benefitted from being associated with non-profit organizations. Moving towards the 2010 holiday season, the momentum of cause marketing continues to increase setting a stage for many brands to showcase their social responsibility. So what can we expect?
Consumer engagement has always been a key element of cause marketing – people want to get involved. Campaigns are now often doing more than just allowing consumers to ‘like’ a facebook group or ‘retweet’ a comment, providing them with more complex engagement opportunities to ensure an authentic consumer experience. The more you can involve and activate the ‘people’ component, the better.
Traditional consumer activation tactics are being supplemented by more contemporary new media tools to enrich the consumer experience. Location-based applications (ex. foursquare, etc.) and scanning technology (ex. QR codes, etc.) are becoming more prevalent since they can provide a more interactive and informative cause shopping experience.
To stand out in the cluttered marketplace, brands are moving towards bigger thinking. Instead of delivering promotions and campaigns for one week, month or year, many companies will be looking to develop campaigns with a bigger splash and longer term affinity.
Although certain tactics can help brands stand out in the crowd, it’s hard to not get lost in the clutter of the holiday season. A well executed cause marketing campaign that follows these guidelines will have a better chance of resonating with consumers during this busy time.
- Start Early: Cause marketing promotions can require more time to plan than traditional campaigns as non-traditional business partners (non-profits) and additional layers of internal and external approvals are involved.
- Tell Your Story: A cause related campaign is not only an opportunity to drive sales and achieve objectives; it is also a great opportunity to tell a story about your corporate values.
- Be Authentic: Being successful in the cause-marketing space demands being highly authentic in every aspect of the program (partnerships, financial contribution, and communications).
- Support Your Online Initiatives: With more consumers using the Internet to make their charitable donations and retail purchases a solid online presence is very important. Although an online presence is key, it is should also be supported through complimentary marketing channels.
We all know that the holiday season taps into people’s emotions, and feelings of giving back. Utilizing a strategic cause marketing campaign is an excellent way for brands to resonate with consumers during the ‘season of giving’, creating a win-win-win for the Cause, the consumer, and the brand.
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