A show of hands: How many people heard the term “cause marketing” back when they were trying to use the family car to give that new driver’s license a workout? Yeah.
A term and concept that might have been unknown or exotic once upon a time is growing, and Karen I. Wu, a partner in Perlman & Perlman, LLP, believes that 2015 heralds a boom for cause marketing campaigns, with significant return on investment (ROI).
According to Wu, there are four major types, or structures, of cause marketing campaigns. They are:
- Multi-action cause alliances. For-profit business seeking to make a bigger impact with a cause are moving away from smaller, isolated, short-term campaigns toward finding a single organization with which to strategically align their brand in a multi-year, multi-million dollar, multi-channel campaign.
- National localized campaigns. This permits managers of stores within a national retail chain to choose a local charity to support within a unified marketing framework.
- Franchise structures. An inverse model of the previous structure, it features a national franchise supporting a cause through its franchise-model business structure, involving hundreds of local franchises nationwide.
- Multi-supplier campaigns. There is increasing proof that companies can collaborate to generate greater brand visibility and raise more funds and awareness for a cause.