There is no shortage of theories on how to best market a business and as a business owner, the responsibility for growing the firm lies ultimately with me. I recently took a look at Wikipedia’s explanation of marketing and was taken aback by the 82 different techniques listed, including Drip Marketing, Alliance Marketing, Guerrilla Marketing, Content Marketing, internet marketing, multi-level Marketing, and Ambush Marketing.
While reading through some of these entries it occurred to me that in order to be effective there had to be a substantial and contextual link between our marketing and the products and services we provide. My eureka moment came while reading the entry on Cause Marketing and the realization that Adopt a Highway Maintenance Corporation had been using this method for over two decades.
Cause Marketing calls for how we market our products and services, as well as our business practices, to be aligned with the core values of our customers. While quality, price and service are paramount to sales and customer retention, these days, something more is expected of American businesses both large and small. Essentially, customers are increasingly interested in doing business with companies who support causes that are important to them and/or improve quality of life overall. After some research, I found that this sentiment does pan out in B2B and B2C research data.
According to the IEG Sponsorship Report and Cone’s 2010 Cause Marketing study, 83% of Americans want more of the products, services and retailers they use to support causes. In addition:
- 80% of consumers are willing to switch from one brand to another if that Brand or service is associated with a cause.
- 64% of global consumers believe that companies must incorporate causes in to their everyday business.
- 61% of consumers will try a new brand/service if it is associated with a good cause.
So, now more than ever “Cause and Effect” are linked in a successful business formula. Cause Marketing has been around for some time and the Sponsor A Highway program has been a good choice for getting immediate customer recognition for what we all know is an important cause, taking care of the communities where our customers live and work.
Every business owner knows that you must advertise your business so customers know you exist. Cause marketing as a strategy for growth provides another reason for a consumer to choose your product or service. It moves the decision beyond just price and quality and lets the consumer choose based on principles that are important to them.