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Posted on 10.15.2009

Cause-Related Marketing Creates Awareness and Customers for Life

What could be better than “doing good” to “better your bottom line?”  That’s the notion behind cause-related marketing (CRM).  It’s the best kind of partnership between a for-profit enterprise and the not-for-profit world: the perfect venue for a company to grow its business while helping raise money for a worthy cause. Great campaigns are all around us; and they are quite effective. In fact, before noon today I had already come in contact with at least four cause-related marketing campaigns. As I do almost every morning, I had yogurt in my cereal for breakfast, having chosen the pink-lidded Yoplait at the supermarket because of its widely-known relationship to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  It’s simple:  I buy their yogurt; the company sends money to my favorite cause:  breast cancer awareness. Next, while doing some research at my desk, I ran across a newspaper article on a company with an accessories shop in Peoria. Ill., that has given more than $3 million since 2003 to breast cancer causes by donating a portion of its sales.  The article featured the small shop, but was actually a piece on the wisdom and benefits of cause-related marketing from a business perspective.  I discovered there is a special event right here in my hometown where I can buy the pretty silver bracelet I admired on their website while making a perfectly painless donation. Then my father called and asked where to order flowers for a friend.  I immediately directly him to a local florist where I have switched my business as a result of their CRM programs supporting breast cancer research.  They give 10 percent or more of their sales to the Tennessee Breast Care Coalition.  Not only am I a Rebel Hill Florist customer for life, but I know for a fact that I have sent at least six other customers to their doors. Finally, I have a sweet (and brilliant) friend celebrating an “important” birthday.  Instead of gifts, she asked that her gaggle of girlfriends visit her new condo (where, by the way, she and her husband are major investors) to take a look around and make an on-the-spot donation to one of her favorite charities, A Cause for Celebration, which brings birthday parties to children of women who are incarcerated.  How smart is that?  She was promoting her gorgeous new downtown high-rise (where there are still vacancies) and raising money for a good cause. CRM is designed to create loyalty, build sales, and benefit a good cause.  And if feels good, too.

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