Being a Face for Change: The Importance of Cause Marketing

“It’s not personal. It’s business.” Most of us have heard this statement before, whether through our own workplace experiences or from watching “The Godfather”…

And while there are still those who stand by the old-school phrase, it seems that the mentality of business is changing.

According to a 2010 Edelman goodpurpose case study, 86% of consumers around the world believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on societal interests as on business interests.  This percentage is on the rise as more Millennials (a very cause-driven demographic) flood the market.

The result? More companies are taking a personal approach to business by engaging in cause marketing.

What is Cause Marketing?

According to, cause marketing is when companies and causes collaborate on a strategic, mutually beneficial commercial effort. 

What does this look like? Forbes goes on to discuss companies that they feel “lead the pack” in terms of successful cause marketing.  Here are some of the businesses they mention along with their campaigns.

General Mills: “Box Tops For Education”

Box Tops For Education” is General Mills’ longest-running cause marketing campaign and has raised $525 million for American schools since 1996 according to The program involves consumers cutting off the box tops of participating products and sending those tops to their schools. The schools then get reimbursed for the tops they collect, which are 10 cents each.

Macy’s: “Go Red For Women”

In this cause marketing initiative, Macy’s teams up with the American Heart Association to help fight heart disease in women.Through sales, rewards and other incentives, the program has helped to raise more than $48 million dollars according to

Proctor and Gamble: “One Pack = One Vaccine”

Pampers, a brand of Proctor and Gamble, partners with United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for “One Pack = One Vaccine”. For every participating Pampers product bought, Pampers provides UNIICEF with the money to pay for vaccines that help fight maternal and neonatal tetanus in developing countries. Since 2006, it has helped to protect millions of women and children.

Why You Should Consider Cause Marketing

It’s beneficial for the consumer

Cause Marketing matters to consumers, especially Millennials, who according to, prefer active engagement in cause campaigns. Consider these statistics from 2011 that the site provides on the Millennial demographic:

  • 31% volunteer their time for cause initiatives
  • 30% encourage others to support a cause
  • 27% participate in fundraising events

This cause-driven mindset carries over into purchasing. The same study found that 37% of Millennials report being drawn to products co-branding with cause campaigns where their purchase is a form of support, such as Tom’s Shoes One for One Campaign. By creating cause marketing initiatives, you can help consumers give back in unique ways.

It’s beneficial for your business

Every savvy business person knows that while giving back is important, you still have to remain cognizant of your bottom line. Luckily, it seems that consumers are helping companies in this matter. According to a 2013 Cone Communications / Echo Global CSR Study, 91% of global consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality. Given these kinds of statistics, supporting a cause can help increase sales and in turn, net profit.

It’s beneficial for the cause

Besides the fact that it is beneficial for the consumer and beneficial for your business, the most important reason why you should consider cause marketing is because it is beneficial for the cause. A simple idea can go a long way and support many.  Take Cliffedge Marketing’s Power of the Pink program for example. Selling pink CFL light bulbs and providing free mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women has helped to save lives and raise over $765,000 for local breast cancer initiatives

The key is awareness, and when companies use their name in support of cause, it helps to shed light on issues that may not have otherwise been addressed.

In the end, cause marketing just makes sense. As a company, big or small, you have the opportunity to become a face for change and make a big impact in the process. It’s a win-win for everyone. If you have a cause that you would like to get your business involved with, contact Cliffedge Marketing for a free consultation.





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