Cause Related Marketing Cause related marketing can be defined as “a commercial activity by which a business and not for profit organization form a partnership with each other to market an image, product or service for mutual benefit” (Research International). In this mutual relationship both the not for profit take something away from the table so to speak. The corporation gains an image of social consciousness, while the not for profit receives valuable marketing publicity, and, in some cases, money.
While cause related marketing provides many benefits for not-for profit organizations, this type of business deal can also prove to be a double-edged sword. Cause related marketing gained notoriety in the early 1980’s when American Express raised money for the restoration of the statue of liberty. American Express donated a penny to the cause each time its credit card was used. As a result, American Express saw an increase in the usage of their credit cards, and in their membership numbers.
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This project created a surge of interest in cause related marketing endeavors by both not for profits and corporations (Business-Nonprofit Partnerships: Cause Related Marketing). In the year 2001, we see cause related marketing all around us, in our pantries on television, in retail stores on the Internet and even during the super bowl. One example is the Box Tops for Education program promoted by schools in partnership with General Mills. For each participating box top of a General Mills brand product brought to participating schools, the company donates a portion of money to buy sporting and computer equipment.
On the internet, many sites including hungrychildren. com, and the hungersite. com ask web-surfers to click on an sponsor’s advertisement to help stop world hunger, the spread of aids, raise breast cancer awareness, etc. The advertisers, in turn contribute money of food to further the not for profits mission for each click of the mouse on its advertisement. Both the not for profit and the corporation gain from these endeavors. The not for profit gains valuable publicity, and money to further its mission and the corporation presents an image of social consciousness, and an increased customer base.
As the examples above indicate Corporations in turn gain an image of social conscientious ness, and build a trust base with consumers. Recent surveys completed in the UK indicate that 81% of consumers polled agree that when price and quality are equal, they are more likely to buy a product associated with a cause, 86% of consumers agree that they have a more positive image of the company if they see it doing something positive (About Cause related Marketing).