Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1434
, Published on 02 June 2014
The world today has become really competitive. But it is also full of opportunities for those who dare to think out of the box. In context of pure marketing, it is anyone’s game today. The consumer is more aware as well as he is flexible. He is also considerate about his environment, society and mankind at large. This is a very evident trend and it would be foolish on any marketer’s part to not exploit this new customer.
The concept of ‘cause marketing’ was first applied in 1976 when a huge corporation joined hands with a pure not-for-profit concern and pooled their resources to serve mutual benefits. It’s a win-win as one gets exponential publicity at just a fraction of the cost and a good cause gets promoted with a wider reach and visibility. Marketing budgets are way bigger than CSR budgets.
Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net, Stuart Miles
Organisations like Tata Global Beverages have been employing ‘cause related marketing’ since years now with their ‘Jaago Re’ campaign addressing many social issues and also creating a socially proactive image for their brand. According to the Cone Millennial Cause Study in 2006, 89% of Americans (aged 13 to 25) would switch from one brand to another brand of a comparable product (and price) if the latter brand was associated with a "good cause". It makes eminent sense in positioning your brand with a socially active image.
Marketers have also been leveraging the buzz created by events or happenings that hold a certain relevance to the customers. A recent example would be the famous Sachin Tendulkar’s departure from the cricketing world that left marketers and advertisers losing their sleep, ordering take-outs and spending long sessions creating storyboards. The buzz saw names like Adidas riding on the back of the famous cricketer-cum-celebrity and e-bay auctioning coaching sessions with the man himself for the proceeds to be contributed towards an NGO Apnalaya.
Such marketing efforts are well applauded by industry and consumers alike. There are many causes that have been taken up in form of full campaigns, for example in 2005-2007 the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter and its partner The Pacific Gas & Electric Company undertook the most comprehensive earthquake and emergency preparedness campaign ever launched by a non-governmental organization. The campaign surpassed its targets by raising over $1.25 million, generating over $3 million in free media coverage and most important of all, it got more than 10,00,000 people trained during the course of the campaign. The objectives were truly to make everyone win and thus it’s a true ‘glowing’ business alliance between the two entities as pointed out by Bruce Burtch, the man behind the campaign.
India today is ripe for such campaigns to take place and marketers are entrusted with a kind of social responsibility that was never conceived earlier. One such cause is the deprivation of households in Bihar from having a clean and functioning toilet. It’s a major issue in the region and is a speed block for development apart from being an instigator of unhealthy sanitary conditions and diseases for people living there. There are organisations like PSI India that are currently working in tie-ups with NGO’s to raise up this issue, create awareness and also to deliver integrated solutions for the households that do want to construct a toilet in their house. For example the ‘Saadhan Toilet Centres’ that are a one stop destination for all the ingredients needed to build a toilet in one’s home.
Whether it be cause marketing or event related marketing, the buzz that comes with it is exhilarating and thus it becomes the responsibility of the ones creating and orchestrating this buzz to serve common benefits via the whole process. Take for example the recent ‘Drink and Get Driven’ campaign which involved placing a man dressed as ‘Yamraaj’, the ‘God of death’, seated inside the cars being brought by the valets to people leaving the pub. Or the ‘Project Sunlight’ initiative being rolled out by Unilever. It’s the intention and objective that wins your brand brownie points.
This article has been authored by Himanshu Arora from IMT Ghaziabad
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