It is not the ‘Share of wallet’ anymore rather the ‘Share of heart’ that is going to matter. Thoughts on Cause marketing -the future of marketing
In the age of growing completion, increasing customer knowledge, technological disruption and information overload, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to differentiate solely on the basis of traditional marketing tools such as price etc. Also, in the wake of growing scepticism towards the multinationals and the rise of scams be it Satyam, Enron, WorldCom or the recent yes bank fraud; companies are struggling to create a favourable mark in the minds of the customers. However, this scenario presents an opportunity in disguise as well whereby companies can resort to picking up a relevant cause and then champion it through its marketing activities. As per a recent global study about 71% of people are willing to switch to a brand that endorses relevant social cause given the price and quality remains the same. Thus, it’s a win –win- win as the cause benefits, the company benefits and so does the consumers. A lot of companies such as Tata tea, Nihar naturals, Times group (through raahgiri campaign) etc. are jumping the bandwagon, however the nuances of the same are yet to be unearthed.
I would like to highlight four basic yet critical aspects with respect to Cause marketing campaigns. Firstly, Choose something that you truly believe in i.e. the company should always liaison with the relevant cause to which the company and the staff identifies with passionately. The collective buy in of the people should reflect in the marketing campaigns outside the company. Secondly, there should be a proper fit between the cause and the company. It is essentially found that people tend to believe in more if the cause is related to the company’s efforts as it makes it enduring and more reliable. A totally unrelated cause could instil scepticism and the company might come out as opportunistic and not genuine towards the same. Thirdly, Don’t just contribute money , collaborate. Though donating money is helpful but the companies shall strive to integrate social good directly into their business. It is not always about raising funds rather creating awareness also proves worthy. And last but not the least, Engage through social media. It is quite essential to also keep the customer engaged through social media. This channel ensures maximum effectiveness and should thus be capitalised the most.
I believe that as the society evolves the marketing should morph itself too. With growing sensitivity and the rising awareness among the consumers it is time that the companies start embracing social causes. This is surely going to be beneficial for all the stakeholders and shall help take the society forward most genuinely and effectively!