With estimated spending by 14- to 34-year-old consumers at more than $1.2 trillion dollars annually, it’s not surprising that more and more businesses are focusing on new ways of communicating with this segment of the population. One target selling point: today’s youth are extremely “cause” conscious. According to a study done by market researcher Mintel International, nearly two-thirds of young adults feel that it’s important that businesses they choose to use are tied to social movements, such as the environment, or other cause-related initiatives that have the potential to affect social change.
Although many brands have come to this conclusion, very few have actually been able to successfully implement these values into their marketing plans. As the business of doing good becomes more of a standard in business practices today, many companies are adding Cause Marketing to their tactical mix. As businesses, it is essential that we understand the important distinctions between cause marketing, cause-related marketing and corporate social responsibility in meeting these objectives.
The best way to begin incorporating cause-conscious marketing into your practice? Create a blueprint for successfully integrating your product or service with a relevant cause. Find out what cause or project your product or service can identify with or benefit. Conduct research on your product’s market, and see what the competition is doing. Most importantly, listen to your audience. They will be the best way to choose a direction in which to begin. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. By keeping cause-conscious marketing in the forefront of your creative and coordination processes, your business can gradually begin to develop a tie to something bigger than the product you sell.