Cause Marketing

Recently, I’m on to different kinds of marketing that are involved in social change process. Earlier, I learned that there is social marketing which intends to influence behavior for good and making positive changes among individuals in a target society, and this is what mainly counts to social marketing’s profit.

Here’s another kind of marketing I discovered – Cause-related marketing or cause marketing. Companies that practice CSR conduct cause marketing programs. Inger Stole wrote an introductory-like post about cause marketing. I created a profile reporting what cause marketing is below:

Name: Cause marketing

It is a marketing which product advertising, corporate PR and non-profit organization or good causes collaborate for creating emotional ties with the corporate’s consumers and, ultimately, increasing a business’ return on its investment. Nedra Weinriech pointed out that there are seven main types of CRM arrangements:

  1. Advertising, where a business aligns itself with a particular cause and uses ads to communicate the cause’s message;
  2. Public relations, where a business calls press and public attention to a strategic partnership between itself and a non-profit group;
  3. Sponsorship, where a business helps fund a particular program or event;
  4. Licensing, where a business pays to use a charity logo on its products or services;
  5. Direct marketing, where both a business and a non-profit raise funds and promote brand awareness;
  6. Facilitated giving, where a business facilitates customer donations to the charity … or to themselves! [e.g., under the guise of helping other low income utility customers pay their bills]; and
  7. Purchase-triggered donations, where a company pledges to contribute a percentage or set amount of a product’s price to a charitable cause or organizations.


  • Cause marketing can leverage citizen’s awareness of the cause and the corporate’s brand, which creates a win-win situation for both the non-profit organization (a good cause) and the corporation. The Susan G. Komen Foundation is a successful case.


  • Sometimes, non-profit organization (a good cause’s) partnership with corporation’s CSR marketing can be harmful to the organization or the cause because the promotion is driven by corporation’s financial interest.

Locally, in Eugene, Oregon, I found a great example of CSR practice – 1 Percent Campaign. This campaign was created by local brewery Oakshire Brewing. This campaign was inspired by Oregon Brewsheds Project. Oregon Brewsheds Project is a collaborative effort between Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB), National Forest Foundation (NFF), the US Forest Services (USFS), the Oregon Brewer’s Guild, and the Oregon Association of Resource Conservation & Development Councils (RC&Ds). The concept of this project is to engage Eugene water supplier, brewers and their customers to restore watershed health and to protect clean water together with environmental organizations through a common purpose, in this case – Brews. In this October 12, Oakshire announced that, in 2013, they will donate one percent of their brewery sales to a non-profit land trust – McKenzie River Trust – as a support to McKenzie River Trust’s interest in participating in Oregon Brewsheds Project.

This is a great idea! Only the great quality of water can brew great brews in the nation, isn’t it!


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