How to Develop Successful Cause-Related Marketing Programs

Cause-related marketing has become a part of strategic marketing plans. Cause-related marketing is an activity where businesses and charities form a partnership with each other to market an image, product or service for mutual benefit. Embracing a cause does make good business sense. A business’s genuine commitment to a worthy cause enhances a company’s image and helps build brand loyalty.

Cause-related marketing is a strategic way to highlight a business’s reputation within their target market. Cause-related marketing has the power to be a very positive differentiator from competitors and to realize many benefits. These benefits include increased visibility; increased customer loyalty; enhanced company image; positive media coverage; increased good will; and increased sales. Cause-related marketing also provides an emotional engagement of your client and other stakeholders.

Using a strategic thinking approach and more than 35 years of marketing experience, your strategic thinking business coach developed a list of ten (10) tips to follow to develop successful cause-related marketing programs. Those tips are:

1. Clearly define and articulate the vision and mission for your program.
2. Develop realistic and measurable goals for your program.
3. Develop a strategic action plan that outlines how you will achieve your goals.
4. Develop a strategic integrated marketing communications plan to ensure maximum public relations opportunities for your program.
5. Develop a clear understanding of the competitive market for securing support for your program.
6. Set realistic expectations about the value expectations from your sponsors.
7. Be honest about your motives and acknowledge that your participation is to help your business as well as the cause.
8. Make sure the cause is a sensible match for the sponsor company and its products/services.
9. Develop a clear partnership agreement so all parties know their rights, obligations & expectations. And include an exit clause just in case something goes wrong.
10. Develop a method of monitoring and evaluating the cause-related marketing effort to help determine the future of other cause-related marketing efforts.

This article was written by Glenn Ebersole, founder and CEO of J.G. Ebersole Associates and The Renaissance Group. It originally appeared on

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