In a marketing climate that increasingly demands brand authenticity as well as more socially aware brand engagement, are we entering a phase where client, agency and most importantly,customer, is less willing to give no-strings-attached cash towards Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects?
Previously the most common way to support a CSI project or charity has been by writing a cheque or giving cash. Cheque-book philanthropy or charity appeals directly to the public asking them to donate money to a worthy cause. But the definition of ‘worthy cause’ is changing, as is the way that people wish to contribute. The changing digital marketing landscape also offers up more innovative ways of becoming involved. Over and above money there are holistic ways we can get involved and make a difference.
Here are 5 reasons why we feel that the days of cheque-book charity are drawing to a close.
We’ve all felt the pressure to donate, the guilt versus the overstretched budget. But in 2015the consumer is a true marketing participant– we’re starting to override the guilt factor, knowing that we are doing ‘good’ via other means. We’re also more demanding of transparency and want to see a convincing strategy and results, before donating.
CSI is being replaced by Cause Marketing. A responsible brandstrategy should be designed to meet long-term business objectives, including improved customer retention, enhanced consumer loyalty, increased sales and market-share growth. People will not part with money without due attention being paid to sustainability.
So keen are we on authenticity and genuine interaction with our brands, ‘flawsome’ has replaced ‘awesome’ when it comes to getting to know a product. Brands that show character and humility (particularly via their social media platforms) will be loved, rather than judged for their ‘flaws’. Being genuine impacts on how brands approach their cause marketing projects. They’ll be wary of coming off as ‘saviours’ via a begging bowl. We’ll see different ways of harnessing the public’s desire to do good; resulting in deeper commitment and involvement in social change.
The shift from givingreactively to helping proactivelycan be seen in powerful campaigns that don’t ask for money – such asMandela Day. For many people giving of their time, helping directly with skills development and even just lending their voice to a campaign on social media equates to a more holistic way of making a difference.
Having the win-win situation of doing good and doing good business is something we’re going to see more of. In the spirit of abundance, business and social upliftment can prosper together and will define what successful Cause Marketing is in the future.
See One Lady and a Tribe’s award winning Centrum® Guardian Campaign as an example of a win-win Cause Marketing project unlike any other – www.centrumguardian.com.
This year heralds an atmosphere in marketing that feels unlike any other. While some brands will find the onus of being authentic a challenge, others will relish the opportunity to flex their story-telling muscles, inspiring brand love. A great marketing strategy will include a tangible commitment to social change and show innovative ways of doing it. We look forward being inspired, being inspiring, and activating change.
Sheila McGillivray, Tribe Leader
About: One Lady & A Tribe:
Advertising agency, One Lady & a Tribe, is a collaboration of like-minded professionals exploring unchartered strategic angles for brands.At our core is a commitment to Cause Marketing – we like to think that we’ve made a difference when the Tribe has spoken.
Contact: Sheila McGillivray