Last month I blogged about the evolving nature of celebrity marketing. Enterprises have gone far beyond traditional endorsements and are giving celebrities official titles and in some cases seeking their input in product development. A similar evolution is underway in the world of cause marketing.
Marketers know that it is no longer sufficient to claim that they are donating money to important causes. In this era of social media, brand loyalists are more vocal about demanding that marketers do more to effect social change. The new term for this trend is purpose marketing, and enterprises who get the strategy right. can drive sales by connecting with social conscious consumers.
In a column for the New York Times, Stuart Elliott highlights the new ad campaign from Panera. This successful food service vendor is promoting its policies of “donating unsold baked goods.” The company believes this strategy will help it win consumers who care more about social ills than whether the sandwiches taste better than what the competition is offering down the street.
Similarly, Bumble Bee Foods says they are pursuing purpose marketing. “Rather than pushing out brand messaging, we’re engaging consumers in a more meaningful way.” The extended purpose marketing campaigns are also spreading to the financial services sector in traditional and online media.
As long as marketers can find purposes that align well with their general mission, today’s shoppers are likely to respond well to these messages and will be content knowing they can purchase their favorite products while contributing to the greater good.
To learn more about cause marketing responders check out the Audience Interests & Intent report available on ad-ology.com.[Source: Elliott, Stuart. Selling Products by Selling Shared Values. NYTimes.com. 13 Feb. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2013]