Want to reach Millennials? Get into the Business of Doing Good!

Gen-Y gives Cause Marketing a status upgrade in the social media era

Cause Marketing is as old as the American Express campaign in 1983 to raise funds for the Statue of Liberty restoration. In fact, the term was coined and trademarked by American Express soon after that campaign. However, this proven promotional tactic, of a non-profit partnering with a for-profit company for mutual benefits, is enjoying a new-found status in the Millennial era.

Millennials are both socially aware and digitally savvy consumers. 
Hence, it makes sense for social media to become a major component 
of current cause marketing campaigns. 

Millennials or Gen-Y (born between 1995 and 2005) are known to be more socially aware and deeply concerned about social issues than their predecessors. Research has shown that the younger generations are willing to support and trust socially responsible businesses, even pay more for their products, while turning against companies that are not.

Further, this report suggests that even those members of Gen-Y that might roll their eyes at traditional advertising, view “cause marketing” in positive light! Hence, it is more important than ever for brands to indulge in some strategic altruism, especially if they wish to connect with the millennials or younger consumers.

The socially conscious Millennials are also extremely digitally savvy, spending up to 5.4 hours on social media per day. Considering that the top two reasons to invest in cause marketing are to build social value and raise brand awareness, social media can play a key role in connecting with consumers, winning their trust and support, and turning them into brand evangelists who’ll be happy to ‘share’ the brand’s cause association; ultimately playing a pivotal role in the campaign’s success. However, not all cause-marketers are equipped with effective social media strategies to fully exploit the medium. This is where, digital marketing agencies like Srika that focus on the non-profit sector can play a crucial role.

According to Harvard Business Review, one of the top-5 elements of a successful cause marketing campaign is, “a strong emphasis on social sharing and earned media”; which puts social media right on top of the cause marketing mix. Using social strategically can nudge people to connect with the campaign, express their support and spread the word for the brand organically. And one of my favourite cause marketing campaigns that truly exploited the power of social is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. What’s yours?