Promoting causes you support after the appreciation month ends makes a strong statement. Showing solidarity and support during 'appreciation months' (e.g., Pride month, Black History Month, etc.) is great, but there is still a lot to be done year-round to advance equality. When you continue the fight for a cause your brand supports, it tells the public and your audience that you're not just in this to profit — you're in this because you truly value change and are committed to contributing to it.
This is important for today's brands because consumers are quick to spot inauthentic behaviors and even quicker to switch to another brand because of it.
Forty-five percent of consumers are skeptical of social responsibility initiatives, and one-third (35%) think companies implement CSR programs just to look good. Lending your support beyond the appreciation month shows your brand is willing to go beyond looking good to make a difference.
Here's how you can level up your cause-related marketing.
Align Your Company Values with the Right Cause
Take some time to think about how your company's values align with a cause that you can truly get behind. It must be relevant to your brand and audience. This is very important in keeping your support authentic and free of skepticism. There's a fine line between giving your support to charities and causes that mean something to your brand and throwing your hat into every cause that comes along.
Take, for instance, Chick-fil-A. You won't see them supporting gay marriage or LGBTQ+ issues because they stand firm on having opposite views due to their religious beliefs. If they were to change it up, their audience with the same values would be confused or angry.
Break Through the Noise
The best thing you can do for any cause that suits your brand is to demonstrate your support to your audience 24/7/365 - not just the month it's highlighted in the media. When you speak about a cause outside the appreciation month, you're more likely to break through the noise and make a strong statement to the public.
Align with allies, causes, and media outlets that share your values. In other words - don't just talk about it, be about it.
Your Audience Will Know You're Authentic
Giving your support year-round instead of only one month a year will add more authenticity to your message. It helps make your cause a part of your brand instead of a part of your sales strategy.
Start with being more inclusive with your ads. More than 61% of consumers say that diversity in ads is somewhat important or very important, and 38% are more likely to trust a brand that shows diversity in its advertising. Another 24% say inclusive ads have a major impact on how they perceive a brand's products and services.
Discuss Your Options With a Public Media Partner
Cause-related marketing can be a challenge to execute successfully. While consumers want you to participate and support their beloved causes, they are still very skeptical about how and why you're doing it.
Consumers don't want to support a brand that is just trying to look good in the short term. Helping others helps you, but only if you're genuinely in it to make a positive difference for the public and your community. Ready to take your cause to the next level? Learn about purpose-driven marketing in our new eBook.
Public media marketing promotes your cause to an audience more likely to take interest in your brand’s values. Add public media sponsorship to your marketing strategy to ensure your support is represented authentically year-round.