Gen Z and Millennials have a growing amount of spending power, and businesses must adapt to be successful. Millennials currently reign supreme in economic power, while Gen Z will likely surpass Millennials in the 2030s. Gen Z's spending power may reach as much as $33 trillion in the new decade. Marketers must prioritize new strategies to reach these groups.
Cause marketing to younger generations will be essential. It appeals to the younger generations' heightened sense of equality, inclusion, and social and environmental betterment. Approximately 78% of Americans want companies to go beyond making money to impact society positively, and only 55% of Gen Z and Millennial consumers believe businesses do that.
Here are the benefits of cause marketing and why it needs to be a part of the marketing mix.
What Younger Generations Stand For
Gen Z and Millennials want more transparency from companies and will more likely purchase from entities that give back and positively contribute to the world. Some great examples of brands already implementing these ideals are:
- Nike — Always at the forefront of social justice, equality, and diverse representation. A prime example would be their controversial campaign with the former quarterback and American activist Colin Kaepernick. This social risk was a huge step forward for the Black community since it highlighted how much still needs to be achieved for equality.
- Beyond Meat — Creates plant-based 'meat' that not only benefits the environment (in packaging, messaging, and even charitable support) but reduces animal cruelty and offers vegans more alternative food options.
- Ben & Jerry's — Although you may not think ice cream brands need a purpose, Ben & Jerry's has dominated the industry in recent years for a reason. Namely, they have been a strong supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. In their Issues We Care About, they emphasize their "deep respect for all people and an unshakable belief that everyone deserves full and equal civil rights."
How to Incorporate Cause Marketing
Cause marketing refers to a partnership between non-profit and for-profit entities to benefit both the business and the cause. The idea here is that consumers understand companies need to make money to be successful — but there's room to do more for the people and community that contributes to that success.
Fortunately, it's easy for businesses to accomplish, even if you haven't built your company with causes in mind. Most brands didn't.
The key is to partner with a non-profit and cause that not only makes sense to your brand but benefits something your brand and audience strongly believe. You can incorporate cause marketing into your business by:
- Hosting or sponsoring events supporting causes
- Including donation boxes to causes
- Organizing volunteer campaigns
- Building your cause into your business practice
Choose a Cause You Believe In
To succeed in cause marketing, you must pick a cause both you and your target audience believe in and support. Your efforts will come off as disingenuous if you don't support what you say you support — OR worse, claim to support it to profit from the buzz but don't contribute.
Younger audiences value genuineness and authenticity. As many as 86% of younger consumers cite authenticity as the most critical factor when determining what brands they like and support.
Half-heartedly engaging in your cause will do more harm than good, causing you to lose customers instead of gaining them.
That doesn't mean you have to give everything you have to a cause you support. Giving what you can and expanding your campaigns as your budget grows is acceptable. Starting small is not something that should be of concern.
Let a Media Partner Connect You With the Right Causes And More!
Helping others will help you, but there's a thin line between doing good for the community and only looking out for yourself. Younger audiences can sense when brands are only in it to profit and when the cause means something to the business. The best way to ensure you are going about cause marketing the right way and to the best of your advantage is to work with a media partner.
A media partner can help connect you with the right causes and leverage a limited spending budget. A cause marketing initiative doesn't have to cost you more than you can afford to make a difference — it just needs the right motives and passion to fuel it. Then, it requires clear communication of what it means to your company and the customers you serve.