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Social Purpose Campaigns: Is It Right for Your Brand?

Social Good • Social Purpose • Social Marketing

Whatever you call it, social marketing is here to stay. More than any other age group, Millennials show their support with their wallets. A recent survey shows that 73% of Millennials will spend more on a product if the company does good work, and 66% of all age groups prefer to do business with a sustainable company.

Social Purpose Campaigns are marketing campaigns where a business promotes a cause to help sell their product. The goal for these brands is to make an impact by championing a cause on social media to gain positive PR. If you're considering a social purpose campaign, consider the following issues to determine if the cause and campaign are right for your brand. Marketing statistics prove: millennials respond to social marketing:

Social Cause Marketing: TOMS One for One

  • TOMS: When you buy shoes or glasses from TOMS, they give a pair to someone in need. 
  • Stella Artois: “The Water Clouds by Stella Artois,” a public art installation that visualizes the impact of the “Buy A Lady A Drink” campaign – the brand’s ongoing commitment to help end the global water crisis.
  • Under Armour: “I WILL WHAT I WANT” speaks to women who do not need permission, advice, or affirmation from others in order to achieve their dreams.
  • REI: On Black Friday the retailer closed its doors and paid its employees to #OptOutside.

5 Questions to Ask If You're Considering a Social Good Campaign

1. Is the cause a good fit for your brand?
The cause you choose doesn’t have to link directly to your product or services, but it does need to be authentic to your brand and the values you stand for. 

2. Can you handle being under the microscope? 
Social media campaigns are notoriously fickle and can have an unexpected backlash that damage the brand. Think of the recent Pepsi commercial with Kendall Jenner where the #BlackLivesMatter campaign purpose backfired. Undoubtedly Pepsi has the resources to fully strategize all the potential pitfalls in a social purpose campaign: yet the campaign did fail and the public outcry led to canceling the campaign, public apologies and a very public black eye.

3. How will the campaign add value to your brand?
Are your stakeholders aligned in supporting the mission and objectives of the social cause?

4. Do your employees support the cause?
Your employees are your brand ambassadors, on the front lines interacting with your customers and your audiences in your stores, on social media and in their interactions with friends and family.

5. How will you promote your cause?
Do you have the bandwidth - the ongoing resources - to promote the cause and manage your social campaign?

Social good is here to stay; before you launch a social marketing campaign make sure its the right campaign for your brand.

Read more about social purpose campaigns here:

Corporate Social Responsibility Matters: Ignore Millennials at Your Peril
Competing on Social Purpose
How to give your next campaign social purpose

 

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