From poverty and lack of feminine hygiene products to access to clean water, financial services and education, it’s no secret that our country faces enormous challenges. Government and Non-profit organisations are doing their best to champion those who lack access to the basics in life, but they can’t succeed alone. The challenges are too big, too complicated, and too expensive. There is an overwhelming need for public and private sectors to come together to help better our society.
Cause marketing for millennials


As marketers, we have long championed cause marketing programs as an impactful way for brands and companies to get involved, but our programs can go further by evolving them from “nice-to-dos” to “must-dos.” Fundamentally, we should strive to create long-term, purpose-driven programs that allow brands and companies to do well while doing good.

Cause marketing dos and don'ts - from a consumer perspective
Cause marketing dos and don’ts – from a consumer perspective

With recent disasters like the storm in Cape Town and Knysna fires, brands have stepped in to help. We asked our community of consumers for some cause marketing pointers…


Brand benefits of cause marketing

Consumers, particularly millennials, are increasingly looking to businesses as a force for positive social impact, and when brands engage in social issues, they are more likely to earn their trust and loyalty.

This shift in perception and recognition of the role brands play is quite extraordinary, so how brands engage and why is more important than ever. The brand benefits of cause marketing are numerous. In addition to the fact that consumers have come to expect brands to be in partnership with a non-profit organisation, cause marketing is good for your brand in many ways:

  • Drives sales. Your “cause” becomes another selling point for your products or services. consumers are willing to try a new product if it’s connected with a cause.
  • Gain more customers. As noted above, many consumers will choose a brand that supports a cause when other factors are equal. This is particularly true for women, who tend to be the primary shopper in a household. Mothers are highly supportive of cause marketing.
  • Brand differentiator. Particularly when you’re trying to gain market share, supporting a cause can be a good way to compete. 41% of consumers say they have purchased a product because it was associated with a cause.
  • Increased customer loyalty and trust. Making a positive impact in the world can, in turn, have a positive impact on how your brand is perceived by consumers.
  • Satisfy expectations. Consumers have come to expect more from the brands with which they do business. Supporting a cause is a good way to meet rising expectations.
  • Employee satisfaction. For many, a company’s social and environmental responsibility plays a factor when deciding whether to accept a job offer. Most employees who work for a company that supports a cause express a strong sense of loyalty and say they’re proud of their company’s values.

Identify internal brand ambassadors

Cause marketing has become an essential part of building brand recognition, but it’s important to ensure that your strategy is effective. When choosing a cause, take a long-term view, and consider ways that the cause can be a part of everything your brand does.

Sheila McGillivray
Empower cause marketing for sustainable social change

There is continuing need for corporate social investment (CSI) or socio-economic development contributions, the preferred government terminology.


Your cause marketing campaign should be viewed as an integral part of your overall marketing strategy and should include a dedicated marketing campaign aimed at a specific target audience. As part of your cause marketing strategy, identify internal brand ambassadors who can motivate employees. When done right, cause marketing can be a great way to build brand awareness and stay competitive.