What is Cause Marketing?

Cause marketing is type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a for profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit.
Advantages
§   Increase the sales: according to the study by Cone’s 2010 cause evolution study, 61% of customers are willing to try the new brand which they never experience before if the company is associated with cause marketing. While cooperating with the positive image of nonprofit organization can boost the sales revenues and generate the public awareness. The word of mouth in these cases will be so strong that the companies will see a phenomenal growth in their sales turnover and net profits.
§   Building a positive company image: cause marketing campaigns can assist to build the public image to customers, which leads customers to viewing the companies into a more trustworthy, reliable, and charitable image.
§   High employee’s involvement into the cooperated non-profit organization: the cause marketing always requires the companies’ employees to get involved in all perspective of the campaign. It makes all employees bond together to be the volunteers to help each others. Additionally, the companies itself can benefit from a rise in the morale of their employees from tying up with the organization
Disadvantages
Companies’ mission statement and products doesn’t fit with the theme of the non-profit organization: too many companies are too profit-driving to cooperated organization. For example, in 2011, KFC has the cause marketing campaigns to support Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It has caused a public confusion about the relation between the image of the Juvenile and the chicken. People and public confused about the purpose and relation of a fast food chain store with the non-profit organization
Recommendation
1.      Choose the right organization to fit: it is important for the companies to choose the right organization to fit with the mission statement and their own related products.
2.      High involvement in employees: make all the employees feel more value and engage in the activities with the non-profit organization.
3.      Company should be special and environmental stability: It is necessary for the employees to get involved in the activities who love doing the activities.
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Traditional Media V.S Social Media

Traditional Media
Advantages
Ø  Higher customer involvement
Social media provides higher customer engagement and improves communication channels between the company and their customers. The company will also be able to generate customer feedback and reviews faster.
Ø  Higher conversion ratios
Companies are able to measure online traffic and social media marketing easily and in a timely manner with numerous online tools available such as Google Analytics (Social Media Today, 2012). They are also able to receive higher response rates in providing products and services with lower costs.
Ø  Monitoring competitors
Information about competitors is available in all social media platforms. Companies are able to read first-hand what consumers are saying on competitors’ Facebook pages, Twitter, blogs and etc. With all this information, companies are able to improve on their marketing strategies.
Ø  Market research
Companies are able to conduct market research with their target audiences more efficiently and with various different online resources (Canada Business Network, 2012). They are also able to track trends and identify customer needs using different digital methods more conveniently without high costs.
Ø  Connect and attract new customers globally
The use of social media enables companies to interact with customers from different parts of the world. Using this powerful tool as a way to market to other global consumers will attract and expand new target audiences.
Ø  Word-of-mouth/viral marketing
Social media functions as a spider’s network for company to generate public awareness. Social media is an effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy to promote companies with extraordinary spreading speed. Customers have higher trust level on what the comments and feedback given by other customers on social media.
Disadvantages
Ø  High Expense
Traditional forms of media such as television and magazines are costly to companies and their marketers. Television ads can range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars while print ads need to be published numerous times to be effective.
Ø  Lack of Sustainability
Traditional media lacks sustainability as ads are shown for brief periods of times. Companies and marketers must continuously work to develop new ads often of the same brand to hold consumers attention and make the message sustainable.
Ø  Limited Space
Television requires your message to be delivered in 30 seconds or less which leaves customers little time to understand the true meaning of a message. According to contentgroup (2012) companies and marketers who do not have an interesting story to tell should refrain from using traditional media at all. Time and space that is available is in fact rented and not owned (The Content Market Revolution, 2007). This means that they must pay a fee to the advertising agencies to host their ad for a period of 15 to 30 seconds.
Ø  Lack of Target Market Reach
Unfortunately reaching the right target market can be extremely difficult through traditional forms of media. Often time’s messages shown on television, placed in newspapers or heard on the radio are geared towards one particular group. According to Canadian blog site Six Pixels of Separation (2012) only 28% of the audience knows about products and services advertised and the rest seldom pay particular attention to the message.
Ø  Ability to Ignore & Clutter
Finally traditional media can easily be ignored and messages are often cluttered. Mediums such as television and the radio can easily be switched off or changed to another channel. Newspapers and magazines can also be ignored by choice while the same can be said for SkyTrain and bus advertisements.
Social Media
Advantages
Ø  Higher customer involvement
Social media provides higher customer engagement and improves communication channels between the company and their customers. The company will also be able to generate customer feedback and reviews faster.
Ø  Higher conversion ratios
Companies are able to measure online traffic and social media marketing easily and in a timely manner with numerous online tools available such as Google Analytics (Social Media Today, 2012). They are also able to receive higher response rates in providing products and services with lower costs.
Ø  Monitoring competitors
Information about competitors is available in all social media platforms. Companies are able to read first-hand what consumers are saying on competitors’ Facebook pages, Twitter, blogs and etc. With all this information, companies are able to improve on their marketing strategies.
Ø  Connect and attract new customers globally
The use of social media enables companies to interact with customers from different parts of the world. Using this powerful tool as a way to market to other global consumers will attract and expand new target audiences.
Ø  Word-of-mouth/viral marketing
Social media functions as a spider’s network for company to generate public awareness. Social media is an effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy to promote companies with extraordinary spreading speed. Customers have higher trust level on what the comments and feedback given by other customers on social media.
Disadvantages
Ø  No face-to-face interaction
Social media lacks the formal face-to-face interaction that can come from one-on-one company and consumer meetings.
Ø  Time commitment and management
Companies will have to commit to maintaining and updating digital/social media networks to provide necessary feedback to customers; these procedures are time consuming for companies.
Ø  Online public complaints and bad reviews
Companies have limited control of the online negative public complaints from customers. According to the Retail Consumer Report, conducted online by Harris Interactive in January 2011 among 1,605 online customers, it showed that 68% of customers having a negative review got a response from the company and 18% of these people ended becoming loyal customers. These negative comments can cause 21% of customers that decided not to buy any products from the website.
Ø  Security issues
In January 12, 2012, Zappo official website got hacked and was stolen 24 million client’s information, including names, address, billing, shipping address, phone number, even the last four digits of credit card and online password. Luckily, Zappo stored this data in a different file. These online companies have caused the security issues that not only can reveal personal information, but also can increase the customers and society chaos.
Recommendation:
Traditional media provides consumers with a better level of trust in what is printed while social media provides the speed and convenience of getting information on the go. There is no right or wrong of each side. To take advantages of each side is depend on the company itself. If the company focus on on-line business, it is unnecessary to go traditional media to promote itself. The most thing important thing for companies is to how to take advantages of the social media and traditional media effectively. Every company needs to find the key promotion selling point by which media is the most effective and is most high targeted.