January 3, 2024

Cause Marketing Trends for 2024

Wondering what's in store for cause marketing in 2024? Be prepared this year. Learn more here.

What are the important trends for cause marketing in 2024?

What can you do to increase your impact on sales, and customer loyalty – while also supporting a cause that is aligned with your business and its customers?

Here are five critical and impactful trends and tactics.

1. Personas and additional nonprofits

We assume by now that you know that cause marketing is a proven good for increasing conversion, increasing cart size at checkout, and increasing customer loyalty.

For the most part, marketers that have applied cause marketing to their organizations have already enjoyed those benefits.

But at the same time, the incremental benefit of adding cost marketing for many marketers has peaked.

So how do you go about reigniting cause marketing-influenced improvement in these critical marketing metrics?

The answer is to execute on marketing basics.

Ask yourself: what is a tried-and-true formula in marketing that increases conversion, cart size, and customer loyalty?

One answer irrefutably is targeting specifically at customer personas.

Crafting your marketing messaging, product offering, and advertising so that it's targeted at a specific persona is a known and proven tactic for improving marketing and sales performance.

So how do you do this with cause marketing?

Your answer is to dive deeper into persona-based targeting as it relates to the nonprofits that you work with.

As an example: let's say that you're a marketer of a wearable fitness device and you know from experience that your fitness device is used by three primary personas.

  1. Your first persona is people that run, or more specifically, trail run. For that persona you're going to want to align with a nonprofit that promotes various running charities or running activities, preferably on nature trails. An example would be the Conservation Lands Foundation.
  2. Your second persona is senior citizens that do power walking in parks and in nature areas. For that persona, you'll want to align with senior citizen related causes but also include physical activity, specifically walking. America Walks might be an organization that has a good persona fit.
  3. Finally, your third persona is primarily physical fitness people that are highly engaged in intense exercise in a variety of manners, usually over 1.5 hours per day. For that persona, you'll want to have a very targeted charity that's focused on aggressive physical fitness and is a more dominant part of their life. An example of a possible charity to align with for these personas would be the Crossfit Foundation.

Matching your nonprofits that you work with to the personas that you typically sell to will increase customer conversion, shopping cart size, and loyalty.

2. More regulation

Another critical trend in 2024 will be the increase in state-driven regulations on businesses that work together with nonprofits in a marketing capacity to raise money for those nonprofits

If you work with a nonprofit for the purposes of raising money for the nonprofit and within the context of selling your product, then you are most likely what's known as a Commercial Co- Venturer, or CCV.

A CCV is required to register in several states.

The CCV reporting regimen has been growing and now includes several different requirements including:

  • Filing of initial registrations and renewals
  • Charitable solicitation notices
  • Contract filings
  • Campaign reports

The additional registration and filing requirements for CCV’s add a cumbersome and costly burden to businesses which are aligned with nonprofits and engaged in cause marketing.

We expect the additional cause marketing regulations to spread to additional states and the overall reporting regimen to become more and more detailed and more and more complicated.

Most cause marketing companies have pivoted to outsourcing their compliance monitoring reporting and legal filings so that they can focus on more typical marketing tasks like improving conversion and lifting sales.

Change has a comprehensive cause marketing compliance solution which will lower your compliance costs, simplify your life, and allow you to sell and market to additional cause-focused personas.

Ready to simplify giving?

Talk to one of our experts today to find out how Change can help you.

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3. Influencer coordination

Another growing trend is the triple alliance between a business, a nonprofit, and an influencer, either a celebrity or a social media influencer.

This combination of three market participants serves a three-pronged value for the participants.

The company gets improved exposure, sales, and customer credibility.

The nonprofit gets a mechanism for raising money with the company and adds to it a donation.

The celebrity, or social media influencer, gets additional exposure and credibility by being exposed to the traffic in the company's marketing and website experience as well as creating a social good patina on the influencers image by aligning with a worthy nonprofit.

Look for a dramatic increase in the coming years of cause marketing aligned with businesses, nonprofits, and influencers.  

4. AI matching of companies/personas and causes

All businesses have a multiplicity of customer personas.

Some businesses have a limited number of personas that they sell or market to.

Or their product itself is so iconic and so widespread that it sells and markets to the global audience.

Examples would be Apple iPhone, Tesla, and Coca-Cola.

But most companies can benefit from a highly intelligent refined process of choosing the performance personas that they want to market to.

Using artificial intelligence to research and further design characteristics of a persona can help dramatically in refining the targeting of customers.

AI can also help in choosing the most impactful nonprofit that a business can align with in its cause marketing efforts.

For instance, if I am selling a sports watch, when using a common AI tool, I can train the AI to triangulate on the type of nonprofit that I would like to work with and give me qualitative suggestions.

I can define my persona and the product that they're buying to the AI and then ask the AI what are the product attributes that the persona would like to see when shopping.

Once I've identified the product attributes, I can ask the AI to match the persona and product attributes to the type of nonprofit.

The AI will help me match to a nonprofit that a persona gravitates towards in the course of their daily life, specifically as it relates to the purchase of the sports watch.

Then I can ask AI if they have a specific charity that they can recommend.

I can ask for recommendations of several charities.

Then I can ask the AI tool to search and compare several attributes that I desire in the nonprofits.

You can accomplish this search with a standard AI tool to find a hyper-segmented nonprofit that matches your personas, in less than 10 minutes

Change offers just such an AI augmented nonprofit selection tool.

5. Authentic engagement

A final growing trend in 2024 is the desire for all customers to connect deeper with a company on its nonprofit support authenticity.

The average consumer spends 2 hours and 24 minutes a day on social media!

That’s 2.5 times as much time as we spend shopping.

But marketers often show images of their product being worn and being used by models in inauthentic or staged scenarios.

Increased usage of social media is preprogramming our brains to be attracted to authentic, real people, engaged in real usage of a product.

All the truer as it relates to a company's support of a nonprofit. 

It's one thing for a company to say that they support a food bank.

It's quite another to show company employees volunteering and working at the food bank they support.

Or the company shipping canned goods to the food bank.

Customers connect to authenticity.

Equally so, if you sell and market products which have questionable environmental impacts, but at the same time tout your support of environmental causes, it rings false with a consumer.

Authentic, employee involved, and C-suite supported causes with real people showing their engagement will foster greater customer engagement.

Leverage these new trends in cause marketing and you'll increase it's impact on conversion, average sale size, and customer lifetime value.

Four CSR trends for 2024

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