Cardinal Path’s response to COVID-19 Cardinal Path is sharing all we know to help marketers during COVID-19.  Learn more.

A client recently asked for my input on a Cause Marketing (or “Corporate Social Responsibility”) initiative they were considering. As some readers might be considering similar projects, I’ll share my thoughts here.

There are several recent studies on this subject, but the one I find most compelling was conducted by K.L. Becker-Olsen and B.A. Cudmore*.

According to this study, three factors influence whether a cause marketing campaign will succeed or backfire: Fit, Motivation and Timing.

1. Fit

Customers must believe the campaign/cause is a good fit with the company that’s sponsoring it. For instance, these campaigns might be a good fit:

  • A coffee company promoting fair trade with coffee growers
  • A soap company sponsoring the clean-up of an oil spill
  • An ice cream company sponsoring an event for children

On the other hand, these campaigns would be a bad fit and would likely backfire:

  • A tobacco company sponsoring a heath or fitness-related event
  • BP sponsoring a fishing contest

If the fit is bad, customers will react negatively even if the next two factors are met.

2. Motivation

Customers must believe the campaign is motivated by good intentions (i.e. that the sponsor is not just trying to boost their public image or make money).

If customers think that the sponsor’s motivations are selfish, they’ll react negatively toward the campaign, even if it’s a “good fit”.

3. Timing

Customers look to the timing (proactive versus reactive) of the campaign as an informational cue.

Only high-fit, proactive initiatives are effective. If customers think you’re just responding to negative PR, they’ll react negatively.

 

* Becker-Olsen, K.L., Cudmore, B.A., Hill, R.P., 2006. The impact of perceived
corporate social responsibility on consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research
59 (1), 46-53.

Your request has been submitted and a rep will reach out to you shortly.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for submitting the form.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you.

Click here to download access the tool.

Cardinal Path hosted a live session to connect with you and answer all your questions on Google Analytics.
Get all the expertise and none of the consultancy fees in this not-to-be-missed, rapid-fire virtual event.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you

Message Sent

Thank you

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Thank you

Message Sent

Thank you.

Message Sent

Success!
Your message was received.

Thank you.

Thank you for submitting the form.

Thank you for registering.

Cardinal Path is continuing with its series of free training. Next we are conducting training on Google Data Studio. Check it out here.

Message Sent

Thank you for your interest.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for registering.

You should receive a confirmation email from GoToWebinar with your unique webinar login information. If you do not receive this email or have trouble logging in to the event, please email asmaa.mourad@cardinalpath.com.

Thank you for subscribing!

You're now looped into the world's largest GMP resource hub!

Thank you for your submission.

Thank you for your submission.

Thank you for your submission.

Thank you for your submission.

Thank you for your submission.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Thank you for your submission.

Thank you for registering.​

Paid media spend by Government websites increased a whopping 139% YoY in 2020.

2020 Online Behavior Live Dashboard

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

2020 Online Behavior Live Dashboard

Thank you for your submission.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Thank you for your submission.

Message Sent

Thank you for registering.

Message Sent

Success! Thank you
for reaching out.