Cause Marketing With the Highly Trusted

Buried well into a recent Pew Research Center survey was the graph to the left which illustrated that while the American public has deep distrust of government, there are institutions they still do trust. And that has resonance for nonprofit cause marketers.

That most-trusted institution is small business.

At 71 percent favorable ratings, small business has higher positives than Congress (24%), labor unions (32%), the President (45%), colleges and universities (61%), and churches and religious organizations (63%).

What does this mean to nonprofit cause marketers?

We’ve long known that the cause marketing between causes and sponsors that are both highly regarded tend to have the best results. Likewise, if the sponsor is more highly regarded than the cause, the cause tends to benefit more from the relationship than the sponsor.

And vice versa.

Of course small business is not all positives for nonprofit cause marketers. Small businesses are diffuse, often underfunded, and usually very local.

To work with small businesses you need a campaign that is super inexpensive, simple for the business to implement, and easy for the customer to understand.

Paper icon campaigns fit that bill and have for more than two decades. (My colleague Joe Waters calls them ‘pinups’).

But I’m confident that a creative nonprofit cause marketer could invent some other fresher approach.

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