Increase Message Credibility: Cause Marketing Triangle

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Increase Message Credibility: Cause Marketing Triangle

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The #causemarketing triangle starts with credibility Free Whitepaper from @InciteAction


At Incite, we believe the most effective cause marketing campaigns are the result of thoughtful partnerships and alignment between a cause or nonprofit, corporation or brand and media outlet that all share the same target audience. In our new whitepaper, The Cause Marketing Triangle: A New Approach to Cause Marketing, we take a closer look at the advantages such a partnership brings to a cause marketing campaign. Here, we examine the first of three advantages the Cause Marketing Triangle brings.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 2:00pm

The past 40 years of cause marketing has taught us to believe a cause marketing campaign, by definition, is a mutually beneficial relationship between a company or brand and a nonprofit organization or cause for the purpose of raising money, awareness and/or stakeholder engagement.  At Incite, we believe that to be true, and we suggest truly sustainable cause marketing campaigns that have significant, lasting impact, must include a third component: an equally committed, highly-targeted media partner. 

Each partner in the Cause Marketing Triangle is equally important. In the traditional cause marketing partnership, the nonprofit lends its identity of its cause to the corporation’s brand in hopes of expanding their stakeholder base through new donors, volunteers or cause champions. The corporation lends its brand to the nonprofit in hopes that cause alignment will drive brand loyalty and increased sales. The Cause Marketing Triangle recommends a third apex, a targeted media partner.  Each partner brings a shared desire to engage with the same “who,” a target audience. The nonprofit or cause brings the purpose or “why” to the campaign, the corporate partner brings its brand and products or services telling consumers “what,” and the targeted media partner brings the “how,” “when” and “where” to reach and engage their audience, mobilizing this community  around the cause and the brand.

Advantage #1: Credibility

In the Cause Marketing Triangle, media lends something incredibly unique to cause marketing partnerships and campaigns: credibility.  We believe strongly that working with the right media partner adds message relevance to your cause marketing campaign. Linking a campaign’s message with the media’s brand adds a layer of implied endorsement of the campaign in the mind of the consumer. When the media outlet they love or an influential media personality invites them to do something, they are listening, engaged and much more likely to act.

Your media partners are the experts on how to talk to a campaign’s target audience. After all, they talk to their audience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with media content! Using your media partners to deliver your message in a strategic and meaningful way will increase the resonance of your messaging and improve the impact of your campaign, an invaluable asset that the right media partner brings to the Cause Marketing Triangle.

In a recent conversation with Tawana Matthews, Sr. Marketing Manager for Lincoln Technical Institute, she explained the ways partnering Lincoln Tech with New York-based media property HOT 97  has had a positive impact on the Lincoln Tech brand and its recruitment efforts. “We think it’s really beneficial that we can get our message across that there is life after high school, but you have to finish school,” said Matthews. “So we felt that it would be a good partnership for us to team up with HOT 97 and attend high school pep rallies where students get to interact with the [radio] station and interact with Lincoln [Tech]. It’s a win-win. The kids are really excited about [the pep rallies] and can also get information [about post-secondary education opportunities through Lincoln Tech].”

Media partners will be more invested in a cause marketing campaign if their audience also cares about the cause. Media brands are equally vested in increasing loyalty and keeping and growing their target audience just as consumer-focused brands and causes seek to deepen relationships with their key audiences. Adding the right media partner to a cause marketing campaign will add credibility to a message and mobilize more people for the cause.


Kaitlin Ferries
+1 (317) 684-8418
Keywords: Media & Communications | Media & Communications | Social Impact Marketing | cause marketing | cause marketing triangle