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Cause marketing used to be simple. You found a charitable partner, handed them a cheque, and took a picture and all was right with the world.

But now people have more information at their fingertips. Customers want more, and what they want varies widely by who they are, their life stage and worldview.

Plus as more companies create corporate social responsibility platforms, marketers need to be more innovative in their approach.

Ideas and messaging must be tailored to the right audience at the right time in the right place in order to have an impact.

‘For cause marketing to work, it needs to be unique, authentic & iconic’.

That’s why Patagonia’s “Common Threads” initiative (where Patagonia takes back worn clothes to recycle) is so powerful. No one has done anything like it before. It’s true to the brand’s core values, and consumers find it credible!

And what about the business goals and the bottom line?

Research has shown that corporate social responsibility makes business sense because these expenditures are “essential to a company’s long-term brand and value.”

That’s where your customers can help. Involving your customers in the creative process for cause marketing provides insight on which cause is the right fit, and what approach is best.

As you ideate about future cause-marketing efforts, it is critical to stand out and be different! Your customers are both willing and able to help you do that … all you have to do is ask!

Check out this big idea that is making a big difference!

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Marilyn

Barefoot Brainstorming

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The collage of faces of surprised people on coral backgrounds.