The past few years have heightened our collective awareness of political, social, and economic issues. People today want to be associated with brands and events that align with their values. And so, it’s imperative for event promoters to reach audiences in meaningful ways. This is where Cause Marketing comes in. According to a Cone Communications study, 84% of people would switch brands to one associated with a cause they care about. With this in mind, event promoters can use Cause Marketing to increase ticket sales and create stronger connections with their audiences, while using their platform to talk about a cause that resonates with them.
Throughout the history of events, Cause Marketing has been almost a constant. This has remained true through the modern history of event promotion – from George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, to Live Aid in 1984, the Freddie Mercury tribute concert for AIDS awareness in 1992, to the present day with numerous concerts supporting causes.
Possibly the best known live event of 2022 was the tribute to the late Foo Fighters drummer, Taylor Hawkins with all proceeds going to Music Support and MusiCares charities.
As an event promoter, at some point you will want to tie one or more of your events to a cause. Without further ado, let’s look at what we’ll cover here about bridging events with altruistic endeavors:
- The what and how of Cause Marketing in event promotion
- Best practices and standard protocol
- Challenges in Cause Marketing efforts and how to steer around them
- Bonus tips and how you can take your Cause Marketing efforts to the next level
- The benefits of altruistic events and Cause Marketing
The what and how of Cause Marketing in event promotion
Think of Cause Marketing not so much as merely a marketing endeavor, but instead as a way of building a meaningful connection with your audience and effectively supporting a good cause. The next natural step may be to pick a cause you would want to support, but here’s how you want to go about Cause Marketing:
- Understand your target audience:
You want to first understand your target audience. You want to consider what are their values and what compels them most. Ask yourself questions about what issues are your audience concerned about. What do they want to see brought out to the limelight? Even better, event promoters need a way to in to understand their audience’s psyche. This is where Ticket Fairy’s ticketing and marketing solutions come in.
Ticket Fairy doubles as both a ticketing and marketing platform that allows you insight into the ways your target audience thinks. This is useful when figuring out ways to connect with your audience. For instance, Ticket Fairy equips promoters with data collected on audience demographics which you can use to inform your marketing strategy. As with all data, the more events you create, the more comprehensive and informative it can be. This data includes your audience’s age, gender, location, musical tastes, and so much more. to learn about people with their background value and which of your audiences will connect with the cause that your event is promoting. With tools such as audience demographics and psychographics, you can decide on a cause that will urge your audience to support and rally behind.
- Be intentional in picking a cause:
When researching a cause and choosing an organization to partner with for your event, you want to be intentional. It’s best to choose a cause that resonates with the current consciousness. Issues such as homelessness, mental health issues, climate change, women’s equity, and more are compelling and important issues that are at the front of our collective consciousness. Further, do your due diligence when it comes to figuring out which organization you want to partner with. It is productive to think about whether the cause and organization fit your own ideals. You want to support a cause that reflects your brand’s values because it provides transparency and allows your event to positively impact your target audience.
- Leverage the organization’s talent:
The organization that you partner with could have the resources that you need to enhance your event strategy. For instance, many organizations have had experiences and connections with the right people and groups to help promote your cause and event. Leverage their network, connections, and brand image to get a celebrity spokesperson or an influencer to speak about your cause and event. This adds a level of authority, authenticity, and visibility to your cause and attention to your event.
Best practices and standard protocol
Cause Marketing can seem complex, but by following a set of standards and rules, you’ll be off to a better start. It’s always best to focus on communicating your message with utmost transparency. Your audience will appreciate it and will be more willing to support your cause and event. Here’s how to go about it:
- Be authentic and relevant:
If your audience sees that you do not genuinely care about a cause you’re advocating, they will be turned away from supporting it. This is why picking a cause close to your heart is crucial. At the same time, you want to be relevant to your audience. So, whether or not your audience is personally interested in your specific cause, you can garner their interest and support by simply appealing to their human, empathetic side.
- Be specific about the level of contribution:
Nothing angers people more than the lack of specifics about how much is going into charity. You want to be as transparent as possible when it comes to letting your audience know about where their money is going and how it’s going to help the cause. It is always best to let your target audience and potential attendees know these details from the very beginning. For instance, let your press release explain the details of how much attendees will be contributing and how the donations will be used, and post it on your social media pages and website. Additionally, consult with the organization you partner with on this since they have more experience in handling donations and funds.
- Actually engage a reputable name (big or small):
As promoters and marketers, we understand that people tend to pay more attention to causes that their favorite celebrities, influencers, or brands advocate for. This is what makes engaging a reputable brand imperative. It doesn’t matter if it’s a larger or smaller organization, the credibility of the organization matters most and contributes to persuading your target audience to rally behind and support your cause.
- Make sure your call to action is clear:
You want the voice of your Cause Marketing to be clear and excitable. It reflects on the way you are creating urgency around a cause that needs the public’s immediate attention. Make sure that you have a call to action that you stick with, promote, and leverage as a strategy to get your target audience moving into action (purchasing a ticket to the event). Acknowledge their contributions and make it clear that the event is dedicated to a specific cause or charity.
Challenges in Cause Marketing efforts and how to steer around them
Despite the obvious benefits, there are some challenges associated with implementing Cause Marketing for events. This is not an exhaustive list, but let this be the beginning of your official checklist of the best protocol to face these challenges that may come up.
- Finding the right cause can be difficult as it needs to be something that resonates with your audience. Always do your research on your audience and their values. Clue in on audience demographics to steer you in the right direction. You’ll be able to find a cause that your target audience will readily support and rally behind.
- A lack of resources can be an issue if you don’t have enough money or staff members to adequately promote the campaign or manage donations. You want to resolve this by firstly managing your own finances and funding. Set up a clear budget and manage it well. Additionally, consider partnerships that can help support your cause and event. Just make sure to conduct thorough research before reaching out to possible partnerships.
- There is always the potential for mismanagement of funds if the donations are not managed properly or accounted for correctly. Avoid this by keeping track of your event’s finances by recording donations through automated systems that accurately and immediately process and file transactions.
- Finding the right brand to partner with can be daunting because some brands may make unreasonable requests. There might be confusion about creative control, and they can get too demanding. To avoid this, you want to get on the same page as early as possible and discuss all and any terms before deciding on collaboration, including what happens when they drop out. You and the brand need to immediately outline your individual expectations, goals, and anything that takes a lot of decision power. It is always best to get straight to the point and be as transparent as possible early in the process.
Bonus tips and how you can take your Cause Marketing efforts to the next level
Cause Marketing is a powerful way to create a positive reputation for your personal brand and create long-lasting partnerships. It’s imperative that you create successful events and campaigns that promote the cause that you are bringing attention to. Here are some tips to take your Cause Marketing strategy to the next level to ensure your event is a success:
- Go for the ‘less is more’ approach with your call to action:
Crisp, concise, and clear calls to action are most impactful. Having a call to action brings enthusiasm and excitement to your campaign and you want to lead with that – something like “end (blank) today” would work really well. It’ll create attention and will be easier to work with when campaigning.
- Show your support by pledging a donation:
This is you telling your audience in action that you’re genuinely interested and invested in the cause you’re advocating for. If you have the funds to do so, pledge a donation and be transparent about it. This adds credibility to the event and cause, and further encourages the audience to join in.
- Be strategic about the timing of your event:
Timing is everything. You could host the best event, but if it’s not well-timed, it wouldn’t be as effective as it could have been. There are specific months that are dedicated to a cause. For instance, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take this into consideration and leverage that information. If your event day falls in October, you might want to consider partnering with breast cancer organizations and bringing awareness to this issue. Your event in turn gets more interest when there is already a lot of attention on the cause in the first place.
The benefits of altruistic events and Cause Marketing
Most humans care about looking good. It’s natural that they would associate with brands and attend events that are connected to something that puts them in good light. And charity does! It is also true that as people, we are drawn to things that move us, and often, these are the things that drive us into action – and altruistic endeavors are just that. Not only does Cause Marketing benefit the issues that your event is bringing awareness to, catering also to your audience’s human need to support a cause, but it reflects positively on you and your event goers as well.
- Cause Marketing creates a positive brand image
When you make the decision to have your event center around a specific cause, you do it because it’s important to you and compels you. It’s something you feel strongly about and want to take a stand for. Additionally, what Cause Marketing does for your brand is create a positive image and contribute to the overall longevity of your brand. You are able to communicate better and relate to your target audiences, attracting an audience with the same values. With successful events, you are in turn able to organize more events that back and support a cause.
- Your event creates community awareness and engagement
Organizing events and Cause Marketing also brings the community together, engages them, and brings awareness to the issue that your event is centering around. You want your event to do this because it attracts the target audience to attend your event while bringing attention to the cause at hand. Additionally, while you are executing your marketing campaign, you will draw attention to your event and the cause that you are supporting. For example, if you set up a large billboard in a fairly big city, the surrounding community will hear about it and end up speaking about it. Word-of-mouth marketing is a positive consequence of Cause Marketing and will drive people’s interest in your event and the cause at hand. Your event ends up successfully supporting your first mission while engaging the surrounding community who are now familiar with your brand.
- Your event is providing joy to attendees while contributing to a cause
Cause Marketing gives your attendees another reason to come to your event. Entertainment is motivation enough, but when they feel good about attending your event, they’re certainly going to be more invested. This will also leave them more engaged as they also experience being part of a community supporting the same cause.
Cause Marketing already creates more motivation for your audience to attend your event, but you can heighten their interest by including a rewards program in your event strategy.
Bonus Tip: Using Ticket Fairy’s influencer program will be especially effective when you do cause marketing, as it leverages people sharing a common passion or interest with their friends and rewards them for doing so.
To sum it up, when using Cause Marketing to promote your event, developing a strategy that combines the cause and the event is key. You’ll stay ahead of your game by defining goals and objectives and creating a timeline to achieve them. You’ll want all communications to be consistent with the message and the cause, and leverage key influencers within your network to spread the word about your event and cause. Finally, you’ll want to track results regularly to measure the success of your campaign.