Here’s how your brand can make a difference:
Elevate the problem
The tens of thousands of children’s charities that make up the sector are all trying to address just a fragment of the global problem (e.g., malnutrition in Bangladesh or teenagers dropping out of school in Chicago). Their communications are fractured, ad hoc and tiny. The sector is unable to communicate the size and severity of the problems.
Brands can help by elevating the problem to the national or global level. Brands’ customer base, geographic footprint and media presence make them perfectly positioned to increase exposure, and get the word out about these dire problems and the wonderful solutions already proven to work that should be replicated or scaled up.
Support a sector, not just one charity
Individual charities are limited in how they can communicate to donors and the public. They fail to get to scale and have only a single story to tell. In order to get the best ROI for your cause-related marketing, embrace an entire sector and get to scale by supporting many different solutions.
Children face many problems and therefore have many different stories to tell. Find an aggregating communications platform that celebrates those that are proven, scalable and replicable. Supporting a sector is also much safer than choosing a single charity with which to associate your brand.
Listen to the children and stay authentic
No one is better positioned to talk about the plight of children than the children themselves. Campaigns that carefully film children telling their own stories are authentic and much more powerful than those in which a presenter or ambassador talks instead.
Look for campaigns that aggregate stories and that are listening and responding to the experiences of children. Our Listen Campaign has identified 75 projects that are successful and ready for further support and attention now.
Keep everything positive
Choose a campaign that recognizes the problems children face but doesn’t dwell on them, instead focusing on proven and replicable solutions. Consumers love to celebrate and be part of the solution.
Partner with stars and creative artists that share your cause
Stars like Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, and Rihanna are vocal activists and donors to children’s causes. Partnerships with stars and creative artists can help your brand amplify the cause even further.
But associating with a single artist—like associating with a single charity—won’t get you to scale. To punch through and have a major impact you need to find a campaign that brings many stars together.
Use your marketing dollars to maximize the benefit to your brand and the cause.
The best cause-related marketing campaigns can provide an ROI of 400% compared to traditional advertising, plus it can elevate the cause.
They are a win-win, a way of doing well by doing good that consumers enjoy. Brands that support authentic campaigns get support from consumers.
Enlist your employees
Brands have more to offer than their marketing muscle and CSR funding. Don’t overlook the influence your employees can have in supporting children around the world. Engage your employees in your support of a cause by providing many different ways they can participate: Sharing content, recruiting friends, creating new content, entering promotions, giving ideas, as well as just donating.
They can become an internal community of supporters. Companies that run cause-related internal campaigns are proven to retain their staff much longer.
At a time when the world feels beset by challenges, brands have an important role to play in promoting solutions to the problems faced by 1 billion vulnerable and disadvantaged children. They can do this and get massive ROIs on their marketing dollars if they choose campaigns that get to scale by working at a sectoral level, aggregating many different projects and charities and partnering with many different stars and celebrities in order to break through the media clutter.
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