Cause-related marketing is gaining more recognition all around the globe. It serves companies that are perceived positively as joining NGOs ‘ efforts to tackle social problems, communities that receive both visibility and monetary (in most cases) support, and NGOs that are allowed to continue their noble work.

With huge corporations such as Microsoft, Coca Cola, and Unilever joining forces with NGOs to help solve social and environmental issues, cause-related marketing has become a considerable part of any company’s marketing strategy, and it should be—especially if the company’s target customers are Millennials and Generation Z.

Do Millennials and Generation Z Find Corporate Social Responsibility Important?

Millennials, who are going to be the main purchase power by 2020, and Generation Z, which currently has an approximate buyer power of $44 billion, are within the target clientele groups for numerous companies all around the globe. Both generations have grown up with the internet, with numerous options for in-depth research on the products and services they consider buying. The internet has changed the market. Not only do sellers today present their own products, but other buyers also play a major role in forming the public opinion of a product, a factor that can break or make the sale. Unfortunately for marketers, dissatisfied customers are much more likely to leave their feedback than happy ones, so it is very important to take proactive actions to collect positive experiences and build a corporate reputation.

Millennials and Generation Z are far from quiet, or what you would call obedient. They are active. They are not afraid to raise their voices, use social media to raise funds, and simply be active citizens. Data shows that both Millennials and Generation Z are especially concerned with social issues, environmental threats, and making a difference with their buying decisions. The 2017 Millennial Impact Report indicates that millennials are even more invested in philanthropy than they were in 2016, indicating that a focus on CSR is here to stay. Seventy percent of millennials want businesses to make it easier for consumers to do their part in addressing issues such as the economy, environmental sustainability, and health.

A survey conducted in 2018 shows that the top five key concerns of Generation Z are education, jobs and unemployment, prejudice and racism, the environment, and terrorism, Twenty-five percent of Generation Z claims to have been involved in acts of social activism by attending protests or rallies or boycotting a company within the last year. Rising concerns about climate change and other environmental issues may influence both Millennials and Generation Z to be even more socially active and scrutinize the companies they purchase products and services from, expecting to see corporate social responsibility practices.

How Can a Successful Cause-Related Marketing Campaign Help Your Business?

Assuming you’ve decided to add CSR marketing to your company’s strategy, what results can you expect?

The data shows that CSR helps to do the following:

  • Form a better reputation. Millennials and Generation Z perceive companies that give back to society more favourably than other companies.
  • Increase brand awareness. Sixty-six percent of teens said they pay more attention to a company’s marketing or advertising after learning that the company supports a social cause.
  • Increase ROI. Sixty-two percent of teens said they are more likely to purchase a company’s products after learning that it supports a social cause.
  • Increase website traffic.
  • Gain more loyalty and trust from clients. Sixty-nine percent of teens said they trusted a company more after learning that it supports a social cause.
  • Create a better world. A safer, greener, and more sustainable world means a better world and business for everyone.
  • Gain employees. Being a socially responsible company helps attract employees. A 2016 Cone Communications study found that 75% of Millennials indicated that they would take a pay cut in order to work for a socially responsible company.

Keep in mind that customers realize that businesses exist to make money, so corporate efforts to support a cause may seem suspicious to the public. The focus should be on cause-related marketing bringing long-term results. It can’t be a one-time marketing campaign but rather a part of a long-term marketing strategy.

Perhaps cause-related marketing could be your next competitive move?
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