What is cause marketing and where did this buzz word come from, you may ask. According to Wikipedia, cause marketing or cause-related marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a “for profit” business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit.  Cause marketing differs from corporate giving (philanthropy) as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax deductible, while cause marketing is a marketing relationship not necessarily based on a donation.

It has actually been around since the 1970s but has gained ground in the last three years especially as large organizations are being scrutinized more and consumers become more socially conscious.

Cause-related marketing is a powerful marketing tool that business and nonprofit organizations are now increasingly using.  According to recent research people will actually switch from one brand to another brand of a comparable product (and price) if the latter brand is associated with “good cause”. The same study also indicated that a significant percentage surveyed would prefer to work for a company that was considered ‘socially responsible’.

I personally find myself buying products that state boldly that a certain amount of the cost of the product goes towards supporting a cause or people in some country or the other.  It gives one the sense that one is doing ones bit to better the world.

The possible benefits of cause marketing for nonprofit organizations include the opportunity to promote the nonprofit organization’s cause by piggybacking on the greater financial resources of a business, and the opportunity to reach supporters through a company’s customer base.  The benefits to the ‘for profit’ organizations are more obvious in that it generally makes them look good.

So are companies in Nigeria employing cause marketing tactics or they still just focused on CSR?   I would say that if any companies are it would be the telcos.