Does cause marketing matter to the East African consumer?

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

Does cause marketing matter to the East African consumer?

There has been a massive shift in marketing where the consumer now tells a company what they need, unlike before where a company would tell the consumers what they need. This paradigm shift is as a result of connectivity and the access to information. Today's consumer has access to so much information at the click of a button making marketers have to work that much harder to gain their attention. Understanding consumer attitudes and behaviours from strong and solid insights has never been so important than it is today. The consumer journey to the point of purchase, has consequently shifted from what it traditionally was. Millenials, who now have increased purchasing power, have high expectations of businesses today and how they operate.

Cause marketing is a business strategy, not to be misconstrued for philanthropy. It is best used in a B2C model because it plays on emotional marketing. It is a type of CSR (corporate social responsibility) where a company's promotional campaigns serve the purpose of both improving society and increasing profits.

Theoretically speaking, while company top-lines and bottom-lines are important to business-people, there is need to consider having a more sustainable business model foundation, particularly one that factors in purchase behaviours and leverages emerging categories.

Cause-branded items can be premium if the cause marketing strategy is well thought out and well executed. Some of the benefits that a business may reap may include a differentiated product as a result of creating a new consumer behaviour. This can lead to increased sales from more conversions and stronger consumer loyalty (especially if the cause has a lasting effect for the brand). This is because your brand would be meeting and satisfying the rising expectations of today's consumers.

Is the price-point a stronger consideration than a cause, in East Africa? Would consumers really opt for a competitor's premium product because it has a cause attached to it? We believe that with the right cause, and an authentic message, the competitor's product may stand a strong chance against your cheaper product of similar quality.

A cause needs to be genuine and authentic. Do not just pour money to a cause. To achieve strong cause marketing, it needs to be aligned to the company values and to the campaign. Without that alignment, cause marketing may be an epic failure for your brand, and do more harm than good.

Need help defining your cause or becoming a brand with a cause, contact Qallann Media and Digital Marketing Agency.

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