16 April 2020

Cause marketing in a time of crisis

By Gabrielle Turyan- Product Marketing Manager, MiQ

The onset of COVID-19 and the responses to contain it have shifted everyone’s world. One area that, thankfully, is benefiting during this unsettling time is the charity sector. There has been a marked shift in the number of online users interested in charity-based content, up 62% from January according to VDNA. And, according to emarketer over 1 in 5 consumers would like to receive more communications about charity from brands. 

Now, more than ever, it’s important that marketers with a cause promote and identify the audiences interested in that cause. Emails and programmatic strategies should connect and inform one another. Marketers can use the data they have at their fingertips to identify high value customers based on visits to their site and previous browsing behavior, as well as leverage CRM data to enhance targeting. And, with predictive contextual retargeting, we are able to create lookalike based models on users that have already converted.

While finding the best audiences is important, reaching them at the right time and on the right platform increases the likelihood of your cause-related messaging having an impact. Interest in content around news and the financial sector has seen a significant increase of up to 60% since social distancing began. People are eager to stay in the know. Meanwhile demand for this inventory from traditional advertisers - who may not view it as "brand safe", is dropping. However, according to Campaign Live, 90% of people respond favorably or neutrally to ads appearing next to serious information like COVID-19. For advocacy groups and cause marketers this presents a huge opportunity.

With a growing number of users at home consuming TV, one of the core strategies marketers can focus on is both traditional and OTT channels. OTT viewing has seen significant spikes during the weekdays with even higher peaks on Wednesdays. Among OTT viewers, we’ve seen a 7% increase in viewership in people aged 45+, as many are drawn in for the first time. Aligning digital targeting with TV viewership has never been more important for marketers and presents an increased opportunity to reach key audiences at home through digital channels. 

Online fundraising opens up an opportunity for charities, as people are staying at home and are more sensitive to the hardships of others. As ad spend shifts from sports and social events we see more and more staple brands take on social responsibility and incorporate more cause marketing dollars to help with COVID-19 relief. According to eMarketer, USA brand buy side decision makers will increase cause-related messaging by 46% from May to June.

At MiQ we understand the importance of supporting COVID-19 relief. That’s why we are partnering with brands across the globe and adding additional bonus impressions and creative build as an added value. Reach out to us for a more custom analysis and plan for your charity brand. Contact your sales representative or email for more information.