B2B Companies Should Align With A Cause, Too

Most of the research and advice out there about cause marketing is for business to consumer companies. Those companies are under pressure to impress consumers, and research shows how well consumers respond.
But business-to-business companies benefit from cause marketing, too. The campaigns may require a little more creativity to make the connection to the cause look convincing — but here are two big reasons B2Bs should make cause marketing a priority:

How to use cause marketing for B2B

(Photo by David Castillo Dominici/

Your future employees expect it

Before long, the trickle of Millennials entering the workforce will become a flood. And, according to Achieve and The Case Foundation’s 2014 Millennial Impact Report, Millennials’ perceptions of company culture play a big part in their job search decisions. Millennials desperately want to feel that their work is improving the world. According to the impact report, 92 percent of working Millennials “felt they were actively contributing to a company having a positive effect on the world.”

Some companies’ naturally attract Millennials because their purposes align with Millennials desires to improve the world. But for other companies, the connection isn’t always so obvious.
That’s where cause marketing becomes so important.

An effective cause marketing campaign for a B2B company can help Millennials see that the company has heart, even if its purpose isn’t inherently philanthropic.
Choose a cause that feels like a natural fit for your company. Make it easy to demonstrate your passion for the cause, because Millennials will be paying attention.

Demonstrating your values is still important when you’re a B2B company

Showing a human side to your business is never a bad idea.
That’s especially the case when you can get creative and find a cause that aligns somehow with your purpose. That’s harder to do when you’re B2B, but if you can establish the connection, it can pay off. In a post for his website, blogger Paul Jones, wrote about a financial group’s success in donating 10 percent of its profits to the Wounded Warriors Project, because the group’s founder served and was disabled in the Vietnam War.

Jones suggests that B2B companies could use the financial group’s approach with a cause that feels like a natural fit. Jones wrote: “For instance, the company that makes glass windshields for an automobile manufacturer could base their cause marketing donation on the number of units they either make or deliver in a certain time frame. A distribution warehouse could base their donation on the number of units they clear in some period of time. You get the picture.”

It’s all about finding a cause and making the connection to what your B2B does. It’s not always easy, but it is possible.