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Compassion Marketing: Deepening Consumer Connections in the Age of COVID

Today’s consumers want more meaning from their purchases and interactions with brands. That’s why in the age of COVID, more and more companies are turning to compassion marketing to create deeper connections with their consumers. The 360insights podcast ChannelEdge recently hosted Nabeel Ullah, product manager at 360insights, to discuss his thoughts on compassion marketing and the company’s latest product offering, the Charitable Giving Solution, which helps brands leverage consumer rebates to enable customers to support social causes.

But what exactly is compassion marketing? Many companies focus on social responsibility in their corporate value statements, and compassion marketing refers to the activities that companies engage in to fulfill their dedication to social responsibility, including corporate giving and even changing operations to fulfill the social needs of the marketplace.

During the global pandemic, many brands have stepped up and changed their operations to help keep consumers safe and make the world a better place during a time when people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. Nike and Gap are creating and donating medical wear, Anheuser-Busch and Tito’s Vodka are making hand sanitizer, Dyson created and delivered a new ventilator, JoAnn’s Fabrics is donating fabric for people to create medical personal protective equipment and Ford, 3M, Tesla and GM are producing PPE for hospitals.

According to a recent report, the large majority (84%) of consumers say it is important that a company supports charitable causes, and it affects 73% of Americans’ purchase decisions. And half (50%) of all Americans say they would switch to a company that supports a cause that is relevant to them.

Compassion and purpose-driven marketing can help drive brand loyalty and sales. According to a recent survey, 66% of consumers believe brands should take a stand on social issues, because they can help create real change, and 63% said that companies have the platform necessary to reach a larger audience. And a whopping nine in 10 customers are more likely to give highly transparent brands second chances after negative experiences.

“Compassion marketing [is] good for the world and it’s good for business, all at the same time,” said Ullah. “Incentives have essentially always been about influence, giving back to individuals who act in alignment with brand strategy.”

Creating a Deeper Connection by Giving Back Together

The latest product innovation from 360insights, the Charitable Giving Solution is, creates a new avenue to engage customers through compassion marketing. The new feature, available to all 360insights clients free of charge, provides consumers a way to give back while allowing brands to connect with their customers on a deeper and more meaningful level. The Charitable Giving Solutions is integrated into 360insights’ award winning Channel Success Platform and enables customers to donate either all or part of their consumer rebate payment to a charitable cause of their choice and receive an official tax receipt.

“Our Charitable Giving Solution is just one way brands can work together with their customers to help others, take a stand and connect for the good of all. Working on this project for 360insights has been an extremely rewarding experience,” said Ullah. “That alignment between business value and social value, where it comes together to create a shared value. A place where promotions and programs connect businesses and customers through that mutual benefit. Consumers can use a combination of that logic and emotion that they use to underpin their decision-making framework when making a purchase decision, and it appeals to the emotional side of that same equation.”

Listen to the entire ChannelEdge podcast episode now, and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play or Spotify.

About the Author

Steven Kellam Senior Vice President, Marketing and Alliances Steven is a respected leader in channel incentives and marketing with a comprehensive end-to-end understanding of what it takes for brands to succeed selling through complex sales channels. He has over twenty years of executive management experience combining leadership, vision and execution applied to sales, marketing, business development and operations. At 360insights, Steven drives growth through alliance building, thought leadership marketing and collaboration with the sales team. Steven is a strong strategic leader with a passion for growth and operations excellence. Prior to joining 360insights Steven served as President of CCI (now E2Open’s incentive business). At CCI, Steven led efforts to form alliances across the channel software market, grew its MDF and co-op advertising business, and expanded its solutions offering across its product suite to include rebates, sales incentives and APIs to support strategic partnerships. Steven studied Economics and Marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University and Hampden-Sydney College, respectively. Steven lives in San Francisco and is a competitive athlete, participating in triathlons and open water swims including the Escape from Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge and the Kona Ironman in Hawaii.

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