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  • Writer's pictureWan Qing

3 Successful Social Cause Marketing Campaigns by Hotels

Cause Marketing or also known as Social Cause Marketing is when a company exercises Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and at the same time, improves their overall profitability. While this may seem hypocritical… it is in fact an excellent marketing strategy. You know that warm, fuzzy feeling when you commit an altruistic action like helping a blind man cross the road? Combine that with the feeling of splurging on yourself (#selfcare), it is going to make consumers feel doubly good.

Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash

The psychology at work here is positive reinforcement. Companies make you think that you are doing something good for society whenever you buy their goods or services. That reinforces your consumer behaviour because now, every time you buy their product or use their service, you feel good about yourself as you’re actually making a difference in the world! A feeling that you will not get if you bought from a competing business who does not participate in Cause Marketing.

Here are some examples of hotel brands or hotels who have capitalised on Social Cause Marketing.

#1 Healthcare Heroes

With healthcare workers working tirelessly during the peak of the pandemic, hotel groups have fervently come forward to offer discounted staycations for healthcare workers. In Singapore, big hotel brands such as Ascott, Pan Pacific, Ritz Carlton have strategically proposed discounted stays with complimentary services to show their appreciation for our healthcare heroes. While it would have been much cooler if they offered free nights but seeing how the hospitality industry was so badly hit during the pandemic, this was overall a great initiative to reward frontline workers.

Photo by Ussama Azam on Unsplash

Although this may not have actively contributed to hotel revenue, hotel brands that have ran this particular Cause Marketing campaign have established a good image for themselves supporting the medical workers.

#2 Sustainability

Possibly the most prominent example of Cause Marketing in the hospitality industry, we have seen an increase in marketing campaigns promoting green hotels and sustainable accommodation. Hotels who have yet to hop on this trend should start doing so, as this Tripadvisor survey showed that 62% of consumers would consider environmental repercussions before booking an accommodation. In this article here, we summarised 4 simple ways hotels can build sustainable messaging around their brand. Our take is it is better late than never to start now, now that you know consumers are consciously choosing greener options over ‘traditional’ hotels.

Major hotel brands have also increased their visibility by setting up web pages to show their efforts on working towards sustainability. Hilton’s website is a prime example of this. They are very transparent as they produce sustainability reports every year to demarcate their progress on their sustainability goals.

#3 Partnerships with Charity

Partnering with charities can also enhance your hotel brand’s image. In the United Kingdom, hotels have the opportunity to partner Room to Reward, an organisation which links up charities and hotels. Hotels do their part by donating anticipated unused rooms to reward volunteers for their time. Some of the bigger names include Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Fairview Hotel Collection.

In 2014, Ascott Limited partnered with Save the Children with a campaign called “Moving Feet, Touching Lives”. The campaign mobilised Ascott staff worldwide to run or walk and clock mileage. For every 1km clocked, Ascott donated $1 to Save the Children to better the lives of children all over the world. The campaign lasted 3 months and raised more than $100,000 for Save the Children.

Definitely a great way to generate buzz and at the same time, improve brand reputation by showing their commitment to social causes.

Will Cause Marketing be effective in the Hospitality Landscape?

The answer is definitely. In March 2020, 61% of travellers indicated that they would stay at least once in a eco-friendly accommodation when looking to travel in the next year. In a Nielsen Wire survey, 46% of respondents said that they are willing to pay extra for CSRs. It is pretty clear, the modern traveller wishes to associate themselves with a social cause as they feel it reflects strongly on their personal image.


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