Implications: The problem is not “Cause Marketing.” The challenge is choosing a cause that has some kind of an authentic relationship to you, your company, and your consumers... and then helping that cause in a way that is verifiable.
Companies who claim to be environmentally friendly are guilty of “green-washing.” But likewise, any other cause-related marketing effort is likely to be met with skepticism (or worse) unless there is a bona fide, demonstrable benefit to the stated group or charity.
Can you write a “deeds dossier” which explains, precisely, how you are helping advance the interests of any cause, charity or non-profit group you claim to support? If you can, you should. If you can’t, you should suspend those claims until you can. (Before somebody calls you out on it.)