Our Story

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Carolyn Butler-Madden


Founder - The Cause Effect

I’ve had over 30 years international experience in the marketing industry, working in and owning small agencies. In that time, I developed my skills in strategy, idea development, execution, client relationships, leadership and people management. With my early days forged in below-the-line agencies, I learned quickly about the power of engaging your market and inviting action. It’s been a fundamental asset to my skillset today, in a world where collaboration and action are fast becoming favoured over slick words and empty promises.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with many of the world’s best brands, but despite the successes we celebrated - and there were many - there was always something that didn’t quite connect with me and my core values.

I had grown up with a strong sense of social justice instilled in me. And as I developed my career in the agency world, I simply compartmentalised my life - work, play and social activism on the side!


A fair solution to the problem, right?

Until I discovered cause marketing. Strategically aligned cause partnerships that create positive social impact AND commercial value - trust gains, employee and customer engagement, partner attraction and sales. Essentially a strategy that enables brands to do well by doing good. 

That was a pivotal moment for me. I honestly felt that all my skills and experiences put me in an incredible position to move this “doing well by doing good” agenda forward.

I tried to steer my agency in that direction around 2013-2016 with some moderate success, but it was too early for the Australian market. Eventually I realised the best way to move forward would be as a consultant and so, in 2017/18, I pivoted my business from an agency into a consultancy specialising in cause and social purpose strategies. I wrote my book, “Path To Purpose”, Australia’s first book on cause marketing which includes case studies of some inspirational brands and campaigns.


Today, helping businesses build a social purpose brand strategy is my niche. I have a deep understanding of what works and what doesn’t. And I work with like-minded partners who are also experts in their field.


My vision for the future is simple: brands drive profit through purpose; business and marketing become a force for good. Our mission is to make meaningful purpose a vital part of business here in Australia and beyond. My business, “The Cause Effect” is my vehicle to do this. 

This approach to business connects with people in such a powerful way.

The business leaders I work with feel the same thing I do. They want more. They want success for their business, but they also want it be meaningful. They sense the opportunity for their business to do more for their people and their communities - and they’re grasping it. 

It is such an exciting time to be in business today. The opportunities are extraordinary and the businesses that are leading with an authentic social purpose are thriving.


If this resonates with you, come and join us. The time is now and our best is yet to come.

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