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Showing posts from September, 2007

Evaluating Your Cause-Related Marketing Campaign--Sponsor

If you’re the sponsor of a cause-related marketing campaign, you’re in the green room, you’re in a makeup chair and you’re sitting pretty.

Here’s what I mean. When I was writing the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Telethon a representative from one of CMN’s largest sponsors used to avail herself of the same makeup services provided for celebrity hosts and guests. Strictly speaking this was verboten. While she appeared on air during sponsor segments, CMN had a separate makeup area for sponsors.

She had some thin excuse why she couldn’t use the regular makeup services… skin allergies or something. At any rate, everyone from CMN in a position to raise the issue with her chose to let it go. She had a famously volatile personality and the sponsorship was worth several million dollars. If she took up a little face time with same makeup artist that did Jane Seymour on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, what did it really matter?

It’s not so different when it comes to evaluating the success of a cause-r…

Evaluating Your Cause-Related Marketing Campaign--Agency

Thursday’s post covered how a nonprofit might evaluate a cause-related marketing campaign.

Today’s post tackles the question from the perspective of an agency.

While there’s plenty in Thursday’s post that’s pertinent to agencies, they still have their own unique gloss on evaluating the success of a campaign.Agencies frequently care about things like whether a campaign garners awards and/or the respect of peers and the trade press. Agencies care about achieving higher creative standards. And it goes without saying that agencies care about whether the work they do for the campaign meets internal benchmarks for profitability. But in my view what should matter most for agencies is the degree to which they are aligned with the nonprofit’s goals and objectives. Agencies must evaluate the success of a cause campaign based on whether it achieved the nonprofit’s definition of success, not the agency’s.

Sometimes this means setting aside biases (both personal and institutional). For instance, in m…

Evaluating Your Cause-Related Marketing Campaign--Nonprofits

So the campaign is over (or at a pause) and it’s time to evaluate. How do you do that?

I’ll tackle the question from the perspective of the nonprofit today, the agency on Tuesday and the sponsor next Thursday.

If your nonprofit is like most of your peers you probably put everybody who was even remotely connected to the project in a room and hash it out until everyone’s eyes bleed. However, I won’t suggest that you trim the number of participants. The fact is given the turnover in nonprofits today, the very most junior person involved with the campaign this year could be running it 18 months from now. Moreover a debriefing is a form of training. (But be careful that it’s not training in how not to run a debriefing!)
At a minimum the debriefing should lead to a discussion about whether the campaign met the goals you set out for it. Of course that means that you committed the goals to paper beforehand, didn’t you? It also means that people come to the meeting prepared to talk spec…

What Good Are Imprinted Promotional Items in Cause Campaigns?

Joanie Loves Tchotchkes

It’s September and next month is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so magazines across the United States are filled with breast cancer goodies.

The ad above is from Successful Promotions magazine, a kind of in-house organ/catalog from the Advertising Specialty Institute, a trade group for the advertising specialty industry.

Successful Promotions frequently weighs in on the business value of imprinted promotional products for cause campaigns, which I’ve never found entirely persuasive. In March 2007 Successful Promotions highlighted a campaign to draw attention to Merck’s controversial vaccine for the human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer. The tchotchke utilized was a bracelet-making kit targeted at teen girls.
Also in the March issue was news of the Florida Grand Opera in Miami which gave away real stone beverage coasters on the occasion of the premier of Verdi's opera Aida.
In November 2006 the mag gave some pub to the Verb campaign from the…

Serendipity and the Genius of Cause-Related Marketing Monies

I caught a lecture yesterday delivered by the new Dean of the College of Science at the University of Utah, Dr. Pierre Sokolsky, a physicist, that was strangely relevant to cause-related marketing.

Although there were faculty members in the audience, the audience could be described as more as science boosters rather than scientists. (I was there after all).

Dean Sokolsky talked about funding, as deans will, and he said that while the college has done just fine attracting Federal and private research dollars, he lamented the degree to which research proposals these days require proof in advance of efficacy. Grant applications require not only that you describe the problem, but the expected answer, too.

He wasn’t just talking about having a hypothesis before you start, which of course is central to the scientific method. He was saying that modern research grant applications are funded in part on how clearly you can predict the results.

But of course science doesn’t always work this way. Eve…

Marketing to College Students? Get a Cause!

College students are tricky to reach nowadays with traditional media. Unlike previous generations they refuse to take their medicine and watch a lot of network TV from 8pm to 11pm like their predecessors.

Oh they consume media like a retired sumo wrestler eats carbs at an all you can eat buffet.
But if you don’t have a message that’s well suited for their cell phones or i-Pods, or that they can mashup on their Facebook page or blog, or if it doesn’t work as a sponsored billboard in Grand Theft Auto then good luck reaching them in a meaningful way.

One approach that consistently works is cause-related marketing and other elements of corporate social responsibility. This fact was underscored in the findings of a survey of college students published last week by Alloy Media + Marketing and conducted in April of 2007 by Harris Interactive.

Alloy Media + Marketing, a New York City-based provider of ‘non-traditional media programs,’ developed a list of the top 10 “Most Socially Responsible Bran…

Jerry Lewis, it's Time to Move On

So Jerry Lewis got himself in trouble over the Labor Day weekend. Maybe you heard. In his wacky, jesting way he used the “F-Bomb” as one reporter had it. Another characterized it as a “homophobic slur.” I prefer to think of it as a wakeup call to the board of the Muscular Dystrophy Association that it’s time to promote Jerry out of his hosting role.

Jerry’s survived these dramas in the past and he could surely do so again. But the man is 81 and while that’s half the age of his longtime sidekick Ed McMahan, Jerry is showing signs of wear. And let’s not forget that Jerry Lewis has had more near-death experiences in the last few years than the cheerleader on the ABC television series Heroes.

So how do you move out a guy who plainly doesn’t want to go and with whom do you replace him?

Last question first. How about Jerry Seinfeld?

Seinfeld’s on the record for saying that he pretty much never misses the MDA Telethon, and I believe him. I heard late-night talker Jimmy Kimmel say the same thing …

Some Unsolicited Cause Marketing Advice to Some Friends Planning a Business Conference

I had dinner with some self-described geeks the other night, two of whom are planning a local business conference on the business benefits of blogging. They’ve already lined up speakers and sponsors and are finalizing the arrangements for details like the room and the flyer and other promotional vehicles.

In short, there’s still time to add a cause-related marketing ‘overlay’ to the event.

Here then is an open letter to Jason Alba (Jessica’s cousin!) and Matthew Reinhold (who may be, for all I know, Judge Reinhold's cousin).

Hi Guys:

Thanks for the chance to jaw with you at geek dinner Thursday night. I felt like I got more than I contributed. But my specialty…cause-related marketing… is slightly esoteric even though it represents about 10 percent of the $13 billion sponsorship market.

What is cause-related marketing? Just imagine the lid on a cup of Yoplait yogurt or the box top on a product from General Mills. When you clip that box top and send it in, a dime goes to local schools th…