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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 my home State of Utah the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety is currently running a public safety campaign called Zero Fatalities. The tagline is: “it’s a goal we can all live with.” The agency had an institutional bias for wordplay, but does a campaign like this really call for puns? I don’t know who the agency is for this campaign is, but in my view they sold the State a bill of goods.

In cause-related marketing campaigns, the job of the agency isn’t to be clever for the sake of being clever. The agency's job is to help create a campaign that works, that is a campaign that sells.

That’s the ultimate assessment for an agency. Did they bring value that made the campaign more effective? Or did they bring creative that won cheers from their peers and yawns from the nonprofit's constituency?

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