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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-related marketing campaign. While the charity and the agency in a cause-related marketing campaign should have their own criteria for measuring a campaign’s success, the criteria that matters most comes from the sponsor.

It’s the golden rule in action; she who has the gold, rules.

So what should the sponsor measure and evaluate?
  • Media impressions and their ‘quality.’
  • Dollars raised (if it’s that kind of campaign).
  • Perhaps, new customers.
  • Customer opinion surveys measured against prior years.
  • The campaign as it compares against competitors and similar campaigns.
  • Parents pissed off collecting boxtops and labels for their kids’ school.
When it comes to gauging external audiences, most of these measurements suggest themselves and so I won’t go further.

But I would argue that one area that sponsors, nonprofits and agencies frequently miss is the measurement of their internal audiences, including employees, vendors, partners, management, etc.

A well-imagined and executed cause-related marketing campaign can help give a company real personality. Cause-related marketing at some companies helps with employee loyalty and retention. Moreover, with their money or their time, internal audiences often ‘pay’ for a good chunk of cause-related marketing campaigns.

Wouldn’t it be good to know if your employees find the campaign to be unrewarded drudgery? Or, that your vendors would happily pay more for their participation in the celebrity golf tourney? Isn’t that information worth knowing as you mull over your participation in next year’s campaign?


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