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 that you designate.

That’s cause-marketing. It’s generally a tactical promotion, but doesn’t have to be. In both those examples cause-related marketing is a strategic part of how General Mills (which owns the Yoplait brand) does business.

You guys previewed your blogging conference targeted to businesses. I recommend that you add a cause-related marketing component. The simplest way to do that is to give a portion of each paid registration to a cause that your audience has some affinity for (the more affinity the better). Or, if the cause was, say, the food bank, you could offer a discount to people who bring with them a can of food. But there’s a whole lot of other possible iterations.

Why would you want to add a cause marketing component?

What cause should you choose?

Where do you start?

If it’s a lot of money (and here’s hoping it is) you can expect to hear back from the cause.

Need some suggestions or help? That’s what I’m here for.


Warm regards,
Paul

PS Hey Jason, maybe you could put in a good word to Cousin Jessica that she
needs to pose more often in something beside a bikini. I had to go 10 pages deep
in the photo browser to find a picture of her in an actual dress!

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