These days a lot of causes and their sponsors are doing very similar campaigns. Rather like Gene Kelly and Van Johnson doing the same dance steps in their fine film Brigadoon.
So how do you stand out?
As I wrote, Gene Kelly hemmed his trouser cuffs high enough so that you couldn’t miss his socks. Mark Twain and Winston Churchill dutifully prepared and polished their speeches and scripted their public appearances until they sparkled. In a debate once William F. Buckley upstaged the economics giant John Galbraith by hijacking the stage curtain and swaying with puckish nonchalance.
I hope I haven’t misrepresented this. By showmanship I don’t mean “cutting through the clutter,” per se. We all are bombarded by hundreds, perhaps thousands, of commercial messages a day. That’s clutter. One of the appeals of cause-related marketing is that by itself it can help cut through the clutter.
Instead, what I want to highlight are three media choices that can help your cause-related marketing campaign ‘flash a little red sock’ while everyone else contents themselves to show you their plain old pant leg.
For a ‘sale’ (whatever that means to you) to take place a customer typically moves from awareness of your product/service along a continuum to interest, then to desire, commitment and finally action.
For the sake of ease let’s just say that there are six basic tactical media choices available to marketers:
- Mass media (in its many varieties)
- Public relations
- Direct mail
- Personal communications.
Depending on the campaign, the audience and the budget, all may have a role to play. But the most efficient media are those that can move the sales process from interest to action in one fell swoop. While there are always exceptions, mass media can’t do that. Neither can public relations or direct mail.
But certainly the Internet can. So too can events and personal communications.
As you plan your cause-related marketing campaigns work to make the most of these three media.
Do it right, with showmanship, professionalism and panache, and like Gene Kelly it will be your campaign people notice, no matter who else is also dancing.