Skip to main content

Fuzzy Cause Marketing

CA, the $4.3 billion (sales) software company has an interesting cause marketing campaign going right now benefiting the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) that is kind of a head scratcher. 

The campaign… which features celebrity crime fighter John Walsh… centers around CA’s Internet Security Suite Plus 2009 and Internet Security Suite 2009, both of which carry a premium price in a competitive market. When you buy either product CA makes a $1 donation to NCMEC. Customers may also elect to donate all or part of the rebate they receive to NCMEC when they buy the product.

The pertinent CA webpage also runs a ‘crawl’ of the names of people who have donated their rebate to NCMEC. It’s an interesting tactic, borrowed from telethons. I’d love to hear what feedback they get on this.

At the top of the page they also list the amount of money generated for NCMEC. The amount listed when I visited on Jan 2, 2009 was $462,586, which includes $375,000 in in-kind and cash donations made by CA to NCMEC.

So far, so good.

Here’s where it gets fuzzy for me. In CA’s language: “CA may elect to donate, in its discretion, an additional $2 to NCMEC when a new CA customer registers for the Continuous Protection Program.” 

I can’t figure out why they would make that discretionary.

Cause marketing trades on trust, clarity and transparency. The proposition is straightforward; ‘if you’ll do something, we’ll do something good for a cause.’ When you start to fuzzy up that proposition the appeal to the consumer breaks down.

Comments

KyNam Doan said…
Seems like they're trying to sell more than they're willing to give. Trust and authenticity is still an issue with consumers. I agree, they didn't help themselves at all by including that clause. It's better left out.

They have donated quite a nice sum and that's great to see :) I'm not going to start complaining about that.

Best,
Ky
JointWinWin said…
I'm reminded of a quote from the Star Wars sage Yoda:

"Do or not do, there is no try"

This is indeed fuzzy CRM and as Ky said, trust and authenticity is an issue.

Transparency is another, this is fuzzy and opaque which is not going to give consumers the confidence they want and deserve.

All the best,
Tom

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Five Steps To Nurture a 30-Year Cause Marketing Relationship

Last Monday, July 22, 2013, March of Dimes released the annual results of its campaign with Kmart... now in its thirtieth year... and thereby begged the question, what does it takes to have a multi-decade cause marketing relationship between a cause and a sponsor?

In the most recent year, Kmart,the discount retailer, donated $7.4 million to the March of Dimes, bringing the 30-year total to nearly $114 million. March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Too many cause marketing relationships, in my estimation, resemble speed-dating more than long-term marriage. There can be good reasons for short-term cause marketing relationships. But most causes and sponsors benefit more from long-term marriages than short-term hookups, the main benefit being continuity. Cause marketing trades on the trust that people, usually consumers, put in the cause and the sponsor. The longer the relationship lasts the more trust is evidenced.

There's also a sponsor finding cost that…