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Cause Marketing Post #438

I began this blog four years ago this month. This is posting number 438. The cause marketing blog gets 5,000 visits and nearly 8,000 page views a month. In four years the blog has received nearly 150,000 visits and 225,000 page views.

In those first few weeks, a good chunk of the traffic came from one or more people in Hyderabad, India. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to encourage me to keep going.

In October 2006 I thought I was writing for U.S., Canadian and maybe U.K. audiences, since I write in English. I know a great number of people in India speak English, but that traffic from Hyderabad surprised and delighted me nonetheless.

Now, while the bulk of the traffic still comes from Stateside readers, 30% comes from readers outside North America. The blog gets hundreds of readers from places like Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bulgaria and Kenya.

I started the blog because in 2006 most of the available information on cause marketing was advocacy; i.e. here’s why you should undertake it. But hands-on information was in relatively short supply. It was a lucky guess.

Now, just four years later, it seems to me that most people I come in contact with don't need to be convinced of the value of cause marketing. They just want to know how to do it.

Some things have changed since that first post on October 17, 2006, including the name of the Susan G. Komen charity. The numbers from IEG are different too. I hardly ever call it 'cause-related marketing' anymore.

Still, I think that first post has merit. I titled it 'Eyballs Vs. Tears.'
Barely a day goes by that I don't see some kind of cause-related marketing, some good and some not so good.

With this blog I will examine in detail those cause marketing promotions, advertising and campaigns; when they get it right, and where it goes wrong.

Cause-related marketing has been around for more than 20 years now. Even people who don't know the term, understand what it's all about; send in the Yoplait lid and 10 cents goes to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

But, according to IEG, while cause-related marketing is growing faster than sponsorship as a whole, cause-related marketing currently represents less than 10 percent of the larger sponsorship market. That sounds like a positive, but cause-related marketing has been as high as 10 percent of sponsorship.

For all its heart, cause-related marketing is still settling for the sloppy seconds left over from the NFL, NASCAR and the like. I think that's because while those big guys understand that sponsorship is about eyeballs, the sisters of the orphans and all their charity cousins think it's about tears. When it comes to cause-related marketing, they're only half right.

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