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Cause Marketing in Nigeria

It is with great pleasure I offer up this guest post from Yinka Olaito, a specialist in brand communication, social media, and business communication in Lagos, Nigeria. Yinka is the chief communication officer of Michael Sage Company in Lagos, and a trainer, speaker and fellow blogger. I asked him to address the topic of Cause Marketing in Nigeria. (That's part of the Lagos skyline on the left).

Cause marketing is not new to any tribe (industry, nation, state, or professional association). The challenge in implementing cause marketing is how to be involved, where to be involved and when to be involved in order to create right impression and get maximum value.

Most organizations involved in cause marketing often jump into it just to feel good or because they see other companies doing it. Many get involved in causes that the top management feel good about without any strategic consideration. We’ve seen misdirected cause involvement actually hurting corporate image and perception instead of adding value to the corporate brand loyalty, patronage.

Nigeria is exploding with different cause involvement. Before the recession many banking actors were frontline gladiators in cause involvement without adequate marketing of the cause. My understanding then was that most of their cause involvements were based on ‘just feeling good or to belong.’ Today the dust has settled and many of them have stepped back.

While it may be said that not every one of them got it wrong, the few that got it right did not sustain the tempo. We believe that accounted for why they could not maximize the benefit of loyalty and patronage that should have been the aftermath of the process. When getting involved in cause marketing, there is need to understand that cause marketing is not a feeling but a marketing discipline that requires strong strategic positioning and relevant skill to get the most out of the practice.

Today, telecommunication and few oil and gas brands remain the most visible brands involved in cause involvement and marketing. Another conglomerate, Dangote, owned by Nigeria’s richest man Aliko Dangote, also seems to be engaging in cause marketing. Some have suggested that like the banks, Dangote is spending more on the marketing than on the cause itself.

Among the telecommunication brands, MTN Nigeria seems to be getting it right with its Foundation. The foundation has invested in education and health and the impacts are lasting. Strictly speaking what they’re doing isn’t cause marketing, but certainly both parties are benefitting.

Here’s how we think Nigerian companies could improve the value of cause marketing:
  • Use cause marketing to build deeper relation: this will require strategy development. Also, many brands need to consider cause investment relevance to the brand.
  • Use it to increase brand loyalty.
  • Manage cause marketing efforts with such finesse that they can generate a long lasting brand loyalty.
One positive benefit of cause involvement and marketing is in its ability to increase brand positive perception. Many brands here in Nigeria still need to learn how to best take advantage of this benefit of cause involvement and marketing.


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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
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Cause Marketing Beer with BOGO, Brew One Give One

On Monday’s post I touched on the topic of telling people what your cause marketing campaign accomplished when completed. I’ve recommended this approach to clients as a way to keep open the lines of communication with customers and clients and to get extra value from the campaign.

In other words, you’ll want to hold back some of the promotion’s budget to continue to activate the effort until the very end.

But what if that really cuts across the grain in your organization? What if it’s just not in your corporate DNA to do anything but to frontload your cause marketing activation? Well, then, add the report back to the activation of your next cause marketing effort.

New Belgium Brewing of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said to be the seventh largest brewery in the United States, did just that with this ad in Sunset magazine. I found this ad in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database.

New Belgium donates $1 for every barrel it brews and sells. It’s a BOGO cause marketing effort, Buy One Give One. …