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Cause Marketing Post #600

Every day my RSS reader sends me a fat email with all the day’s listings of the word cause marketing. I see cause marketing campaigns advertised on TV, in magazines, or Facebook and the myriad other social media. My friend and fellow blogger Joe Waters has a Dummies book, for crying out loud, coming out in July about cause marketing. Every business day I add my own content to all the rest with this blog. Today, I celebrate the 600th post on the Cause Marketing Blog.

One of those posts, from a few years back, declared that we are in the golden age of cause marketing, quoting the old Carly Simon song Anticipation, which features the lyrics, “these are the gold old days.” So far as it goes, I believe that’s still the case.

But the current state of cause marketing, I think, could be summarized in the U2 song sung by that old cause marketer Bono, ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

That’s because for almost as long as I’ve known about cause marketing, nearly 20 years now, I’ve been expecting it to begin to make headway against sports sponsorships. And for 20 years now cause marketing has been right around 10 percent of the total sponsorship market.

What I wrote back on October 17, 2006 in my very first post…called ‘Eyeballs vs. Tears… is still true.
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.
My friends, we’ve come a great distance in the 30 or so years of cause marketing. But we’re still not even halfway to where we should be.


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