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Cause Marketing in a B2B Setting

Most cause marketing is aimed at consumers, but not all. B2B cause marketing takes place regularly, if not commonly. Here’s an intriguing B2B cause marketing offer from Zoomerang, the online survey company, benefiting schools or other organizations through JustGive.org.

Here’s how works: When you buy $2,500 worth of Zoomerang services between Sept 13 and Sept 30, 2011, the company will send you via email a $100 GiveNow card from Justgive.org. While Zoomerang is promoting this as a chance to give school supplies in time for back-to-school, the JustGive.org certificate could go to any of hundreds of thousands of organizations in the JustGive orbit.

I was prepared to really like this campaign until I read the fine print.

First off, the campaign time period is oddly short. It lasts 17 days.

Apparently whoever developed this campaign is a Virgo.

The offer is available only to people that Zoomerang or its affiliates approach. I saw this because I’m a Zoomerang customer. But you can’t take advantage of it unless you are on their mailing list, too.

Zoomerang also choose to limit to 100 the number of certificates it would buy. So if 7,000 people feel compelled by the offer to purchase $2500 in surveys on or before Sept. 30, 2011, only the first 100 will get GiveNow Cards.

Ross Perot famously left IBM back in the day to found Electronic Data Systems in part because Big Blue capped the commissions it would pay top sales performers like him, and that seemed irrational. Capping the donations seems irrational to me, too, especially given the 17-day time frame.

Which brings me to my final criticism. Why didn’t Zoomerang just decide to really make this a school promotion and call it a day? Why split the baby and allow companies to give the GiveNow card to any cause? And if they were going to make it a school donation promotion, why not just partner with DonorsChoose.org and be done with it? The JustGive donation system, as Zoomerang lays it out in its terms and conditions, is almost painfully awkward and DonorsChoose offers gift cards as well.

Too bad. I really wanted to like this B2B cause marketing campaign.

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