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Head Scratching Cause Marketing

Almost two weeks ago I was in a local two-store pizza chain and my kids found the handcard at the left for me.

But what they found wasn’t immediately clear to me.

At first glance, I thought it might be a way to drive cause marketing to smaller retail establishments, something I’ve called for in the past.

A second glance made me think it might be a cause marketing powered inducement for customers to give some feedback.

Indeed, that is the intent. But a cause marketing appeal is not the actual inducement.

Instead ‘Businesses that Matter,’ the name on the handcard, is a subset of Deals that Matter, a Groupon competitor that offers to donate 15 percent of their proceeds to causes you care about. When you sign up, Deals that Matter lets you name your preferred charity for the donation.

So what is Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ logo doing there on something that seemingly doesn’t directly benefit the charity?

From Deals that Matter’s perspective it’s there to suggest at their bona fides. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has been around for coming up on 30 years. Deals that Matter appears to be about a year old. Of the two partners in this relationship Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has much more credibility.

What does Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals get out of the deal?

That’s a darn fine question.

Right now this is an asymmetrical relationship. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is almost certainly giving more than its getting, although Deals that Matter is listed on the charity’s sponsor page as a ‘Fundraising Partner.’

It could be that Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is investing in a company its managers think has the chance to grow.

Whatever the case, I can tell you that when I was at what was then called “Children’s Miracle Network” we would have never done a deal like this unless we received no less than $50,000 from the would-be sponsor.

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