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Banking on Cause Marketing

Open an account with ableBanking and the Internet-based bank will make a $25 donation to the cause of your choice. More, albeit still undefined, donations are promised in time.

It sounds a little like the bank promotions of yesteryear when a new account might bring you a toaster, a set of china, even a firearm!
I don’t know exactly how ableBanking makes money, but its parent company, Maine-based Northeast Bancorp owns a lot of insurance agencies in the State. It could be that ableBanking will serve as a lead generator for Northeast’s insurance business.

In traditional ‘George Bailey’ style savings banks the bank pays an interest rate lower than the rate it is able to lend at. Savings banks made their money on the difference between the interest they’re paid and the interest they pay their depositors.

George Bailey, you’ll remember, is the main character in the classic Christmas movie ‘Its a Wonderful Life.’ George worked for a savings bank that had a liquidity crises caused by a venal big bank.

Costs in such institutions are key. Because ableBanking is basically Internet-only its cost structure ought to be pretty low. And so long as ableBanking keeps it simple and doesn’t get into 'warrants,' 'swaps,' 'forwards' or other complicated derivatives that helped to sink the banking sector in 2007-2008, it ought to be relatively low-risk.

ableBanking is Maine’s ninth largest public company, according to Wikipedia. It occupies the same market space as ally Bank and ING Direct. All three banks don’t offer mortgages, which because of their length can be enormously risky, credit cards, checking accounts, business banking or much else in the way of loans. Ally Bank, however, does offer auto loans.

ING Direct built deposits by offering large cash bonuses to new depositors. Ally used traditional TV advertising to drum up business.

Scotty Henderson’s fingerprints are all over the bank’s blog, so I suspect my fellow cause marketer and blogger has played some role in the campaign’s development.

I’m anxious to get a sense from him how well the promotion is working.


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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
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Cause-Related Marketing Meets Microfinance and Mix it Up

You’d have had to have been in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia the last year or so to have missed the run up of microfinance. Between 2004 and 2006 more than $4 billion of capital flowed into microfinance institutions. All told experts say the total loan microfinance loan portfolio may be as much as $12.5 billion. And of course the father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance is now so respectable, so effective, (so profitable!) that it’s already enjoying its first global backlash.

Actually that first sentence is hyperbole. Because even in Ulaanbaatar… far from almost anywhere on the vast, frigid steppes of Mongolia… microfinance is thriving such that the earliest recipients of micro loans there are now complaining about taxes and government bureaucracy! And May 29-31, 2008 the Conference of Microfinance Institutions will convene in Ulaanbaatar, the eleventh such annual conference.
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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. …