Unconventional Cause Marketing Metrics

The print edition of Fortune Magazine runs a regular feature called ‘My Metric’ wherein business leaders identify informal but telling measures of current economic activity.

In 2011 Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust cited as his metric an increased number of black cars on the streets of New York City as a sign of the U.S. economy’s resurgence. He’s referring to car services which carry both higher prestige and higher costs than a yellow cab. Their cars are usually black and therefore especially visible in a sea of yellow cabs on a New York City street.

That got me thinking, what unconventional metrics evidence the power of certain cause marketing efforts?

One immediately leapt to mind, although only companies that do label campaigns could utilize it.

Most label campaigns have a defined timeframe in which to redeem the labels; March 15 to May 1, say. Campbell’s Labels for Education and Boxtops for Education from General Mills, both of which run year-round, are notable exceptions.

But I’d bet you a handful of Snickers candy bars that people nonetheless still send in some number of labels or try to redeem codes online well outside the campaign’s window. The number of false redemption attempts therefore would serve as a signal of customer loyalty to a label campaign, even in those seasons when it isn’t active.

What are some other unconventional cause marketing metrics? Please comment below.