Skip to main content

Our Inadequate Use of the Internet in Etail Cause Marketing

U.S. Census figures put ecommerce at 5.1 percent of total retail sales in the second quarter of 2012, up from 4.6 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Almost everyone see etail’s percentage of total retail sales doubling and even trebling in the next three to five years.

Naturally a lot of cause marketing has migrated to etail as well.

However, rare is the etail cause marketing promotion that really makes good use of the Internet’s many powers. It’s like running a TV commercial, but without using any sound. Or, showing a blockbuster on 25 percent of the movie screen.

This campaign by, which sells earbuds and this cute little powered speaker for your mobile device for $40 called a fauvette. During October, 2012, 20 percent of the sale of each bedazzled fauvette… or $8… goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Fauvette, in French, means a small singing bird, like a nightingale or a warbler.

These fauvettes come bedazzled with crystals in pink, black and gold, and are sized for a purse or even a clutch. My girls, neither of whom yet carries a purse, would have a nickname for their fauvette before the credit card receipt printed, they’re that cute.

When it comes to cause marketing, etailers hold a few extra cards that are especially beneficial to causes. Advantages that almost no retail channel could match.

For instance, the clerk at my nearby Jamba Juice on Saturday, October 6, was very enthusiastic as he sold me a paper icon benefiting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. But he couldn’t really tell me how the money would be used or how I could get involved beyond spending the $1 and signing my name to the icon.

By contrast, when the transaction was complete, could steer me to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s tax return or programs page. It could have put up video stories that demonstrate the power of early detection or the promise of certain research pathways. It could have thanked me specifically, calling me by name.

It could have sent me to Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Facebook page or asked me to consider participating in an event. It could have asked me a handful of questions to know where to send me first. Or it could have asked me for an email address and for the permission to contact me at a later date.

In short, with not much programming, could have helped enable me to start a deeper relationship with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation., I’m sorry to say, did none of these things. But all these things and many more are very possible and even easy, if only the etailer and the cause had a better relationship.

But, as I said, if had done any one of these things, it would have been the exception among etailers doing cause marketing. My friends, it’s time that we start really using the power of the Internet when activating etail cause marketing.


Popular posts from this blog

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.
Now Advanta, a credit card issuer to small…

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. …