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

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

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…

Five Steps To Nurture a 30-Year Cause Marketing Relationship

Last Monday, July 22, 2013, March of Dimes released the annual results of its campaign with Kmart... now in its thirtieth year... and thereby begged the question, what does it takes to have a multi-decade cause marketing relationship between a cause and a sponsor?

In the most recent year, Kmart,the discount retailer, donated $7.4 million to the March of Dimes, bringing the 30-year total to nearly $114 million. March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Too many cause marketing relationships, in my estimation, resemble speed-dating more than long-term marriage. There can be good reasons for short-term cause marketing relationships. But most causes and sponsors benefit more from long-term marriages than short-term hookups, the main benefit being continuity. Cause marketing trades on the trust that people, usually consumers, put in the cause and the sponsor. The longer the relationship lasts the more trust is evidenced.

There's also a sponsor finding cost that…