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Showing posts from December, 2012

Wanted: A Theory of How to Activate Multiple Cause Marketing Campaigns

In this season of the year, it’s easy for a retailer to be involved in two or three or even more cause promotions at the same time. But when you activate these promotions should you aggregate them together, or spread them around?

Case in point is this recent weekly flyer from a local grocery chain with 24 outlets called Fresh Market.

On the top left is their paper icon campaign, which is meant to deliver a holiday meal to families in need. To its right is an announcement that Fresh Market stores serve as a drop-off point for Toys for Tots. Below that is a vendor program from Kraft that Fresh Market participates in and which benefits local food banks.

Now, plainly, someone from Fresh Market decided to group all these cause promotions together on one page, since the full flyer was six pages long.

But is aggregating them the right approach?

So much of what this blog is about is activating cause marketing promotions. But I confess that I have no idea whether Fresh Market got this right or wr…

Playing With House Money in Cause Marketing

On Nov 26, 2012 I posted the results of a survey that measured Canadian opinion on cause marketing. One of the findings was the 67 percent of Canadians would be willing to donate to a cause at checkout if the company matched their donation, thus reinforcing what almost any gray-haired nonprofit fundraiser could have told you. Namely, that when it comes to philanthropy people love playing with house money.

Tripadvisor, the big travel website that aggregates opinions and reviews is offering a little house money for you to use at Kiva, the lender that provides microloans primarily in the developing world.

For the next year, when you submit a review of a hotel, restaurant, attraction, etc. in one of the countries where is active, Tripadvisor will send you email that allows you to direct a $25 microloan in that or any other country. That $25 costs the reviewer nothing.

No word on what happens if TripAdvisor meets the $250,000 cap before the year is up.

The idea was inspired…

A Honey of a Indiegogo Campaign

Now on Indiegogo is a fundraiser to help rural beekeepers in Kenya fend off honey badgers and otherwise improve their operations. The charity involved sports the wonderful name, ‘Bees Without Borders,’ which was founded by New York father and son beekeepers Norm and Andrew Cote.

Bees Without Borders is trying to raise $20,000 by Christmas Day for their Kenya project.

Honey badgers, whose habitat is found in Africa, India and Southeast Asia, sport a wide skunk-like stripe, are more fearless than badgers, but are most closely related to weasels. And, true to their names, they love honey, making them “the bane of the existence of the East African beekeeper,” say the Cotes on the Indiegogo site. That's a honey badger on the left.

But while vicious, the honey badger's honey-seeking ways can be defeated by careful fencing. Volunteers will travel on their own dime to Kenya and stay in the villages of the Sambura and Haita peoples. They will build the fencing, provide beekeeping classes…

Cause Marketing Q&A with Dan Fink, Editor of the Reading-Eagle Business Weekly

Dan Fink, editor of the Reading-Eagle Business Weekly in Pennsylvania, called me recently for some national perspective quotes on a story his staff was preparing on a local cause marketing effort. Many of his readers are small businesses, so I was especially happy to be able to reach out to that audience with the message about the power of cause marketing. Dan’s questions are in bold and my answers follow in italics.

Do you have any numbers that show growth trends?
The keeper of long-term cause marketing growth data is IEG, in Chicago. They track all sponsorship dollars, for instance the NFL and music festivals. IEG considers cause marketing to be a subset of sponsorship. This is a link to a projection they released in January. It lists only their projection for 2012, but they've been releasing this report for more than 20 years. So they can give a sense of long-term cause marketing trends.

Who are the biggest users of cause marketing (in terms of dollars given to nonprofits)?
This is…

Affinity Credit Cards for the Smaller Charity

Day was when if your charity had access to hundreds of thousands of members, you could arrange a pretty sweet affinity credit card program with one of the big credit card providers. Now the BBVA Compass, a consumer-facing bank with 700 branches in many of the Sunbelt states, has structured an affinity card that doesn’t require huge numbers to make economic sense.

Those credit card affinity programs didn’t work for every charity. I don’t remember ever seeing one for any of the big health charities, for instance, although I’ve seen them for many of the big environmental groups. The sponsoring companies were looking for lots of members, and a favorable demographic. If yours was a smaller charity, you were probably out of luck. 

But BBVA seems to have found a way to workaround the old rules of thumb, and it involves a check card rather than a credit card. Called Compass for Your Cause, here’s how it works:

BBVA offers a 0.25 percent donation of all the money run through the checking card…

A Complicated Way to Give Customers a Choice in their Cause Marketing Donation

A developing trend in cause marketing is giving customers the choice of what cause their cause marketing and Peachy Airport Parking in Atlanta has an interesting, but complicated take on it.

Make a reservation and then redeem via it one of three custom links to Peachy’s website and a donation is made to one of three Atlanta-Area women’s charities: the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, and the Commercial Real Estate Women of Atlanta, aka CREW.

Why women’s causes? “Since we opened our brand new facility in January 2012, we have found that over 60 percent of our customers were women,” says Alex M. Chaves, Peachy’s CEO. “We think the reason for this is that our facility is one of the most convenient, secure and comfortable parking for travelers in Atlanta.

Each charity has its own link.

Peachy s…

An Early Favorite For the Worst Cause Marketing of 2012

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, hundreds on what I call Instant-On cause marketing efforts have sprung up. But none are as weaselly as one from a New Jersey outfit called Active Energy Boost.

Active Energy Boost is a line of energy drinks sold from self-liquidating point of sale displays. Active Energy is offering 100 free distributorships… or, as the press release puts it: “donating 100 businesses to victims, police and firemen, EMT responders, medical personnel, or any one who was either a victim or provided a service during Hurricane Sandy.”

I wonder if that also includes people who watched Hurricane Sandy news coverage on TV.

“We have decided that the best and quickest way to help 100 victims is to donate a lucrative business to them that they in turn, can derive immediate income to help rebuild,” says John Jacobs, head of PR. It’s a valuable offer because “each route and distributor cost us over $1,500 to start,” says Jim Contreni, Active Energy's distributor trainer.