Skip to main content

Innovative Cause Marketing 'Inventory'

Selling cause marketing sponsorships… like selling radio or television airtime… means selling the intangible. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have inventory. Races have space on t-shirts and signs, telethons and radiothons have airtime, packaged goods products have packaging.

Keep brainstorming and other cause marketing inventory will become plain.

I advised a friend, a New York Times best-selling author with his own charity, to auction off the rights to name a character in one of his upcoming books. Shortly before I left Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals I was working on adding a kind of behind-the-scenes tour to my sponsors who achieved certain fundraising levels; never underestimate the degree to which people love to pull back the curtain on how “Oz” manages his acts of magic.

A really fun kind of alternate cause marketing inventory came across my desk recently.

In Raleigh, North Carolina Terramor Homes does a BBQ in support of the Duke Children’s Hospital Radiothon. The BBQ includes games, prizes, giveaways and a dunk tank. For an extra $5 to $20 at the BBQ you can sign one of the studs that will go into the ‘Miracle Home’ that Terramor and its partners is building and will sell to benefit Duke Children’s Hospital.

The local builder has made a $120,000 pledge to Duke Children’s Hospital and the ‘Sign a Stud’ promotion will help Terramor meet its promise. Unlike those hoary old name-a-brick fundraisers that have been a part of capital campaigns since time immemorial, the signed studs will almost certainly never be seen by the people who buy the home.

That said, signing the structural steel that goes into buildings has a long history in America. Honoring that tradition, President Obama and others recently signed the last pieces of steel going into the One World Trade Center Building on the site of the former Twin Towers. During WWII American workmen and women signed the airplanes and tanks they made. Doing so was a matter of pride.

In other words, this "inventory" has long existed. But, to my knowledge, no one had ever sold it as a part of a cause marketing sponsorship til now.   


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. …