Friday, October 21, 2011

Transparency & Specifics Boost Cause Marketing

The new Ford drives education campaign in conjunction with Box Tops 4 Education illustrates the value of specificity and transparency in cause marketing.

Here's what they share about their campaign:

"All Box Tops in the Ford program have to be earned by December 1, 2011. During that time, you can acquire 25 eBoxTops for watching five Ford videos on its site, and 10 for requesting a brochure. That means that you can earn up to $3.50 for your school without spending any money of your own. But to earn the maximum amount Ford has allotted, you have to buy a car, or win the sweepstakes. In addition to the Box Tops earned through promotional viewing and car purchases, Ford promises to give away 250,000 Bonus Box Tops in six prizes. The grand prize is 200,000 Box Tops; five other winners will get 10,000 each. Ford is optimistic that its participation will result in a million-dollar contribution to the Box Tops program."

As you design your cause marketing campaigns, are you and your partners building in the specifics in the spirit of transparency? Or, are you still pretty vague about what is generated for the cause?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3 cases: Cause Marketing Should be Specific & Transparent

We often hear about the importance of transparency and specificity in cause marketing campaigns ... especially for point of sale or pinup campaigns.

I interacted with three examples this week: two via Google News Alert announcements and one while shopping last night.

The contrasts help me see the importance of specificity.

The first (Groovin' on Granola's campaign for Music Emplowers Foundation) mentions that Groovin' will donate two cents ($.02) for every purchased package to the MEF. But, there is no mention of a total commitment so we're left with the feeling from the Starbucks campaign a few years ago ... two cents? What does that mean? Why so little. Will my purchase really make a difference?

The other two campaigns, on the other hand, are very specific on the donation amounts:

Lowe's commits 10% of retail sales with a minimum of $250,000 while Cheerios commits to $1 per card up to $100,000.

How do these commitments make you feel when compared to the Groovin' promise?

Below are the three promises in their own words from their materials/websites.

From Groovin' ...

"Groovin' On Granola, which produces a variety of gluten-free, all-natural granola snack products will contribute $.02 to the Music Empowers Foundation for every package purchased beginning November 1, 2011. All packages of Groovin' On Granola will feature the Music Empowers logo and website address."

From Lowe's ...
"Through the Plant for the Cure® program Lowe’s will donate 10 percent of the retail sales price of select flowering plants during the program period (bearing the Plant for the Cure® tag) to Komen for the Cure with a minimum guaranteed donation of $250,000."

From Cheerios ...
"Cheerios will send extra “Cheer” to military families by donating $1 to the USO for each postcard received from specially marked packages through November 30, 2012. To kick off the campaign, Cheerios has already donated $150,000 to the USO, and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received. "

Cause Marketing Readings of the Week - October 17

Here’s the best of the best of cause marketing information from the last week:

Do Galas & Charities Really Benefit Your Cause?
Interesting post from Seth Godin. How much of the “door price” actually benefits your charity or cause?

Hy-Vee, Sarah Lee & P&G Partner for Points & Schools
Hy-Vee partnered with Procter & Gamble and Sara Lee in the SMART Points program, which ran from September through November last year and has been renewed again for 2012. SMART Points allows customers to vote for their favorite schools in an effort to win prizes for those schools and for students.

Cheerios, NASCAR & The USO: A winning combination?
Note the transparency and specificity of this cause-marketing campaign: A partnership between Cheerios and the USO to help support military families by sending “Cheer” postcards from the front of specially marked packages of Cheerios cereal found in stores October through November, 2011. People can simply cut out the postcard from the box, write a message of thanks on the back, add a stamp, and mail the pre-addressed postcard to the USO. The USO will deliver the postcards to military families. In addition, Cheerios will send extra “Cheer” to military families by donating $1 to the USO for each postcard received from specially marked packages through November 30, 2012. To kick off the campaign, Cheerios has already donated $150,000 to the USO, and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received. The donation will go towards USO programs that help connect families with their loved ones while deployed.

Cause Marketing Readings of the Week - October 10

Here’s the best of the best of cause marketing information from the last week:

5th and 6th Graders at Appleton Christian School Donate Money Raised in Business Class to Non-Profit CannedWater4kids
Students raise funds in business class; donate profits to charity. Helps them learn cause marketing at an early age.

Cleaning for a Reason Shows how Small Retailers Can be Engaged in Cause Marketing
Foundation matches cancer patients with local cleaning services willing to donate four monthly house cleanings for women receiving chemo or radiation therapy treatments for cancer. In addition to support from local home cleaning companies, the Foundation has incorporated support from Hoover and P&G. Hoover contributes $1 to the foundation--up to $25,000--for every new Hoover Facebook or Cleaning For A Reason Facebook connection.

Podcast Demonstrates Work of Cause Marketing Campaigns
Cause-connected campaigns need to be carefully crafted in order to be meaningful and effective. Good info in this IABC pod cast interview with Kami Watson Huyse, author of an article “Cause and Effect: 5 Guidelines for cause marketing that makes a difference” appearing in the September-October issue of CW.

Cause marketing good business, Komen exec tells retailing group in Dallas
Best quote from Katrina McGhee, the Komen Foundation’s chief marketing officer: “You have to stay in it for a long tine tor consumers to connect you to it,” she said. “It’s about the third year that cause marketing programs actually hit their stride.”

Cause Marketing Readings of the Week - October 3

Here’s the best of the best of cause marketing information from the last week:

Spare Nothing for the Cure: STl Local Cause Marketing
How can you help fight breast cancer with a bowling ball and ten pins? Participate in the third annual Spare Nothing for the Cure, presented by Saint Louis Bread Co., on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. This family-friendly bowling event benefits the St. Louis Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Bowlers choose from two locations: Tropicana Lanes in Richmond Heights, Mo., and Camelot Bowl in Collinsville, Ill. Each bowling alley features three sessions.

Jeep shifts into PinkDrive
Chrysler South Africa (CSA) is joining forces with PinkDrive in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. CSA is sponsoring a Jeep Wrangler wrapped in digital pink camoflague for the cause. The pink Jeep will make an appearance at numerous events taking place throughout South Africa from September 2011, which includes media launches, sports events, high coffees, a lunch and a "Shout for Cancer" Concert.

Five Best Cause Marketing Programs for Local Nonprofits
Cause-Marketing Campaigns that Work for Even Small, Local Charities
Nonprofits ask me all the time how to get started with cause marketing. Easy, I say, get a business partner. A partner is the main ingredient. You can't have a cause marketing program without a company!

Re-engineering Cause-Related Marketing
If we look at the Cone-Roper reports since the mid-1980s, they have all emphasized the value of customers' opinions on cause marketing and their willingness to switch brands and retailers. The million-dollar question corporations have been trying to answer is, "Can we build deeper relationships with our customers (retailers and end users) through a cause relationship and still increase sales?" If we could re-engineer cause-related marketing, better questions would be, "If we could make our company really stand for something important, will our customers follow us? Can we create sales programs that can truly impact a social issue, not just make press headlines?"

Wash those hands of goodwashing
I’m not sure I agree with this post … but … thought you may find it useful background. “Cynical and savvy, today’s consumers expect greater accountability from non-profits as well as brands involved in cause marketing – for example, exactly where the money is going and what impact it’s having,” says the report. “More transparency will mean more focus on effecting real change and less goodwashing.

Cause Marketing Readings of the Week - September 5

Here’s the best of the best of cause marketing information from the last week:

What is the “Killer Cause” for Workplace Giving Programs?
A lot of times companies ask: what is the “killer cause” that will make my workplace giving program sing? The answer? It’s not some magical charity that cuts across every demographic; it’s much simpler than that. The killer cause is the charities (small or large, local or national) that matters most to the relevant individual – in this case the cause or causes that matters to each employee. And the element of choice is not only key for users; employers want flexibility as well. Companies are interested in delivering workplace giving programs that enable them to promote and encourage giving to their strategic corporate causes and, at the same time, to give their employees more choices about which causes, where and how to give.
Cause Marketing Does Affect Brand Purchase
Causemedia Group’s Chris Noble discusses the positive impact of social media in the cause marketing world (video), and the past year's developments, since retweeting and liking became seen as significant social actions. There's now measurable evidence that a brand’s philanthropic activities can influence shopper behavior and ultimately purchase decisions, and that gender nuance is a factor. The Integer Group queried 1,200 Americans about factors influencing brand preference when choosing between two companies with both benefiting a cause, and selling a product similar in price and quality. The top answer for both men and women was "personal relevance of cause" (70%).

Subaru Brings the "Power of Love" to the People
Subaru is offering the Facebook community an exclusive opportunity to select one of the charities to be a partner in this year's fourth annual Subaru Share the Love cause marketing event. Subaru has donated almost $15 million to Share the Love charities and hopes to donate an additional $5 million this year. The Share The Love event donates $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from Nov. 19 through Jan. 3. The Facebook voting program allows consumers to vote for a charity that will be designated "People's Choice." Online voting will be available only to Subaru's Facebook community. The eligible charities are …

Can Small Non-profits Succeed with Cause Marketing?
We recently reviewed a new book – Cause Marketing for Dummies – written by Joe Waters and Joanna MacDonald. It’s a great book, offering “316 pages of lessons, advice, inspiration and examples that will guide your cause marketing success.” Look for contacts, people that know of your mission, but are not yet supporters. My last job was at a hospital and our contacts were vendors. Many of them weren't supporters, but they were aware of us and open to the suggestion of working together. Avoid cold calling as much as possible. Stick with warm leads - of any temperature.

Cause Marketing Readings of the Week - Augsut 29

Here’s the best of the best of cause marketing information from the last week:

Secret's Anti-Bullying Campaign Appears to Get Facebook Fans Engaged As you develop a cause, consider the importance of the name. The Facebook growth is awesome … but, I’m more impressed with how the name (Mean Stinks) connects the for-profit / produce with the cause.

Making Cause Marketing Count In recent years, for-profit companies have been quick to align themselves with prominent nonprofit brands to enhance their image and increase sales. Consumers, however, are growing skeptical about the sincerity of companies’ cause related marketing programs and overwhelmed by their sheer number.

More Cause Added To Marketing From the NonProfit Times: It’s not just enough nowadays to have a transactional cause marketing campaign that donates a percentage or dollar amount of a purchase to a nonprofit organization. Not only do these types of donations amount to little in terms of long-term growth, but also tremendously difficult to convert these one-time donors into long-time supporters of your organization.

Men Have a Heart for Cause Marketing And we thought women were the best supporters of cause marketing. Surprise! Men actually care about cause nearly as much as women do. The new PRWeek/Barkley PR Cause Survey shows very interesting results that may eventually affect the way companies market their cause programs. Get a load of these stats: 88% of men say it’s important for a brand View Postto support a cause (compared to the 91% of women who responded the same way in last year’s study). 61% have purchased a brand because it supported a cause. 67% would try a brand because it supported a cause. 55% would pay more for a brand that supported a cause.