Doing Well By Doing Good
Although cause marketing is a concept that’s been around for many years, it seemed to pick up steam as a marketing buzz word in the early 1980’s – when the term was generally attributed to American Express for their role in the Statue of Liberty Restoration project.
While most of us will never be involved in something on such a grand scale, cause marketing can be a real win-win situation for marketers and charities alike. These initiatives draw attention and/or money to a worthwhile cause. And they help position the marketer as a good corporate citizen. The key to effective use of a cause marketing strategy, however, is selectivity.
Businesses large and small are typically presented with dozens of opportunities to support or partner with any number of worthwhile and legitimate causes each year. And the temptation to help as many of these charities as possible is strong. But, inevitably, all this does is spread one’s resources, financially and otherwise, too thin to be effective. It’s a natural response and certainly a noble gesture. But without adequate resources, the net result is bound to be disappointing for both the sponsoring organization and the charity alike.
Thus, the trick is to not only be more selective in the number of non-profit projects you associate your business with, but to be aggressive in seeking relationships with those organizations whose causes or missions are consistent with your own corporate philosophy.
Taking the time to proactively identify a select few non-profit organizations naturally inspires a higher level of interest and creativity from the partnering business which results in a more effective campaign and, thus, a more positive reflection on both parties.
In other words, if you are going to go through the process of donating valuable time, talent and resources to a cause, make it count.
So what if the restoration campaign your business backs is for a century-old statue in Benton Harbor and not in New York Harbor – as long as it makes good business sense.
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