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Home > Blog > Worthwhile Print Preview: The Dos + Don'ts of Cause Marketing
Out of Our Minds
Tuesday, September 07, 2004 10:44 AM
Worthwhile Print Preview: The Dos + Don'ts of Cause Marketing
Kevin Salwen on Making a Difference

Cause marketing is the hot hot hot trend these days. As the concept of doing well by doing good has exploded across the corporate consciousness, company after company has linked itself to a nonprofit. In the U.S., spending on cause marketing will hit $991 million in 2004, according to the IEG Sponsorship Report in Chicago, up 7.5 percent from 2003. Pick a company, you're likely to find a cause.

But David Hessekiel, who runs the Cause Marketing Forum in New York, writes in the Premiere Issue of Worthwhile magazine that tying a brand to a nonprofit is tougher than it looks. 'Culture clashes between hard-charging marketers and mission-driven nonprofit executives are common. And anyone who thinks that simply slapping a nonprofit's logo on a company's packaging is going to catapult sales is sorely mistaken.'

Instead, Hessekiel offers a roadmap for how to do it right:
-- Logical Fit: The link between your company and the cause should be so obvious that it passes the three-second test. If a consumer can't make the connection in three seconds, it probably isn't the right cause for you.

-- Think 'Glocal': The closer a program's point of impact to the people I care about, the more its appeal, so develop concepts that can be localized.

-- Find a Good Partner: There are an endless number of causes out there, but a far smaller set that can help create a win-win partnership. Look for: a clean organizational bill of health (i.e., no scandals brewing that will tar your company), adequate staff to support your program and a can-do marketing mind-set that makes the most of the nonprofit's resources.

For more, check out the Premiere Issue of Worthwhile, coming October 14. To subscribe at the special web rate of $11 for 6 issues, click here.

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