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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Causes and marketers must balance their objectives

A story published by Marketing Daily shares data pointing to slides in charitable contributions as a result of cause marketing campaigns involving the charity. Click here to see the story.
Implications: At first, one might think that this issue is particularly harmful to the non-profit organization that partners with a cause marketer. I believe the marketer is just as open to risk, if not more so; if consumers get the impression that the business was giving lip-service to a charity as a means of padding their own profit line, there could be a severe public relations backlash.
How will the charity benefit, exactly? What kind of dollar amount do you expect to raise? Do you have a contingency plan to make a corporate contribution if sales/donation projections fall short? Does your company have a history with the charity, or are you just joining forces because they are currently popular? (Should you be taking steps to build a meaningful history with the charity—or charities—of your choice?)
All of this does not mean your company should avoid getting behind a non-profit organization or cause. Just make sure that while you’re doing well… the charity is, too.
We’ve offered a number of articles here on the matter of transparency [see the “Social Responsibility” set by clicking here].
Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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