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Monday, July 18, 2011

Just cause: Are your charitable tie-ins plausible?

According to findings from MSLGroup, only 37% of consumers have made a purchase in response to a company’s cause marketing efforts.  That’s according to an overview of the study offered in today’s Marketing Daily (click here to see it).

Implications:    The problem is not “Cause Marketing.”  The challenge is choosing a cause that has some kind of an authentic relationship to you, your company, and your consumers... and then helping that cause in a way that is verifiable.  

Companies who claim to be environmentally friendly are guilty of “green-washing.”  But likewise, any other cause-related marketing effort is likely to be met with skepticism (or worse) unless there is a bona fide, demonstrable benefit to the stated group or charity. 

Can you write a “deeds dossier” which explains, precisely, how you are helping advance the interests of any cause, charity or non-profit group you claim to support?  If you can, you should.  If you can’t, you should suspend those claims until you can.  (Before somebody calls you out on it.)

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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