There are a few. But as an active participant in the marketing and communication community, you probably know that cause marketing can no longer be viewed as a peripheral “extra” strategy.
With US$1.84 billion in cause-related spending projected in 2014 in North America alone (according to IEG), it’s clear that consumers’ cause-consciousness is proving reliably profitable.
But choosing the wrong cause marketing partner can have negative results—or worse, can cause damage to your brand. Here’s how to choose the perfect cause marketing partner to create the benefits you want.
1. Self-assess without mercy
A critical review of your own company’s abilities and assets is crucial and should go far beyond your existing vision and mission statements, annual reports and press releases. You need to find out what Amazon founder Jeff Bezos describes as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Targeted surveys can bring forth some very interesting results about how your company is viewed.
Once you’ve seen the unvarnished truth about your brand, flesh out your reasons for wanting a partnership. Ask yourself:
- Is there something about your brand you wish to change?
- What markets are you looking to open up?
- Are you introducing a new product, looking to increase employee morale, or attract media coverage?
- Does your company have the motivation, ability, personnel, budget and leadership to undertake a long-term partnership?
2. Specify what you’re bringing to the table
Having your company’s assets well-defined and knowing what you can offer in a cause marketing partnership will go a long way toward approaching potential nonprofit, educational or government organizations. Develop a detailed list of everything you can offer, asking:
- Do we have strong brand recognition?
- What financial resources auto;">
Case in Point: Hot Wheels’ “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign
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