Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cause Marketing

Every month in our calendar year hosts a number of causes and issue-related campaigns. Initiatives that educate the public and generate support for a good cause are becoming increasingly important parts of promoting a business.

“Cause-marketing”, as defined by, is a joint funding and promotional strategy in which a firm's sales are linked (and a percentage of the sales revenue is donated) to a charity or other public cause. However, unlike philanthropy, money spent in the cause-related marketing is considered an expense and is expected to show a return.

Businesses have been jumping aboard the cause-marketing band wagon lately, and for good reason. Social responsibility is an ever increasing value in our culture and marketing is taking note of its significance. Consumers who visit your websites and see your advertising want to know that you share their desire to make the world a better place by supporting an important cause.

The number of consumers who say they would switch from one brand to another if the other brand were associated with a good cause has risen to 87 percent, a dramatic increase in recent years, according to a Cone Cause Evolution Survey.

Your company's challenge is to make your socially responsible efforts an undeniably valuable proposition for the cause or group you support, the community and your business. You can rise to the challenge and do so effectively with these tips:

1. Put some heart in it

Cause marketing is most successful when you and your employees are personally connected to and feel good about the help you're providing to your cause. Work with an organization you believe in - what matters most to you, your team and your customers? You'll work harder to make a difference when you're heart is in it.

2. Choose a related cause

An effective cause-marketing campaign often starts with the right affiliation. Look for a cause that relates to your company or its products as you go through the selection process. For example, Procter & Gamble's Olay brand skin-care line partnered with the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery with a campaign goal of inspiring women to protect their skin from the sun. PR support yielded widespread broadcast, print and online coverage, helping the program attract more than 9,000 individuals for free skin-cancer screenings.

3. Contribute more than money

Cause-marketing values strive to go above and beyond simply writing a check by donating products or services as well, forming even stronger consumer associations between what you offer and the good work you do.

4. Formalize your partnership

To make your affiliation a win-win for everyone, work with the nonprofit of your choosing to define how it will help your business increase visibility, branding or company awareness. If the organization has a newsletter or other communications with its constituents, negotiate for opportunities to do joint promotions.

5. Mount a marketing campaign

Success in cause-marketing often means motivating an audience to take action, such as making a donation or participating in an event. You can reach and persuade the target group, while also raising awareness for your business and its commitment to social responsibility, by using a dedicated marketing campaign.

Types of Awareness Campaigns


Health: Cancer, ADHD, Autism, HIV/AIDS, childhood obesity, smoking

Safety: Fire prevention, poison control, texting while driving

Social: Workers rights, poverty, homelessness, crime prevention, anti-bullying

Environmental: Pollution, global warming, recycling, sustainability
                                                 Written by Molly Hedges, student NCSU

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Popular Showcase around the corner

It’s time for our popular 4th annual showcase. Clients love learning more about what works for other companies to attract and retain clients and employees. This year’s theme focuses on marketing as a team effort. Pick up your playbook of strategies ready to score during the remainder of 2012 as well as preparing your plays for 2013.

American made is hotter than ever and 8 of the lines featured have USA made products! Our popular NC based textile and woven company will be on hand again for top quality low cost high impact pieces across many industries. Are you looking for food gifts, calendars or greeting cards? No problem, plenty to sample. Additionally there will be some great choices for traditional holiday items and functional corporate gift ideas for office, travel or leisure.

There will be new hot product solutions for tradeshows, incentives, prospecting and on-site events such as training or tours. Tech items are a growing category that serves many demographics while creating solutions to challenges for upcoming marketing campaigns.

For the first time Sanmar, the largest apparel supplier in the industry, will be one hand with their complete line which includes wovens, polos, golf, work wear, safety, healthcare, tees, accessories, fleece, contemporary district, outerwear and brand names like Eddie Bauer, Ogio and Nike to name a few. Apparel and accessories are often an area that clients overlook for a source of gifts. Branded apparel and accessories are a simple way to provide a special client a specific item that reflects that client’s taste, interest and displays your brand. In a challenged economy many of our companies found that providing employees nice branded apparel was a great way to show appreciation as well as building brand awareness.

Are you looking for top requests such as writing instruments, drinkware, awards or bags? There will be 25 lines represented at the show providing both traditional and unique ideas for ways to increase your profits. Last year's event shown here was a huge boost to planning for success, contact Olivia to RSVP today; be ready to SCORE!