Thanksgiving is only a couple days away and Christmas is right around the corner so what does that mean?
Food piled so high you can’t see the person across from you, family and friends singing terribly off key (except for the one voice that happens to not be tone-deaf), air so cold you contemplate hibernation and the best thing of all – holiday marketing.
Marketing tends to get in the holiday spirit much like the rest of us. Images and sounds begin to reflect the season of cheer and marketing begins to not feel so much like, well, marketing. One new trend that has made this possible is cause marketing – but doesn’t all marketing serve a cause? Marketing has a purpose, cause marketing is something completely different.
The purpose of marketing is to increase sales.
According to Mary Plessas of the Presidio Graduate School:
“Cause marketing is when a for-profit company teams with a non-profit organization. The for-profit company benefits by generating goodwill and the non-profit benefits by increasing awareness and, usually, raising funds.”
A good example of cause marketing is being run by Dos Equis and “The Most Interesting Man in the World”. The company has partnered with The Wombat Foundation, an organization dedicated to thwarting extinction of the hairy-nosed wombat species. That sounds like a pretty good cause – “The Most Interesting Man in the World” helping out one of the most interesting species in the world, but how?
The Most Interesting Man in the World is more than a philanthropist, he happens to also be a jam maker. This isn’t your ordinary jam; unless you make jam with grasshoppers in Thai herbs, Cuban oregano, gold dust, apples, sugar and apple cider vinegar.
The jars of the most interesting jam in the world will be put up for auction on eBay with all funds raised being donated to The Wombat Foundation.
We may not be able to appreciate the grasshoppers in Thai herbs…yet, but we can appreciate the thought behind the campaign. The marketing serves a cause that aligns with the corporate image. Another similar campaign is being run between Coca-Cola and the World Wildlife Foundation in an attempt to help preserve the habitats of polar bears.
Any company has the ability to use cause marketing this time of year, just remember to have it align with your marketing strategy. Partnering with an organization may seem like a nice cause but it should still serve a purpose.