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Social Cause Marketing - The Regis Group Inc

Social Cause Marketing - The Regis Group Inc

INTERVIEW pected to be

INTERVIEW pected to be socially responsible and ethically sound? Why do you think there is a demarcation between commercial marketing and social marketing? First, their objectives (and techniques) are different. When there is a particular product or service to be sold, based upon specific tangible benefits, there is rarely room within a brief advertising message for the more altruistic benefits that promote a cause. More often than not these belong in a separate campaign, sponsored by a wellestablished brand whose product benefits are well-known and donít need to be reiterated. Just the way brands are endorsed by celebrities (famous sportspersons, actors, etc.), should a social cause be endorsed by a powerful brand, wherein the powerful brand becomes the celebrity endorser for the social cause taken up? What happens if an important social cause is addressed by a not-so-well-known brand? Would it have the same reach as a powerful brand would have? Powerful brands are clearly the most potent and effective cause partners. A not-so-well-known brand would not have the same power. However, as stated earlier, I find that the strongest cause-related partnerships are those that have a solid ëfití, in which the sponsoring brand seems a logical partner for the cause. Should a not-sowell-known brand be one that is easily associated with the cause benefit, the cause-related partnership could in fact help establish that brand. At what stage of brand life cycle, would it be meaningful for any brand to get out of its comfort zone and start embracing social causes? When brand research demonstrates that it is well-recognized, and its benefits well-accepted and well-understood by the public. Unless, as stated above, it is a new brand that by its inherent nature can be closely associated with the cause. Are the social-cause marketing initiatives truly sustainable? High Brand Image/ Reputations Exhibit Scope for Social Cause Marketing Minimum (Scope for CRM Minimal) Nullified (Scope for CRM absent) High (Scope for CRM is High) Moderate (Scope for CRM is Medium) Low Low High Social sensitivity/social empathy/ Social consciousness of customers Copyright: IBSCDC; CRM = Cause Related Marketing I believe so, depending on the continuing needs of the cause. However, successive initiatives within a long-term campaign must be innovative to refresh the campaign and provoke new interest. In lengthy campaigns, it helps if the cause can be branded every bit as compellingly and memorably as their partner brands. We have created a matrix for deciding on the scope of adaptability for social-cause marketing? (See Exhibit) Please give your comments. I consider this matrix to be generally correct. I do believe that a carefully targeted cause-related campaign can in fact increase the social consciousness of the consumers, thereby increasing the scope of CRM. For example, in the US, clean energy or energy efficiency campaigns have traditionally been directed toward an upscale, better-educated consumer. But recently, energy campaigns have been redirected to a lower-income ëgreen collarí target. This should greatly expand consciousness and meaningful conservation. What according to you would be the new trends in social cause marketing ñ both in developed markets and emerging markets? I believe that there is much more awareness of important social causes throughout the world today. Therefore, social-cause campaigns that are honestly and sincerely designed can have an increasingly important role to play in any brand marketing strategy. And if the brand and the cause have an inherent synergy or ëfití, then the campaign is considerably strengthened. The uses of the new media; the Internet, YouTube contests, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and interactive media in everything from the Web to cell phones to billboards can only increase the effectiveness of these campaigns, particularly among the young. Marketing executives in both developed and emerging markets that ignore this trend, do so at their peril! And the leaders of struggling cause organizations, finding that individual contributions are waning in tough economic times, had better seek out and develop a CRM partnership. Their survival may depend on it! The interview was conducted by Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary, Consulting Editor, Effective Executive, Dean, IBSCDC. (www.ibscdc.org) Reference # 03M-2009-09-08-06 SEPTEMBER 2009 50 EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE

P E R S P E C T I V E The Moral of the Moment… Social Cause Marketing Iíve always loved the holiday season; people are a little happier, the days are little brighter, and so many of the advertisers seem to get caught up in the holiday spirit. As a matter of fact, certain commercials that have little to nothing to do with the actual product are brought out of mothballs and played every holiday season. Although I only see these commercials for a week or so once a year, I know them well because some of them have been playing annually for over 30 years. What I donít understand is why. Donít get me wrong, I appreciate having a beer company spend an enormous amount of money showing me a beautiful landscape, and spectacular horses, to make my day a bit brighter. Iím also a fan of watching a kind gesture from one human being to another without a product in sight. It makes me smile, and it makes me happy. I even like to be reminded of other civic duties like voting. It also makes me wonder why they are being so generous with their advertising dollars. Are they really that concerned with my wellbeing or is there more to it than meets the eye? The fact is, unbeknownst to many of us, we are being exposed to social-cause marketing. Iím a pretty positive person, but I learned long ago a simple acronym that provides a simple, but critical question that any capitalist has on their mind when making business decisions ñ even social-cause marketing decisions. The acronym is WIFM, and it stands for, ìWhatís In It For Me?î So whatís in it for an organization or company to spend enormous sums of money to not feature their product in a marketing campaign? If we can answer that question, we can get a much better handle on social-cause marketing. A simple answer would be that the organizations sponsoring these acts of kindness create a well guided trail back to their organization hoping their selfless act will pay dividends at a later date. In a sense, the campaign would act as a surrogate marketer for those who are paying the bills. For instance, a social-cause marketing campaign to get the vote out on an election may very well benefit the organization whose candidate has a higher probability of winning from a larger turnout. Itís a win-win situation for those who are targeted, and those who are targeting. Itís a socially responsible message, and it benefits the organization sponsoring it. The more difficult scenario is the good natured corporation just wanting to spread good cheer for the holiday season. Of course the cynic in Rob Jolles is a bestselling author, speaker and President of Jolles Associates Inc., an international training corporation, me would say that a beer company wishing us good cheer for the holidays coincidently has its biggest alcohol consumption during that holiday season. I suppose we have found our win-win scenario but once again there is a coincidental trail back to the marketer. So the moral of this moment is to understand that although socialcause marketing appears to be a selfless act of kindness by organizations that are simply concerned with our wellbeing the reality is that every now and then we need to be reminded that itís very rare in this world to get something for nothing. In the end, I think we all benefit from the concept of social-cause marketing. I just donít want to lose sight of that fact that before we spread too much good will to the organizations that support such marketing approaches, we should understand the WIFMís involved in these decisions. © 2009 Job Rolles. All Rights Reserved. (www.jolles.com). Reference # 03M-2009-09-09-01 SEPTEMBER 2009 51 EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE

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