I will admit I’m conflicted about the new Pause to Support a Cause program launched by the CMO Council and other organizations. The initiative’s goal is to attract consumers to participate in market research conducted by corporations by offering to make donations to favorite causes in return for their participation. (For further information, click here.)
On the one hand, how could I be against any program that has the potential to raise additional money for a host of great causes, some of them clients of IEG Sponsorship Consulting? Yet there is something that bugs me about this effort. more
As mentioned in parts one and two of the series, of all of the categories of tangible benefits (both measured and non-measured) that I come across, valuing “can’t buy” hospitality, unique access opportunities or interactive/highly-integrated benefits are some of the hardest tangible benefits to value. Of course, these also happen to be some of the most valuable pieces of a sponsorship package.
The third part of the series concentrates on on-site interactive or highly-integrated opportunities. Many of the principles for valuing VIP hospitality and unique access opportunities apply to interactive/highly-integrated opportunities. Keep in mind, there isn’t always a clear delineation between categories; the line can be a little blurry.
As mentioned in part one of the series, of all of the categories of tangible benefits (both measured and non-measured) that I come across, valuing “can’t buy” hospitality, unique access opportunities or interactive/highly integrated benefits are some of the hardest tangible benefits to value. Of course, these also happen to be some of the most valuable pieces of a sponsorship package.
The second part of the series concentrates on unique access opportunities. Many of the principles for valuing VIP hospitality apply to unique access opportunities. Keep in mind, there isn’t always a clear delineation between categories; the line can be a little blurry. more
Perhaps inspired by Julie & Julia (book and movie) and “Yes Man” (movie - well, really I just saw the trailer over and over on TV), I decided earlier this week that I would say "yes" to all the sponsorship offers/requests that came my way. Unlike J & J or Jim Carrey's Yes Man character's year-long experiments, however, I only committed to 24 hours.
Monday, 9:30 PM: Called up the Westin/National Sleep Foundation hotline I've read so much about in the past week. I asked if there were different minimum recommended hours of sleep dependent on age, etc. Evidently, not really. I answered a series of questions and the hotline rep gave me a few answers. It felt a bit like searching the internet, only slower. Result: I would have liked a more consultative experience but it was free after all. I slept as well as I usually do. more
My colleague Dan Kowitz's earlier post on cause marketing illustrated a potentially troubling trend for companies and nonprofits involved in cause marketing.
Though recent consumer research seems to encourage companies to get more involved with causes, those companies will be facing consumers with big expectations. With many companies making six-figure minimum cause marketing guarantees, the bar has been set pretty high. “Go big or go home” might be true with respect to sponsorship, but it seems like a dangerous game to play with cause marketing.
Of all of the categories of tangible benefits (both measured and non-measured) that I come across, valuing “can’t buy” hospitality, unique access opportunities or interactive/highly integrated benefits are some of the hardest tangible benefits to value. Of course, these also happen to be some of the most valuable pieces of a sponsorship package.
Initially, I wanted to address all of these types of benefits in one blog but I quickly realized that there is too much information to cover, so I am going to do a three-part series and the first part will concentrate on VIP or “can’t buy” hospitality. Even for my blogs, this one is a little long, but I think that if you can stick with it, there is some really valuable information here (maybe too much).
Cause marketing continues to be a growing arena for corporate and consumer support of many wonderful causes. Recent studies have shown that even in this economy, consumers expect companies to put more toward cause marketing than they do toward sports, events or other types of sponsorship. I am a big proponent of cause marketing, have done much work in this arena and write about it often.
However, if not done carefully it can lead to misperception, consumer backlash and at the extreme, legal action. This subject comes up often, but I got to thinking about it because of a recent TV ad for EXPO dry erase markers. The commercial features actor Kyle Chandler, who is currently starring on Friday Night Lights. The commercial states that elementary school teachers spend an average of $500 a year out of their own pockets on school supplies. It gives consumers a chance to nominate their favorite teacher and promises to cover the cost of school supplies for ten winners for one year.
We rarely distinguish among the many types of nonprofit/corporate alliances—seven of which I spelled out in my last blog posting—instead lumping them all under one umbrella.
This is a costly oversight. Nonprofit executives who view discrete practices such as cause marketing and strategic philanthropy as interchangeable are unable to maximize their organization’s capture of unrestricted corporate revenue.
Comments from blog readers reveal the tendency to view strategic alliances—each with its own set of rights, benefits and obligations—through a single lens. For example, although commenters said they disagreed with my critique of Corporate Social Responsibility, they went on to address cause marketing, not CSR.
The current state of the economy, what can I say that hasn’t already been said? Unemployment is up, retail spending is down, consumer confidence is down, quarterly earning reports are down, stocks are up and then down, it is a lot to take in. Honestly, I am tired of hearing about it, reading about it, talking about it and living it (so of course I have to write about it). This recession has impacted everyone on so many levels and from all angles. It is ever present both personally and professionally. It has changed us in many ways and it isn’t going away as quickly as we would like it to.
It is somewhat old news now, but I was thinking about the press earlier this year around banks that received TARP money and the attacks on their sponsorship spending. The remarks made by Sen. John Kerry and Congressman Barney Frank were misdirected and uninformed. I felt like their comments were a personal attack and I couldn’t understand why they would want to further hurt yet another industry. The marketing industry, including sponsorship, had already been feeling the effects of the weak economy.
Working with so many corporate clients in so many categories gives us real-time feedback on changing sponsorship objectives. Increasingly clients are identifying “showcase Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)” as a top sponsorship objective.
When we hear this, we ask clients a series of questions to clarify that CSR is actually the focus, and not strategic philanthropy or cause marketing, as the three terms are often mistakenly used interchangeably.
Here’s how they differ: more