Cause Marketing: Are You a Supporter - or Just Jumping on the Bandwagon?
How Involved Are You With the Cause You are Marketing or Promoting?
Austin, Texas: Cause marketing is here in full bloom this month.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and companies of all types are giving away pink mugs, pink tote bags, pink pencils, etc. With the exception of a few well-known organizations that make the fight against breast cancer a part of their every day marketing campaigns, most of these other businesses are jumping on the pink bandwagon. I call it Pink Washing.
Just because a company prints a pink ribbon on their menu or on their website does not mean that they are passionate about the fight against breast cancer — and it muddies the waters. Are they supporting and promoting awareness of early breast cancer detection and the fight for a cure – or are they just jumping on the pink bandwagon?
Don’t get me wrong. I know first hand about the ravages of cancer, having lost my mother to the battle nearly 12 years ago and having many other family members and close friends battle the disease.
But it should not become part of one’s advertising and marketing scheme unless the organization supports the cause, through donations, education, forums, etc.
It is insincere and smacks of opportunism.
Green washing is no different.
Too many companies try to print a green ribbon on a product and pretend that they are an eco-friendly organization when they are not. Green Washing.
So is placing a candidate’s yard sign on your lawn and not knowing anything about the candidate, other than his political party. Opportunism. Red-White-Blue Washing?!!?
If you are going to get involved in cause marketing, you must be a supporter of the issue.
Be passionate about it.
Donate to it — both financially and with your time.
Educate others about it.
Strike up conversations with others and defend the cause. Not argue or shout-down somebody from the other side. But defend and discuss it with logic and reason.
Find a cause they you want to support and make it a part of your marketing agenda.
But don’t just jump on a bandwagon just to win a few voters, customers, donors, etc.
People will be able to see right through it.
What cause are you passionate about?
I’m talking passionate–not lukewarm.
Not: “It would be kinda nice to support the kid down the street’s issue”…
Not: “Little Johnny’s school is raising money for this cause, so might as well do it too”….
Where is your passion?
What can you do to get more involved with it today?
What cause can you dedicated time and resources to supporting and promoting?
Now, take 3 action steps today to move forward in becoming active in a cause near and dear to your heart.
That’s right. Near and dear to YOUR heart.
The passion will show through!
Please share with us what steps you have taken to get involved with a cause so we can share it with others and inspire them too.