Help Attack! Has Battle Plan for Cause Marketing

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the lack of online cause marketing solutions. Since then, a number of people have contacted me saying, "Yes, Joe, there are online cause marketing solutions! Please blog about them."

One of these people was David Neff, COO at Help Attack!. As David explained, the premise behind Help Attack! is simple. Just as cause marketing was created to allow consumers to donate to good causes via their favorite businesses, Help Attack! allows online users to support causes via their social activities.

Here's how Help Attack! works.

  1. You login to Facebook or Twitter.
  2. Choose a nonprofit or add your own.
  3. Pledge an amount for every update (Relax twitterholics and Facebook junkies. You set can set a limit.)
  4. At the end of the month you honor your pledges with a credit card.

That's it!

David had to be patient with me as I had trouble grasping that you didn't have to tag your tweets or wall posts to make a pledge. That's how most of these programs work, like the McDonald's promotion I blogged about last week that tied donations to mentions of the "@McDPhilly" handle.

But with Help Attack! every update, except direct messages on Twitter, triggers a donation. This is great for nonprofits as more updates means more money.

There are two potential cause marketing angles to Help Attack!.

Sponsored Updates for Employees

Say that Dell Computers agreed to pledge $250,000 for employee that signed up for Help Attack! and tweeted and Facebooked for good causes. Help Attack! would become another way for Dell to motivate employees, especially those who enjoy a vibrant online life, to help causes.

Another valuable asset of Help Attack! is data mining of social information. David used the McDonald's program in Philadelphia on Foursquare and Twitter to illustrate his point.

To qualify for a $1 donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Foursquare check-ins have to be forwarded to Twitter and include the handle "@McDPhilly."

If you're not on Foursquare this might sound complicated, but it's not. It's also a clever way to measure the success of the campaign. But as David points out, involving Help Attack! takes the program beyond vote-counting and turns this social information into useful and actionable data.

Sponsored Updates for Customers

The next step for Help Attack! may be to convince companies to pledge on behalf of their customers. After they register at Help Attack! consumers would enjoy company backed donations to their favorite causes for one, two or four weeks. The bounce-back benefit to the company--in addition to increased favorability with stakeholders--is the social data.

This isn't about companies delving into personal information on consumers (heck, they already have that). What they want to know more about are preferences, attitudes, perceptions and habits. And social is another data point.

Help Attack! is for causes but companies will benefit from the fight.