Cause Marketing Resolutions

januaryYesterday was the first day everyone from the team was back in the office from the holidays so it was a good time to catch up about our cause marketing resolutions for 2009.  I'm unsure how much I've told you about my team in the past but it's comprised of a wonderful group of marketing, sales and event professionals who plan and execute multiple cause marketing programs each year.  As a team in 2009 we agreed that we would:

Focus more on affiliate cause marketing.  We believe this is the key to landing more partners and to raising more money.  While we love creating and developing our own signature programs like Halloween Town, building your own programs from ground-up is very time consuming and labor intensive.  We need to turn other people's assets into money-making opportunities with businesses.  Let me give you an example of a program we're rolling out with the Boston Bruins next month.

Boston is a baseball town so our NHL team can use all the visibility and promotion it can get.  And that's what we offer with our point of sale programs with retailers.  But what could the Boston Bruins offer us in exchange to woo potential partners?  It turns out a good deal.  Like player appearances at retail locations.  Check presentations at Bruins games.  Promotion on the jumbotron above center ice.  The good news is it worked.  Two of three partners we recruited for the program were new and one of them, Lowes Home Improvement, is a major hit for us!

So now we're looking for new sources of affiliate cause marketing.  We have a local food show here in Boston called the Phantom Gourment that we've partnered with to work on their outdoor BBQ event this summer that attracts 50,000 people.  Yesterday we met with a casual dining chain to pitch them on the opportunity and they said it was the only opportunity we could have put in front of them that would have interested them.  That's the power of using affiliate cause marketing and having a selection of different wares to share with your prospects.

Work harder for clients.  We work pretty hard for our clients already, but they really need us in 2009.  One partner has pared their marketing team to a sole marketer.  We need to assure our partners that we'll be there to help them execute programs, and that our program is the one to keep, not cut, in the new year.  For prospects, now is a good time to show them that our team can be an extension of theirs and can actually be a real asset to them in these times of uncertainty and attrition.

Move beyond point of sale.  Anyone who follows my blog knows that I'm a big fan of point of sale programs, and with good reason.  They're relatively simple to execute, effective and lucrative.  But they're not the only  program  that can work with retailers.  We'd like to work more with and mGive, especially the latter.  I really believe text giving has a bright future, and as we work with more sports teams--like the Boston Bruins--that attract large, attentive and captive audiences, I can see us tapping text giving more as a fundraising tool.

Wave the flag of cause marketing.  For all the misery in the marketplace right now, it's a helluva good time to talk about cause marketing.  The way we sell it it's completely free to businesses, it differentiates you from competitors, builds an emotional connection with consumers, delivers valuable cross-promotion and event marketing opportunities.  In short, I LOVE being in line behind TV, radio and newspaper reps.  Cause marketing cost nothing, is more effective, builds deeper bonds and offers more than all of them, combined.  There are a lot of things that are hard to sell these days (e.g. media, real estate).  Cause marketing shouldn't be one of them.

So now me, Joanna, Holt, Jessica, Ashley, Kayla and Leslie need your help.  We think we have a pretty good list of cause marketing resolutions, but they may be incomplete.  What do you think?  What would you change or add to the list? 

You can respond to me here or on Twitter.  And, of course, I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year!