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Where social media meets cause marketing

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Social Media

Bob Gilbreath, chief marketing strategist at Bridge Worldwide and author of “Marketing with Meaning,” spoke concisely and actionably — two of SmartBrief on Social Media readers’ favorite attributes! — at yesterday’s IAB Social Media Marketplace session “Social Media, World Events and the New Face of Cause Marketing.”

He led with stats that got the attention of the 300-plus brand representatives in the room:

  • 71% of consumers are giving as much or more now as they were before the economic downturn.
  • 87% of consumers would switch brands based on association with a good cause.
  • 50% of consumers would pay more for products from brands that support causes.

As a preface to a fascinating discussion with BlogHer founder Jory Des Jardins and Quincy Jones Productions (think “We Are the World”) Vice President Adam Fell, Gilbreath offered this excellent, short list of cause marketing do’s:

  1. Create a cause linked to your brand purpose. E.g. Pepsi Refresh Project. Beware of greenwashing, pinkwashing and jumping on irrelevant bandwagons.
  2. Make sure it’s meaningful. E.g. the MAC Viva Glam initiative, which gives 100% of all purchases on an annual basis.
  3. Invest in it for the long haul. E.g. Yoplait’s Save Lids to Save Lives, which is 11 years strong.
  4. Create something employees can get engaged with. E.g. Innocent Brand’s The Big Knit project, which got employees learning knitting from elders and making hats to benefit Help for the Aged.
  5. Act quickly. E.g. Tide’s Loads of Hope. Trucks filled with washers were sent to help Hurricane Katrina victims clean up.
  6. Something that’s brand-relevant. E.g. Haagen-Dazs Help the Honeybees initiative, which sent lobbyists to Capitol Hill to participate in the honeybee shortage.

Rules to prosper by — and feel good about.

Image credit: DeVries Public Relations