Developing a great cause-marketing campaign is part art, part business, part negotiation, and a whole lot of heart.
The Pampers-UNICEF campaign is proving to be a wonderful model for other charities and businesses that really mean to do tangible and measurable good.
The P&G-UNICEF campaign has informed the public about a preventable disease that kills babies and mothers at a dramatic rate, raised the money to buy millions of vaccines that protect against neonatal tetanus, and touched the hearts of consumers, especially parents, around the world.
Linda Scott, professor of business at the Said Business School, explains in an article in the Guardian why this cause-marketing campaign has been so successful. Her points, from a case study of the campaign, represent a road map that other corporations and charities would do well to follow.
Three of Professor Scott's ideas stood out for me:
- Don't Wait. Charities don't have to be passive partners in a cause-marketing relationship. Scott says that charities shouldn't wait like Sleeping Beauty for a corporate partner to drop by. Look for companies with missions that match your own, but also that have a history of good logistical execution. Matching purpose with ability to pull off a complex project is a winning combination.
- Promise Something Concrete. P&G and UNICEF chose a specific task - provide vaccines for a deadly yet preventable disease. That task is possible, and it can be measured. It is inherently more trustworthy and convincing than just getting donations in general.
- Leave Ideology Out of It. People who work at charities sometimes think of business as somehow inherently evil. Get beyond that and expect that most businesses today really do believe in corporate social responsibility and are sincere about doing good. Professor Scott doesn't mention the other side of the equation, but people in business sometimes think of charities as incompetent and naive. One look at some of the iconic, historically effective, nonprofits such as the Red Cross or the Girl Scouts should put that belief to rest.
The P&G-UNICEF campaign, I think, should be a model for how to do cause-marketing right. I especially like the way the campaign, which has been ongoing since 2006, has now incorporated several actions that can trigger a vaccination. You can read a story, "like" the campaign on Facebook, download an app, or buy one pack of special Pampers.
What do you think? What are some of your favorite cause-marketing campaigns?
More about Cause-Marketing:
- Cause-Related Marketing: What You Need to Know
- Cause Marketing for Dummies - A Review
- Five Best Cause Marketing Programs for Local Nonprofits
- 3 Cause-Marketing Trends