Cause-Related Marketing

Altruism. Corporate responsibility. Philanthropy. These are often used to describe cause-related marketing, an activity in which businesses join with charities or causes to market an image, product, or service for mutual benefit.

Embracing a cause makes good business sense. Nothing builds brand loyalty among today’s increasingly hard-to-please consumers like a company,s proven commitment to a worthy cause. Other things being equal, many consumers would rather do business with a company that stands for something beyond profits.

Powerful marketing edge

Cause-related marketing can become a cornerstone of your marketing plan. Your cause-related marketing activities should highlight your company’s reputation within your target market. Cause-related marketing can positively differentiate your company from your competitors and provide an edge that delivers other tangible benefits, including:

  • Increased sales
  • Increased visibility
  • Increased customer loyalty
  • Enhanced company image
  • Positive media coverage

By choosing a cause you are passionate about, cause-related marketing is emotionally fulfilling. It’s a way to merge your profit center with your “passion center” and build a business that mirrors your personal values, beliefs and integrity. If your cause also resonates with your target market, your activities will generate tremendous goodwill and media attention can be its side effect.

Real-World Success Story

Cosmetic dentist Mark McMahon made himself a media mini-celebrity with a thriving practice due in part to his high-profile pro bono work in his community, a strategy that landed him radio and TV appearances in areas where he worked.

McMahon established partnerships with local charities, including a homeless shelter and a shelter for battered women, and offered free dental services to their members. Before each event, he contacted local media and let them know what he was up to. Several TV crews showed up, filmed him treating patients, and later aired the segments on the evening news.

“These events were surprisingly easy to arrange, and every year, they’d help us get press simply by doing these charitable promotions,” McMahon says. “Local television news stations loved the emotional element. And it was obviously rewarding to see patients after we’d treated them who’d been in pain for months talking about how glad they were to be relieved of their toothaches.”

Another project involved the Delancey Street Foundation, a residential education center for former substance abusers and ex-convicts. “I agreed to treat some of their members’ acute dental needs,” McMahon says. “I quickly appreciated the media appeal of transforming the appearance of these rough-looking guys with terrible smiles.”

McMahon captured the event with before and after photos. “These guys had missing teeth and terrible smiles,” he says. “So I had a professional photographer capture before pictures of these guys in street clothes with their snarling faces. After I fixed their teeth, we took more pictures, but this time dressed the guys in suits and ties, now looking like lawyers and accountants, with me sitting right in the middle. The media loved it, and it was great seeing these men looking like new.”

McMahon’s TV appearances created name recognition. “After I did the story on a local television show, I was recognized in my gym by a masseuse who had seen the show,” McMahon recalls. “She said, ‘I was thinking about you this morning while I was flossing my teeth.’ She became a great source of referrals.”

(Excerpted from the book Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort, by Steven Van Yoder)

Getting Started

Cause-related marketing yields mutual benefit. Look for partners with a similar agenda whose goals can be better achieved by partnering with your business. Take inventory of the assets that make you an appealing partner in a cause-related venture.

There are many types of mutually beneficial relationships you can form with your cause-related partner, including special events, sales promotions and collection plans. An easy way to embrace a cause is to team up with a charity.

Whenever Johnny “Love” Metheny, a slightly famous nightclub owner in San Francisco, opens a new club, he shares the limelight with a local charity. “I have a history of including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in my grand openings,” says Metheny, who was voted the society’s Man of the Year in 1991. “It’s not only something I feel good about, but it helps us market our businesses to the community and media at the same time.”

Volunteer with an organization. When Eunice Azzani, an executive recruiter, volunteered to serve on the board of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, she didn’t anticipate that it would connect her with executives from Mervyn’s, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo Bank, all of who eventually hired her to work for them.

“People don’t hire a piece of paper or a process. They hire people they trust,” Azzani says. “Volunteering for a position at a local organization makes you very trustworthy.” She advises business owners to target causes they believe in. “If you’re helping with a cause you believe in, people will see that you care. And they’ll realize you will probably care as much about your work.”

As your partnership takes shape, become ambassadors for each other. Talk about the charitable organization and have flyers available. Promote the organization (and your partnership) on your website and in your newsletters. Ask your partner to extend the same courtesies to you.

Never lose the marketing focus of your community partnership efforts. Even though the work is philanthropy, your cause should generate interest in your company and motivate people to buy from it. Select a cause that is important to your target market, and make sure your target market sees that connection.

Affiliate Marketing – The Next Generation

It occurred to me that Affiliate Marketing has not drastically changed over the many years it’s been around. What is needed is a “New Generation” of Affiliate Program that takes advantage not only of the new capabilities of the internet, but also the expanded capabilities of so many Affiliates.

I identified 3 distinct phases of the Affiliate Marketing business and what’s needed for the Next Generation.

First, a definition: Affiliate Marketing is simply marketing other people’s products and being paid a substantial commission for the sales you generate.

For example, if you are responsible for forwarding someone to Amazon.com and they make a purchase (and you’ve signed up as an Amazon affiliate, of course, you will be paid a commission on that sale.

It can work with almost any product available.

So, how did we get here?

Phase 1 – originally, Affiliate Marketing was handled by an individual company offering their products. In the example above, Amazon.com would set up their affiliate program, provide your custom link, and all tracking of hits and sales and commissions would be through that individual company. Now, each company is going to track their information regardless, but the limitations of this system were 2-fold. First, each company or individual had to set up their affiliate program separately. For an individual with an eBook (for example) this meant a complicated process and possibly expensive software to handle the link generation, tracking, and accounting. Second, for the marketer, there was no unified location to find these affiliate programs. You had to search for it, and manage each one individually. Further, you had to set up your own marketing, ‘splash’ pages to get interest and direct people through your affiliate link.

This led some entrepreneurs to develop…

Phase 2 – Once affiliate programs became established, certain companies were formed to provide for affiliates and the programs to be housed under one ‘roof’. The most famous and successful of these is ClickBank. With ClickBank you can sign up as either a marketer or a provider, and all link generation, back-office, and accounting is handled in your CB account. Thousands of affiliate products are available and sold through CB, and the process is a simple as searching for a product, getting your link, and they would track the hits, sales, and commissions and you would be paid through them. The providers of the programs would provide ‘landing pages’ to direct your sales leads through, and they’d be tracked all the way through sale.

Of course, many of the disadvantages remained, specifically the individual marketer having to provide their own splash page to pre-sell prior to directing to the providers page. Further, you’re handling each product separately, regardless of how closely tied each product you’re representing might be.

Which leads us to…

Phase 3 – So, what if a program could exist that managed the following?

Multiple affiliate programs, all combined together under 1 affiliate link, and all closely related? A natural synergy – for example: your own sales page is provided (income opportunity), with multiple affiliate links on the page (multiple income opportunities), hosted on the affiliate hosting company (income opportunity) with training (income opportunity) and the internet marketing tools you can use to equal the “big hitters” (income opportunity).
Free Support – via support ticket, phone, and a free forum where successful affiliates share openly their successes and failures in all phases, including paid (ppc) and free (article) marketing methods.
Immediate income potential – Some of the products would be true affiliate products, paying an immediate commission for a sale and,
Residual income – while some of the products (hosting and internet entrepreneur tools) are a MLM program, providing long-term residual income and growth.
Of course, there is no get rich quick scheme that works, so the key to ANY affiliate program is Learning to Earn. You still have to treat any affiliate marketing you do as a business, that you have to work at daily and learn what works and what interests you, as you drive interested traffic to your affiliate page.

What Moves the Currency Market?

The Forex Market trades $3.2 trillion dollars in volume each day. This fact alone shows the liquidity in this market and there are always buyers and sellers in the market 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. There are four major sessions in the U.S., Asian, European and London markets.

Who are the participants? Central Banks i.e. Fed’s, BOJ, ECB, BOE, and other countries; Large Institutions/Corporations, Bond Market (treasuries), Private Equity, Hedge Funds, Large Sovereign Buyers, Banks/Remittance, Clearing Houses, and Retailers.

In the U.S., the economic indicators are signals for the health of the economy. They show the signs of inflationary or deflationary market sentiment. Inflation is good for the economy and show signs of a stronger dollar. Deflation is a negative sentiment for the economy and show signs of a weaker dollar. These are the basic fundamentals for a strong or weak dollar in the U.S. compared to other countries and their fundamental analysis.

The market sentiment is the fundamental analysis i.e. economic indicators being released during each sessions and then being measured by the weakness or the strength of the actual number forecasted by the previous number. The market conditions are the volume pressures of buyers/sellers moving the trend in one market direction.

Majority of the currencies are against the U.S. dollar either indirect or direct with the dollar. So in conclusion what moves the currency market is the relative strength or weakness on the fundamental news. This will move the currency market and the volume pressures of buyers/sellers will move the currency market also.