Review : Cause Marketing for Dummies

I recently got the chance to read a pre-release copy of the new Joe Waters (@joewaters) and Joanna MacDonald tome “Cause Marketing for Dummies“. Having followed Joe’s blog and twitter stream for awhile I’ve come to enjoy his sense of humor around marketing and great tips around how to interact with brands. I was a tiny bit familiar with cause marketing having dipped my toe into it at the American Cancer Society and doing some sponsorship work with Lights. Camera. Help., however, as Joe notes sponsorships are not the same as cause marketing.

Even with my limited background Joe and Joanna’s book really opened my eyes to the rest of the cause marketing world. At 300+ pages this book takes you step by step through the cause marketing process from day one of writing the plan all the way down to using advanced digital marketing tricks to earn more money for your campaign.

Some of my favorite sections included “What cause marketing can’t do”. Here are some sample thoughts:
1) Cause marketing doesn’t build brand
2) Cause marketing isn’t for the indifferent
3) Cause marketing partnerships can be fleeting
4) Cause marketing is more about marketing than mission

Take that last one to heart kids! My second favorite section was on how cause marketing could be a win-win-win. I won’t give away all of the secret sauce but my favorite parts had to do with when cause marketing works great for the companies involved. Some samples below for you business owners reading this:

1) Other forms of marketing increase your visibility, cause marketing increases your favorability.
2) Cause marketing gives you a competitive edge that goes beyond product and price.

I love that last one as it reminds me directly of the RED campaign, and how much that has given a lift to brands like Apple and Nike. Whether that is deserved or not could be a whole other book…

All in all this is a great start for anyone involved in nonprofit marketing or fundraising. If you are really looking to wrap your heard around the subject this is THE book to pick up. I’m really looking forward to Joe and Joanna’s next book..Maybe a more critical look at the shine companies get from cause marketing? What do you think of the book or cause marketing in general? Sound off in the comments below.

One comment

  1. I like the “cause marketing gives you favorability.” That’s a great little summary for it. The only thing I might add, for someone who really has their heart in it is “and warm fuzzies.”

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