Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cause and Effect: Choose well and prosper...

Last year, Adweek's Wendy Melillo authored a great story that had this headline and subheading: "The Greed for Goodwill: Corporate America funds charities to boost its image -- and fortunes." In her story, Ms. Melillo reported that U.S companies were bound to spend $1.3 billion on cause-related marketing in 2006, which was up 20% from the previous year, according to Chicago-based research firm IEG. A major point of her story was that the links between companies and charities have become increasingly important to consumers. How important? According to a story in this week's brandchannel update, the 2007 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey says that the vast majority of Americans claim to be so interested in the environment that they expect corporations to engage in sustainable and environmentally conscious business practices -- or risk being boycotted if they don't.

Click to visit Richard Earle's CauseMarketer.com

With the growing importance of cause marketing -- much of which is being focused on environmental initiatives -- many professional marketing organizations are putting together conferences to showcase best practices and empower business professionals with actionable information. On June 12 at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University, Advertising Age is presenting The Green Conference, featuring Live Earth founder and Emmy Award-winner Kevin Wall, as well as the winners of Ad Age's own Eco-Marketing Awards. Scheduled presenters include executives from Discovery Communications, Ben & Jerry's, Flexcar, Aspen Skiing Corporation and Timberland. Call 212-210-0155 or follow the conference link provided and register before June 1 for a $50 discount off the $325 admission price. I expect that the information presented will be priceless for those of us considering how to maximize cause marketing for the benefit of our businesses, our customers, and the world at large....