Trial Runs for a Cause

We know cause campaigns tied to purchase can be an effective way to drive sales, but companies are also using cause marketing to better engage consumers at other points along the marketing spectrum – from product trials before purchase to product reviews after.

In the wake of the success of Ford's school fundraising initiative, "Drive 4 UR School," the automaker has announced it will be applying the concept to nonprofits with the "Drive 4 UR Community" campaign. Now, charities can team up with local Ford dealerships for a test drive event with each trial prompting a $20 donation to the specified nonprofit, up to $6,000.

HP delivered smiles earlier this year with the "eSmiles" campaign by asking consumers to try out its newest technology in exchange for a donation. The company encouraged consumers to upload photos via the "eSmiles" dedicated website, then, using HP ePrint wireless technology, the message was delivered to a selected Ronald McDonald House. For each picture uploaded, HP donated $1 with a $10,000 maximum donation per participating house.

Voting wrapped earlier this summer on Sears' "Love/Hate: Share Your Thoughts/Send Some Love" online campaign to encourage consumer product reviews. For each product reviewed online, consumers were rewarded with a chance to vote for one of four charities competing for a $100,000 grand prize donation.

Baking in cause along the marketing funnel can be an effective way to keep your brand ahead of the curve when consumers look to buy, meaning a win-win-win for business, consumers and nonprofits alike.

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