Local Raleigh car dealer Leith Toyota is running a creative cause marketing campaign to support a dog shelter. Good idea, but it is important to make sure any cause marketing is inclusive, fun and ubiquitous.
Why Cause Marketing Rocks But Be Careful
Cause marketing is great content. When your brand adopts a nonprofit you help define yourself by what you believe in and are willing to support. Cause marketing is HOT because it plays beautifully in social media.
Watching football today one of our larger Toyota dealers showed a commercial with romping puppies. Leith is donating $100 for every Camary sold to Saving Grace (http://savinggracenc.org/ ).
Great content, great cause and great idea. BTW, when a local car dealer is willing to create cause marketing the tipping point is well behind us. The BUT in the praise is once you create cause marketing you must make it easy to find.
The banner about the program is in a roll and so can be easily missed: http://www.leithtoyota.com/ . There is no mention on Facebook because there is a win an iPad campaign going on: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Leith-Toyota/177150692407214 . The Saving Grace campaign is the second item on their G_ page.
Here is how I would change the campaign if I were running it:
* Static image on the site in addition to being on the role.
* YouTube video of the ad.
* User Generated Content campaign.
* Ask people to share pictures of their dogs in their cars.
* Don't limit the contest to Toyotas.
* Create special prizes for Best Toyota Dog.
* Create community by asking for votes.
* Create gamification to increase engagement in the contest.
* Set a goal for car sales and double the gift if reached.
Leith is also running an iPad guess how many cars we've sold contest. The iPad guess contest is a good example of how NOT to use Facebook. That is a contest best announced on Facebook and run somewhere else.
The dog idea is PERFECT for Facebook since every dog owner has a picture of their dog sticking his head out the window (I bet). Visual content and cause content works like a charm on Facebook.
Cause marketing is a great idea for all brands, but in for a penny in for a pound. Make sure your cause marketing is easy to find and interact with otherwise you reduce conversions and create dissonance. Does Leith really care about dogs? I think the answer to that question is YES, but never create cause marketing that isn't easily accessible across all digital assets.
What is your cause marketing? Share how your company is helping to save the world and we will write about it.