Posts con el tag ‘NGO Marketing’

Cause Marketing: Love it or Hate it

Causegood.com estimates that cause marketing has grown in the past 15 years from $700 million to $2 billion. Cause marketing is growing rapidly and for a good reason: it simply works. It is a business strategy – not just an evolution of philanthropy – that strongly influences purchasing decisions.

It works by providing a growing funding stream for NGOs, reaching $1.9 billion in funds in 2015 in North America and developing a new donor base of millennials who want to support causes through the brands they patronise.

It works, evolves and innovates, as seen in some 2015-2016 cases:

-       Toms Shoes evolved from the “one-for-one concept” to “One Day Without Shoes”: using the Instagram platform where for every photo of bare feet that was tagged they gave a new pair of shoes to a child in need.

-       Doritos with the “It Gets Better” project: For every $10 donated, donors received a bag of rainbow chips. This is a new development called causejacking: when a brand rides the wave of a cause’s popularity.

-       Partnership between Subway and Coca-Cola: For every bottle of Dasani water sold in 2,200 participating US Subways, Coca-Cola donates 30 cents. A total of $125,000 has been donated to World Vision, the NGO that is the largest non-governmental supplier of clean water around the world.

-       Nivea India’s “Mom’s Touch” partnered with Aseema Charitable Trust, an organisation dedicated to providing quality education to children from marginalised communities.

-       Budweiser’s “Give a Damn”, broadcasted during the 2016 Super Bowl. Helen Mirren addressed drunk driving in a wonderfully witty spot in which the only commercial reference was a bottle and a mention of its cold temperature.

Meanwhile, tons of difficulties have been foretold from the NGO sector. A false solidarity in which the real winner is the for-profit company. An unhealthy lifelong dependence for these campaigns. A consumer who likes to maintain this altruistic vein through consumption practices. Consumers’ scepticism towards these campaigns. And thousands of ethical and mental barriers.

Now that Marmite suffers the consequences of the Brexit, let’s benchmark their claim. Cause marketing: do you love it or hate it?

 

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Little did I know…

The end of the academic year is a good time to look back on the impact we’ve had on our students. How have they experienced the impact of marketing on society? What have they learned? Theories, paradigms,….?

But forget all that! Instead, I’d like to use the STUDENT SERIES format to see what insights the students will share and what our true impact has been. This year, I’ve been truly fascinated by the story of Carmen Friedinger: age 22, coming from the Vienna University of Economics and Business for a semester abroad at ESADE, and seeking a career in marketing. If you can’t enrol in my subject, don’t worry: here’s an exciting trailer, brought to you by another student.

“I could start this blog post by pretending that it was my vast interest in the topic of social marketing that made me choose this class. But I think it will be more interesting to read the truth, so here you go: the main reason I decided to take this class was because of the great reviews some students from my home university in Vienna gave the professor, and the fact that they said how fun and easy it was to come up with a plan for collaboration between an NGO and Spanish companies. Little did I know! Truth be told – it did not actually turn out to be so easy for my group and me. Of course, the professor and the guest speakers were all very helpful and open to answering any of our questions and doubts – of which we had many! However, instead of just “finding a company to collaborate with and making a nice and easy project” we ended up spending hours and hours of discussion and careful consideration together. We found it very hard to come up with a plan for how to tell an NGO that seems so confident in its own appearance that what they need most of all is awareness of the hospital itself before they can properly promote their organisation and raise funds. We used our briefings with the guest speakers and the professor to figure out a way to let the NGO know that their image is not as great as they think it is – but without insulting them, as our goal was to win them over. BUT: instead of getting a clearer view of how to solve this problem, every one of them told us their personal opinion, which differed greatly from each other, making it harder for us to find a way to fulfil all their requirements. This point right here is what made this class a real challenge for us, and I think it is also what helped me most to improve my consulting skills, because in real life you will face similar situations. Moreover, as the class was taught in Spanish and our team was made up of students from all different universities (ESADE, Austin, Indiana, Paris and Vienna) it was very interesting to see how differently we all approached this project. Of course, the language barrier led to a couple funny moments, too. Overall, I think this class taught me a lot about how consulting projects take place in real life and how to overcome the hurdles of being in a very diverse project team.”

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Social marketing craftsmen: 2015 ESADE vintage

This year, I am once again proud to present two projects that our students are developing alongside faculty members according to the problem-based service learning methodology. Year after year, this is one of our best teaching experiences –the sort of project that, in the words of the professors, “gives meaning to our work, experience and dedication”.

-          The ACIDH group is working with an NGO focused on persons with limited intelligence (PLI) with the marketing objective of increasing their online presence.

-          The blood bank group is once again fighting to increase blood donations on our campus, in terms of both total donations and first-time donors. Great claim (“product costs nothing, but worth everything”), great video

Both projects are developed in a way that allows students to reach their own conclusions about whether marketing is a way to address social problems. And they decide what kind of impact they want to have in their professional career (to quote Seth Godin, “the impact comes from the craftsman, not the tool”).

So far, they have convinced various marketing professors to join the cause – which is easier than an ice bucket challenge.



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Amending Drucker

While NGOs are struggling for revenue in Spain – where, before the economic crisis, 82% of their income came from the state – I’ve been re-reading an article by Drucker entitled “What Business Can Learn from Nonprofits”, which in 1989 caused a commotion among readers of the Harvard Business Review.

While I’ve been re-reading Drucker’s assertion that NGOs are leaders in the most crucial area of management — the motivation and productivity of knowledge workers — I’ve also been working on the final post-mortem report on the subjects taught at ESADE with the service learning methodology. And I have found that, in their responses to a satisfaction survey, 80 international students described the experience of applying management in NGOs (Arrels Foundation for homeless care and Josep Carreras Foundation for bone marrow donations) in terms such as the following: “Really one of my best courses throughout my entire higher education; “It’s been a long time since a subject motivated me this much”; “A unique experience for someone who wants to go into business: dealing with clients, the importance of stakeholders, the importance of results, and social impact”.

These are future millennial managers who dream of careers at McKinsey, Procter & Gamble or Apple. But this was a real project, with sales and results, applied to NGOs, where they experienced a true adrenaline rush.

Drucker noted 25 years ago that “when I ask executives why they volunteer, too many say “because there isn’t enough challenge in my job”. Drucker, forgive me: let’s amend this headline. Today, I propose an article entitled “What Business Can Buy from Nonprofits: Passion and Employee Commitment”. Such a model would lead to more income for NGOs, thanks to the solid value proposition; greater societal impact in the terms defined in the NGOs’ mission statements; and companies that gain from being able to providing greater challenges.

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Learning marketing through service

“What a fascinating time I’ve just had in the classroom: one of the best professional, educational and personal experiences of my career.” When you hear this from a visiting executive who was formerly VP of Marketing at one of the largest FMCG multinationals in the US, you know something interesting happened in that classroom: the first session of the new Social Marketing subject of the ESADE BBA, which uses the Service Learning methodology.

ESADE has developed a programme that uses the Service Learning methodology in several BBA subjects. In case you are unfamiliar with this methodology, it can be summed up as pure experiential marketing. Service learning is a powerful educational experience where interests mesh with information, values and beliefs are formed, and action results.

The students get a lot out of this experience. Let’s summarise: they explore careers; build their resumes; gain valuable work experience; learn new skills; learn things that will benefit them for the rest of their lives; improve their self-esteem; develop a sense of personal satisfaction, initiative, independent reasoning and independent learning; enhance skills learned from experience (observing, asking questions, applying knowledge); develop social responsibility and concern for the welfare of others; as well as a list of benefits analysed in depth by Genie Black.

What’s more, we will help to increase the blood reserves at Catalonia’s blood bank, assist with the Arrels Foundation’s collection of blankets and winter trousers for the homeless, strengthen the knowledge and prospects of the DID-Áctica project for young people with minor disabilities, and participate in a bone marrow donor registration drive with the Josep Carreras Foundation.

The students will do marketing – lots of very good marketing. Although the main objective for the students is reflective observation – watching, listening, recording, discussing and elaborating on the experience – we will also achieve real marketing results. Marketing that has a direct impact on society.

The donation week will be at ESADE Sant Cugat the week of 21st November. Don’t miss out!

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A bunch of slacktivism, neknominations and ice buckets

The Ice Bucket Challenge has generated, in addition to more than ten million dollars in funding in the US and nearly 10 million uploads to YouTube, accolades such as that pronounced by Wharton, describing it as a phenomenal marketing campaign.

The project, which was launched when Pete Frates challenged his friends, has given rise to various readings, regarding social network marketing, social marketing and third sector management. It has also generated the usual ethical criticism of the limits to NGO fundraising: the participants don’t learn anything about the cause, they participate for essentially selfish reasons dressed up as altruism, and they do it to look good for their friends. It’s just slacktivism, a feel-good way to support a cause whose only positive effects are on the participants themselves. Welcome to the world of real people.

The Ice Bucket Challenge reminds us how to create value based on insights into people. People like simplicity (all they need is a mobile phone and a friend to film them). They use social media to amplify their narcissism. They want to do good if it makes them feel good, if it’s cool. People are motivated by and participate in activities like milking and neknomination. We climb on board the latest meme so long as it can be personalized, so long as it doesn’t require us to sacrifice our own identity, but rather lets us project it instead. Fun, easy, popular.

The Ice Bucket Challenge is not a sustainable fundraising strategy for the third sector: no organization can survive on sporadic viral online campaigns. However, the market-oriented approach is sustainable: creating value for people, offering activities that create value for them, accepting the mediocrity of human nature, so long as whatever we do is in keeping with our organization’s vision and values.

There are three approaches to the Ice Bucket Challenge: criticize people for disguising their narcissism as altruism, design promotions willing to “take the money wherever it comes from”, or learn about insights into people to increase the value our cause can create. Which one do you choose?

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Communicating to exist, or existing to communicate?

This week I will be giving a talk on marketing and communication in NGOs at the 4th Social Third-Sector Congress. I plan to begin my remarks with an insightful quote from a third-sector executive: “Our institution prefers to act before communicating.”

Over the last 10 years, communication has grown spectacularly in Spanish NGOs in terms of budgets, staffing and departments. This growth has been similar to that seen in the healthcare services marketing sector, described by Eric Berkowitz as “a dramatic increase in marketing budgets, reflecting an acceptance of advertising and not of marketing in the true sense… investing heavily in advertising when marketers knew virtually nothing about the target audience”.

These two very socially oriented sectors face similar difficulties and confusion when it comes to finding a place for communication and marketing. In NGOs, this confusion manifests itself in the use of communication primarily for fund-raising purposes: communication with potential donors is given higher priority than communication with the social base.

Marketing in NGOs should communicate within a reference framework like the one described by Toni Puig at ESADE: organisations that prioritise ideas over management, whose mission is to raise awareness among citizens, and which therefore see communication primarily as an uninterrupted ethical conversation about how we should live and how to achieve it. This communication should be directed at the three audiences that define an NGO: external (society at large), internal (collaborators), and intermediary (highly involved external stakeholders such as members, donors, volunteers and sympathisers). And the services simply come afterwards.

All this is perfectly synthesised in an article by José María Herranz of the Miguel de Cervantes European University (UEMC): as long as companies communicate in order to exist, NGOs should understand that they exist in order to communicate.

 

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Freedom from social guilt through indulgences

Guilt has always been used as an emotional driver in marketing. Guilt motivates action in so many different spheres:  consumption habits, personal and health-related routines, and even the decision to take out an insurance policy to protect one’s family. In the short term, it works… until you start reflecting on it some time later.

Now that Europe appears to be emerging from a new tunnel into economic confidence, we’re faced with a ‘new normal’ situation. Consumers have already decided, as a matter of mental hygiene, to change their consumption habits. Companies, meanwhile, are starting to use new marketing approaches. And many companies are focusing on frugal indulgence: spending less while still relieving stress through consumption. It’s a mutation of L’Oréal’s “Because I’m Worth It” campaign.

In previous recessions, indulgences were characterised by various differential attributes: they focused on basic needs, overt snob appeal or high intrinsic quality. In 2013, however, European consumers seem to need social-esteem-building indulgences that free them from their feelings of social guilt.

Companies are already generating solutions that maximise the ‘social-guilt-free’ attribute. Kellogg’s makes cereals from rice grown by farmers in the region; Carrefour sells vegetables grown locally by a farmer identified by first and last name… By buying these products, I am supporting my local community and reducing my environmental footprint. I don’t need products that are perfect in terms of sustainability or social responsibility; I just want something that immediately reduces my feelings of guilt.

Trendwatching dedicated its latest trend briefing to guilt-free consumption, but let’s expand this notion to include social aspects. This is a great opportunity for the NGO: I’m sensitive, my prayers that things not get any worse have worked, and now I want to indulge in things that instantly assuage my feelings of guilt. How about a donation that can turn a homeless person’s life around? It takes just three minutes. Now I feel better.

 

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Why charity needs to get down to business

“Charity industry” is a concept that usually produces an awkward silence when introduced in our management program for NGO.

We introduce the concept by means of a famous quote by Bernard Koucher (cofounder of MSF):  “If you want to achieve something in this area, you have to be a businessman and be sensitive to advertising and marketing … If you do not agree that the law of the market is also valid for the charity industry, you get your nowhere introduction”.

To most nonprofit managers, charity industry reads like an oxymoron; exempt as they consider themselves to be from the mundane considerations of business.

But the “b word” is the reality of the situation. In the US alone there are a whopping 1.4 million separate nonprofit entities, making up 10% of the total economy.

Nonprofit organizations are not exempt from the notion of “industry” and all its concomitant human problems: job insecurity, a bit of corruption here and there, not much transparency; not to mention a lack of clear incentives attached to operational efficiency (probably because donor euros are not regarded as investments).

As a result, the charity business is increasingly perceived as the unsavory side of humanitarian intervention.

Let’s take a tour of what’s been said about it in the last few months alone.

First there’s Arte TV’s investigation, which highlighted numerous instances of fund-raising activities that had gobbled up most of the donations – in some cases up to 100%, meaning that not a single cent arrived at its intended destination.

Then there’s Valentina Furlanetto’s book, “L’industria della Carità” which sheds light on the “hidden side” of charity: a litany of inefficiencies, delays, misuse of funds and exploitation of labor.

And there’s also With Charity for All from Ken Stern a provocative examination of this billion dollar industry; because, yes, an industry is what it is.

Let’s talk marketing.

To increase their chances of achieving stated goals, organizations should think in terms of value: value to mass media, to donators, to citizens, to volunteers, even to workers.

If they don’t, they are doomed to suffer all the usual human and organizational failures.

And to lead a new, strategic approach to market orientation, we need professional leaders, as illustrated in this brilliant (as usual) TED talk.

We’re at a crossroads. And what we need are management leaders to fully develop the charity industry. And create some meaningful standards, may be an innovative Corporate Social Responsibility approach.

 

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Different strokes, different consumers

What is going on? Are we suffering from an economic crisis that is radiating outwards   towards the world from the Mediterranean area? Or is it a case of the changing civilization, as defended by Carlos Slim?

Looking at it, changes in Europe are becoming pretty structural: the retirement age pushed back, the wasteful welfare state model swept aside, new jobs with far less pay than industrial sector wages. And what’s the impact in Spain? Today consumption has been reduced by $ 3,000 per family [from € 32,014 to € 29,813 per year).

So what are we seeing exactly? The birth of a new consumer, adapted to a New Normal economic scenario? Here are some facts to mull over: consumer values are evolving from a possession to an enjoy and experience model (Ymedia); private labels are increasingly emerging  as market leaders in food&drugs categories (Nestle has launched in Europe instant noodles, individual coffee packets and Products Popularly Positioned); BCG has started to define the consumer as moving from conspicuous consumption,  to a more conscientious approach to spending:  consumers are choosing to spend money only on affordable indulgence; buying goods to make them -feel better, something the family will enjoy, or simply better for the environment. And finally, there’s a consolidation of collaborative consumption and flea markets, together with values such as austerity, frugality and smart shopping. The final result, according to Nielsen, is that 69% of European consumers have changed their buying habits to save cash.

We’re already seeing surprising trends in the growing South&Central America area, reported by Trendwatching. Latin America is witnessing the emergence of empowered consumers in every dimension: economic, technological, social and political. Consumers  are  optimistic about the future and about their ability to define it, and they see rampant materialism as something unsatisfactory. And selfish.  Economic growth that does not map to societal values is something that remains uneven and uncertain. And consumers look for brands that don’t ignore social inequality: check out significant cases analyzed by trendwatching: Satisfeito, La Fábrica del Taco, or Techo.

Opposite paths, consumers running pretty much in the same direction.

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