Cause Marketing - Financial Services Marketing

Tying into sponsorship of a charitable event or creating a program in support of a charitable cause can greatly increase the value of the investment. The 2003 global study by Mediaedge:cia’s MediaLab, found that 56 percent noticed the companies and products that sponsored good causes, 43 percent believed these companies were of high quality, and 53 percent would buy from them. American Express virtually invented cause marketing with its 1983 sponsorship of the refurbishing of the Statue of Liberty. By pledging to contribute a portion of each dollar spent on the card, American Express greatly increased card usage. AmEx saw that linking its name to a good cause offered multiple benefits. For example, since 1993, AmEx has supported Share Our Strength, an antihunger program. Originally, AmEx was looking for a way to mollify restaurateurs who were complaining about the costs of accepting the AmEx card. Contributing part of every dollar spent on a meal in a restaurant not only raised millions for the charity, but served numerous marketing ends, including increased usage of the AmEx card and increased business for participating restaurants; improved image in the community of both the restaurants and AmEx; measurably improved cardmember satisfaction; and enhanced pride of employees working for American Express, increasing their participation in community activities related to the promotion. FNB Corporation, a banking company, moved its headquarters from Hermitage, Pennsylvania, to Naples, Florida, in search of high-net-worth clients. To let the community know about its services, FNB has put 90 percent of its advertising budget “into community and civic support for things like Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and the YMCA,” according to Clay Cone, a vice president. “If people see that you’re out there supporting the community, they will bank with you. [Community sponsorship] has served us very well.”

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