Cause marketing for Venus & Mars

Cause marketing for Venus & Mars

Late last year, the annual Barkley cause survey made a big discovery - men do have a heart. We talked to male consumers all over the USA and found out that men are impacted by cause marketing in nearly the same numbers as women. We also found out that only 3 out of 10 chief marketing officers were contemplating targeting men with a cause program. Sounds like some fertile ground for the right brand and nonprofit doesn't it?

At the Cause Marketing Forum in Chicago last week, I had the opportunity to meet with two small groups of fellow cause marketers to discuss cause and men. We had a great mix of people from agencies, companies and nonprofits. The discussion was spirited and we arrived at some interesting insights. The most significant one came when we talked about what motivates men in general and then discussed what that means when developing cause programs.

We all can agree that emotion plays a huge role in cause marketing. But while that is a primary motivator for women, is it the same for men? Our group in Chicago decided that it probably is not the primary motivator for men. Emotion will always be a factor in cause programs, but for men we decided that other dynamics may matter more - competition and accomplishment.

Men like to compete and men like to be able to see the results of the work they do. If you agree these are two big motivators for men, then the cause programs we develop to target men may look different than most cause programs today.

A cause program for men might have a component where the consumer is asked to take specific action or do some work as opposed to just writing a check or swiping a credit card to make a donation. A cause program for men might involve a competitive component where consumers who raise the most money for the cause or solicit the most participants for a cause are rewarded. The reward doesn't have to be a personal reward for the consumer. Instead it could be a brand increasing the amount it donates to its cause recognizing the milestones achieved by the male consumers it is targeting. Thus, the consumer can point with pride to what he has "accomplished." Starts to makes sense doesn't it.

We only had a couple of hours in Chicago but we all believe we identified some insights into how brands and nonprofits should look at programs that would get men involved. I look forward to hearing what others in the cause community think. Let the collaboration begin!

From Mike Swenson at Citizen Brand