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10/07/2011

Cause marketing good business, Komen exec tells retailing group in Dallas

Here’s a glimpse into why the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is so effective at securing partners.

Katrina McGhee, the Komen Foundation’s chief marketing officer, in a talk to the Texas A&M Center for Retailing Studies Retailing Summit 2011 this morning in Dallas, hammered home the idea of cause marketing as good business.

“Eighty five percent of people will support a business that supports a cause that they believe in,” she said, quoting a survey.

But businesses shouldn’t adopt just any cause, or adopt too many causes, she said.

A feel-good cause “may not be relevant to your brand,” she said. “You must ask your customers what they believe in, who they believe in, and what they trust.”

And she added, “don’t try to support everything through cause marketing; that doesn’t work. You cannot be known for everything and continue to have an ongoing conversation with them. Don’t try to capture the flavor of the day. Make sure it works for you. If you’re about women, maybe it is breast cancer, maybe it’s heart disease.”

She urged the retailers to remain committed to causes they support.

“You have to stay in it for a long tine tor consumers to connect you to it,” she said. “It’s about the third year that cause marketing programs actually hit their stride.”

- Scott Nishimura

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