Early on I learned that whether playing football or marketing a business the message was the same. “This is war. It’s a zero sum game that you not only need to win, but increase your portion of the pie by squeezing your opponents down to nothing.”
I got pretty darn good at setting my sights and plunging into battle. I knew that advertising was a self-centered, one-way message, and it lied. Although I became as successful in business as I had been on the gridiron there lurked an emptiness in my gut. Something was missing.
When I began inhaling books that described businesses that operated with more than one bottom line, I got hooked.
When the Internet revolution began I was fortunate to be in a position to put some of these ideas into practice. I had something to sell that I believed in and could enhance people’s lives. The pie was unlimited. I only had to increase the size of the pie and everybody could win.
Cooperate and collaborate worked much better than destroying my competition. Connecting a business to a deeply cared about cause benefited both and was clearly a better business model.
The heart of marketing is cause marketing. As a part of corporate social responsibility, heart-connected cause marketing enhances the lives of all participants. It can be an important way that a business creates meaningful and needed change in the world. Win-win becomes win-win-win-win-win many times over.
Being part of a business that is creating positive social change leaves employees feeling proud. Their families benefit from having wage earners come home knowing they’ve made a difference.
Customers who participate in cause marketing programs feel good. They spread the word to other potential customers who not only feel good hearing about the cause marketing program, but are likely to become customers.
Reporters feel good writing good news stories that leave readers feeling good. The bottom line benefits with increasing profits that leave shareholders feeling good and creates more dollars to support more causes. The good feelings create a “Cause Marketing Ripple Effect.”
My personal cause has become “conscious social responsibility” blending cause marketing and grassroots philanthropy. To connect those who want to make a bigger difference in the world, Jon Biel, Jessica Biel and myself created Make The Difference Network.
MTDN.com gives nonprofits a place to “tell their story,” post specific “Wishes” they need funded, show donors the results of their giving and use Social Network technology to connect with donors, supporters and businesses. Our Businesses Who Care Cause Sponsorship program combines the viral power of the social network with the passion of cause marketing. Together they create a powerful new type of marketing we call “Social Cause Marketing.” As we expand our market presence thousands of nonprofits and businesses will connect with hundreds of thousands of like-hearted people.
To find out how you can make a bigger difference in the world I invite you go to www.MTDN.com and “Join the Movement.”
I will be attending the 2009 Cause Marketing Forum Conference May 27-29 in Chicago. To find out more about this exciting new approach to business check out, www.causemarketingforum.com.