PROPRIETARY CAUSE MARKETING
WHAT IS PROPRIETARY CAUSE MARKETING?
In order to thoroughly understand a recently-coined phrase, Proprietary Cause Marketing, we first need to understand traditional cause marketing.
THEN, WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CAUSE MARKETING?
In its most simplistic form, cause marketing is defined as a “co-branded joint promotional effort of a for-profit corporation with a nonprofit organization for mutual benefit”.
HOW DO BOTH PARTIES BENEFIT?
For most traditional cause-related marketing endeavors, the benefit to the for-profit is increased sales and branding; the benefit to the nonprofit is increased donations. Typically, a percentage of sales supporting the cause is simply donated to the nonprofit’s general fund. It is “a blend of traditional marketing and philanthropic appeal” that provides consumers with a sense of altruism when they purchase the product or service connected to the promotion.
WHEN DID THIS START?
It is generally accepted that cause marketing was launched 38 years ago when American Express raised money for the preservation of the Statue of Liberty. During the summer in 1983, AmEx donated a penny for each credit card transaction by AmEx cardholders, and additional funds for each new account opened, and sales of other products. More than $1.7 million was raised to restore and preserve Lady Liberty.
INTERESTING PREMISE, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES?
Some of the challenges faced when a for-profit aligns with nonprofit, include 1) the obvious cultural conflict when an earnings-focused for-profit teams with a mission-based nonprofit, (2) the difficulty of a generally creative, flexible for-profit company to adapt to a rigid, inflexible nonprofit organization (especially with national NPOs), to develop a strong partnership, (3) the inability of the nonprofit to provide a substantial tangible return (benefit) to the for-profit, due to budgetary constraints and strict 501(c)3 federal guidelines prohibiting the for-profit from receiving “substantial return benefit, other than use or acknowledgement of the nonprofit’s name or logo”.
AND, IT’S STILL GROWING?
Yes, traditional cause marketing is a stunning $2.1 BILLION industry, and has almost tripled in the last 18 years, according to a 2018 IEG Sponsorship Report. Cause marketing is now taking multiple twists and turns, including this emerging new platform.
~ ~ ~
OK, SO NOW WHAT IS PROPRIETARY CAUSE MARKETING?
Proprietary cause marketing is a unique cause marketing platform developed by Trilogy Agency, and utilized in our new Corporations For Communities platform. The primary difference from traditional cause marketing, is that the cause projects produced for the for-profits are created, developed, and owned by Trilogy Agency, and most of the rights are then licensed (transferred) to our clients for leveraging.
WHAT RIGHTS CAN BE TRANSFERRED?
Corporate naming rights; transferring (or donating) ownership of the completed projects to the recipients in-need; the ability for you to fully-customize most all components; hyper-organized employee volunteerism; and substantive media, press, and PR.
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL?
Essentially, you can own your share of one of our projects, and we can collaborate with you to develop and manage your part, based on your goals, your objectives, and your expectations. Virtually no restrictions. We focus on three distinct areas; developing cause projects; managing employee volunteerism; and delivering media, marketing, and PR.
REALLY? NO RESTRICTIONS? WHY NOT?
Although Trilogy Agency is not a nonprofit, the beneficiaries of our projects are still low-income residents, at-risk children, school districts, nonprofits, and municipalities. Because of our structure, our firm is free of encumbrances and restrictions placed on 501(c)3’s. End result, is you can still give to your communities (with even more impact), and now you can activate (leverage) your philanthropy, and receive unusual and tangible benefits that work for you—especially in the areas of organized employee volunteerism and becoming recognized as a good corporate citizen through media and PR.
SO YOU DON’T PARTNER WITH NONPROFITS?
Absolutely not true. We almost always align with nonprofits, school districts, and municipalities. The difference is they are primarily the ‘recipients’ or ‘beneficiaries’ of our cause projects, not the ‘owner’ of the cause initiatives.
What makes proprietary cause marketing so compelling is that YOU own and control the project. We have years of success developing public/private partnerships that provide benefits for all parties.
~ ~ ~
WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS FALL UNDER YOUR UMBRELLA?
All of Trilogy Agency's proprietary cause projects are tangible, highly visible, difference-makers. Both our ‘Legacy’ and ‘Makeover’ series projects provide years of rewarding benefits to those in-need. Projects are focused on community development and improvement, and benefit underserved communities by the building of playgrounds, development of mini-parks, and the transformation of homes and spaces of those in-need.
HOW DO I KNOW OUR MONEY IS PUT TO GOOD USE?
Our impact (contribution to the community) exceeds the (BBB Wise Giving Alliance) program/overhead ratio guidelines. This means, dollar-for-dollar, the value of our contributions always exceeds the value provided by nonprofits offering similar programs. This is due to our proprietary cause marketing business model, our experience in negotiating frequent buyer incentives, and our uncanny ability to develop public/private partnerships. In addition, all our projects are tangible, visible, and immediate (relatively speaking), providing measurable proof (you can literally see) of your ROI.
CAN YOU CREATE AND DEVELOP OTHER CAUSE PROJECTS?
Yes. If none of our cause projects fit your company’s goals or objectives, we can create and develop a project exclusively for you. It can be a project that you’ve attempted before (with or without success), a concept you’ve been working on internally, a twist of an idea you’ve seen somewhere else, or an initiative we design and collaborate together from scratch. Similar benefits are realized using our proprietary cause marketing model.
DO YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THIS PLATFORM?
Of course. Our founding partner, Marshall G. Zotara, has been perfecting this ’proprietary’ model for more than 20 years! What started as a modest traditional community giving event in Southwest Florida has transformed into the today’s similar—but very different— blueprint.
HOW DID TRILOGY AGENCY GET THE MEDIA + PR EXPERIENCE?
In 1993, Zotara was the VP/general manager of a radio station who was simply asked to be a media partner for an event. After a wildly successful cause event, and based on his ability to garner unprecedented media coverage, Zotara decided to focus on developing and building this model. Later, after Zotara's appointments to key management positions with Clear Channel Radio and Cumulus Media (#1 and #2 radio groups in the U.S.), he developed and built this unique blueprint, and has since obtained tens of millions of dollars in media and press coverage. Zotara started a radio station in his hometown high school (which still exists today), and then decided to make media and PR his career. Media is in his DNA.
~ ~ ~
WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST PLATFORM SHIFT RECENTLY?
In terms of our model, it’s the conversion from a cluster of 10-15 unrelated clients sharing one single project, to a true ‘proprietary’ or ‘ownership’ philosophy where only one single client owns and controls their project. No sharing, unless you decide to. No coat-tailing. No restrictions.
In terms of our clients, it’s the obvious shift of philosophy from ‘checkbook philanthropy’ where clients write a check and perhaps gets photos and a plaque, to a need to find ways to ‘leverage’ their community involvement—including active community engagement, enhanced employee volunteerism, and massive media coverage.
We’re simply responding to an emerging story rapidly gaining in prominence.
WHAT’S YOUR ELEVATOR SPEECH?
We help companies shift to a very different (and evolving) model of giving back to their communities, while delivering tangible, measurable and visible benefits back to these companies.
Our unique approach to corporate (private) and community (public) partnerships results in:
· Stronger connections and engagement between our clients and their communities
· More productive, engaged, and happier employees
· Enhancement of our clients’ reputation and public opinion among their communities
Simply, corporations supporting communities; and then, communities supporting corporations.