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Don't Overdo the Perks in Your Cause Marketing Campaign

Distributing proper incentives to the people that make your cause marketing program a success is critical, but you should avoid lavish spending on perks. Incentivizing the people who make cause marketing programs such a big success can include a T-shirt to a $5 gift card to a pizza party for the store that sold the most pinups. Incentives work, especially when you’re working with a team that’s highly motivated.

What doesn’t work is when causes and companies reward supporters lavishly at the expense of dollars or products that could have benefited the cause instead.

Take the high-profile case of New England Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady. After an auto accident in 2010, Boston media outlets reported that Brady got the $97,000 car he was driving as part of a sponsorship pact automaker Audi had with Best Buddies, a nonprofit with which Brady had played a major role for several years.

A spokesman for the car company said they gave Brady a car “in appreciation” of his work on behalf of Best Buddies. Sure beats a t-shirt, which is what other supporters got.

Brady has no official relationship with Audi, yet he accepts an expensive car from them in appreciation of his volunteer work with Best Buddies.

Bad call? Interference? Flag? You pick. Unfortunately, a penalty was never called on this play, and Audi replaced Brady’s damaged car with a new one.

Steer clear of excessive perks and never lose sight of your ethics and the well-being of your brand. Brady was unhurt in the accident, but his Audi/Best Buddies and judgment were dead on arrival.

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