Tool to help measure marketing

A new tool has been unveiled that enables charities to measure the value of cause related marketing (CRM) for the first time.

Business in the Community developed the Cause Related Marketing Tracker using data from 50 companies signed off by their partner charities.

The tracker, which was unveiled last week, showed 60 CRM programmes raised more than £33 million for 45 charities and causes in 2001. It also provided a list of the top ten charity beneficiaries. In order of value, they are: Comic Relief, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Children in Need, Breast Cancer Care, British Heart Foundation, Help the Aged, Marie Curie Cancer Care, ChildLine, WWF and Weston Spirit.

The top four causes are schools and education, children (excluding education), medical and health and environment.

The tracker will now be used to produce annual statistics on CRM. Sue Adkins, CRM campaign director at Business in the Community, said: "The tracker is critical for charities to understand the potential and for the market to understand what businesses are contributing through partnerships.

This is a new way of giving.

"Going forward I hope more companies will take part in the CRM tracker so that we can monitor and celebrate the success of these partnerships."

The tracker quantifies both the value of the initial arrangement between charities and companies and the add-on value of branding.

Of the £33 million generated, £4 million was raised from non-sales related fundraising.

The Alzheimer's Society logo, which appeared on two billion Tesco carrier bags as part of its charity of the year partnership, was estimated to be worth £1million in advertising for the charity.

Business in the Community, in conjunction with market research companies BMRB and Research International, also surveyed 2,000 customers into the effectiveness of its own CRM guidelines. It concluded that to maximise success, charities should be clear and commute the affinity, make sure the benefit to the charity or good cause is well balanced and clear while being "loud and proud" about communicating the partnership.

In one case study, the survey discovered a partnership between a telecommunications company and a helpline charity resulted in a 76 per cent "high perception" among the public of the partnership.

Another case study involving a health charity and a dairy product resulted in 58 per cent of consumers having a "high perception" of the partnership even though only the charity logo was involved in the arrangement.

"The challenge is for partners across all sectors and causes to find each other, develop well-founded signature programmes and release the potential for all," said Adkins.

Eighty-nine per cent of UK consumers buy products or services linked to a charity or cause each year. Seventy-seven per cent of those who do say it positively changes their perceptions towards the brand.

For further details of the study, visit www.crm.org.uk.

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