AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerIs Doing Good, Good Advertising?

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Nonprofit volunteer at work.

Is Doing Good, Good Advertising?

Social activism is on the rise. The populism movement is building. Political lines are being drawn. What’s a brand to do? For many, supporting noncontroversial causes is a good corporate policy, but does it make for good marketing?  Cheerful volunteer holding an adorable young girl

For most, a contribution is enough. But for today’s rising millennials, that kind of good- doing is not good enough. As one CEO put it, “…brands will need to give greater attention to carving out a corporate social responsibility platform that consumers” will engage with. Millennial purchasing power is expanding, so will the scrutiny of corporate cause marking.

How do millennials feel about cause marketing?  Nearly two-thirds of respondents to the Toluna market research found that they seek out brands that support causes they align with. Half the people surveyed said they were more likely to purchase from a brand that supported a cause they believed in. The most popular causes according to the research were “hunger, homelessness or medical relief efforts.”

The real key is that millennials would change their behavior if they knew their money was going to a good cause because of their purchase: I would pay more for products (47% millennial, 32% Gen X, 15% boomer); I would be willing to research brands to see what causes they support (45% millennials, 39% Gen X, and 37% boomers).

Today’s consumers want brand to go beyond the expected. Cause marketing fills the requirement.


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.