SOURCE: CMO Council

CMO Council's Pause to Support A Cause

September 14, 2009 08:00 ET

Non-Profits Benefit From New "Pause to Support a Cause" Campaign That Ties Donation to Research Participation

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council Leads Corporate Initiative to Raise Funds for Global Charities by Making Contributions on Behalf of Individual Respondents Completing Market Research Surveys, Studies and Feedback Audits

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 14, 2009) - A new global business and public sector coalition -- led by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many notable non-profits -- today announced a milestone initiative to "survey the socially beneficial way" by making donations to causes on behalf of those individuals participating in funded market research programs around the world.

The innovative corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign has the potential to direct as much as 10 percent of the $18.9 billion spent on market research worldwide to thousands of non-profits. It will create a global community of millions of research-ready and receptive panelists willing to take part in online surveys and market feedback studies.

By responding to, and completing research, opt-in panel participants will enable millions of dollars in new funds to be channeled to their favorite causes, charities, and foundations of choice. For participating businesses, Pause to Support a Cause will help lower research costs, shorten fielding times, heighten response rates, and encourage more active year-round participation in market feedback, engagement and listening programs.

Dozens of leading non-profits, market research groups, advertising and marketing associations, as well as the Business Civic Leadership Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have already registered to participate in the international campaign developed by Edward G. Martin, director of international insight and new methods at The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY).

"Market researchers typically earmark substantial funds to field research and reward panel and survey participants through incentives, rewards, giveaways and other gifts that gain or induce response," noted Donovan Neale-May, the executive director of the CMO Council, which has more than 5,000 marketing executive members controlling an estimated $125 billion in annual spend. "By formalizing and linking survey fielding and response to non-profit donations, corporate marketers and researchers can add a powerful altruistic appeal and ensure that market research dollars produce real social value and meaningful improvement to brand image and perception."

Fundraisers and foundations representing millions of concerned global citizens will anchor the program, enabling global marketers to access a large, diverse and motivated research panel. This will enable surveys to be fielded more cost-effectively and efficiently, and will also improve response rates among hard-to-reach demographics. Among those committed are the American Red Cross, Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Malaria No More, Feed the Children, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, DonorsChoose.org, American Kidney Fund and the Humane Society of the United States.

A dedicated campaign web site is now live at www.surveyforgood.org. Major social media networks and portals have committed to support and promote the groundbreaking campaign to enhance corporate giving and social impact programs. Three important, back-end panel registration/selection, cause verification and donation processing partners -- Peanut Labs, Charity Navigator, and Network for Good -- will enable global execution, compliance, visibility, transparency and scalability. Zooppa.com, the leading social network for creators of user-generated advertising, will spearhead public service campaign development with an online competition to its 42,000-member community to produce ads, videos, banners and rich media messages. Participating media partners will run these in online, print, electronic and outdoor channels.

"The Pause to Support a Cause model will be driven by word-of-mouth in social networks and non-profit communities where members can talk up this innovative way to fund raise," stated Patricia Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer of March of Dimes, one of the non-profit advocates of the program. "Its real power lies in enabling people do something for a cause which they specifically care about with minimal time, effort and no out-of-pocket expense."

Each supporting company or market research firm will design their studies, create their survey instruments, and specify which audiences they would like to target and engage. The nature of the research, type of respondent and length of the questionnaire will determine how much is donated to the cause. Panelists will need to go online to www.surveyforgood.org to opt-in to the program, profile themselves, and specify what topics and frequency of research they are willing to undertake. They will also be able to specify their favorite causes where donations will be directed based on survey completions.

"Pause to Support a Cause will also resonate with more difficult-to-reach consumers and research audiences and will give non-profit partners a simple and effective way to increase their visibility, attract additional funding, and connect with new donors and contributors," noted Ed Martin of The Hershey Company, who leads the campaign as a senior fellow of the CMO Council. "We are confident that Pause to Support a Cause will be rapidly embraced by the business and non-profit communities because it connects people to causes for which they have great passion."

The CMO Council advocacy program will embrace a global coalition of top marketing decision makers, marketing research professionals, and non-profit organizations to aggregate and involve millions of consumers in research undertakings that raise significant levels of new funding for those in need and entities at risk. Corporate advisors, supporters and underwriters include The Hershey Company, Procter & Gamble, Ford, Farmers Insurance, MTV, AmFam, Ipsos, Lieberman, Think Vehicles, and AOL, among others.

About the CMO Council:

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council's 4,500 members control more than $150 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and it's strategic interest communities include over 12,000 global executives across 90 countries in multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The Council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Brand Management Institute, and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME). www.cmocouncil.org

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