If you read my post last month about volunteering at the Boston Marathon and have been following the news, you might understand why I don’t feel like talking about marketing right now. It seems a bit trivial to me, even though it’s part of my job (and something I love – I’m a self-proclaimed “marcom maven”). This is because I experienced the second explosion at the finish line from across the street — a blast that sent two of my friends to the hospital (I will not discuss the details, but it’s been a tough few weeks, and everyone is getting better each day.).
What I will discuss is the good that came out of that unimaginable, surreal day. Strangers, locals, foreigners, volunteers, runners, responders, families and friends found a common cause on April 15. We all chose to stand with Boston, to be Boston Strong. A mayor and a governor got together and almost instantly created The One Fund that has unbelievably raised more than $28 million in just a few weeks (almost $12 million of which is from the public, people like you and me). Runners, spectators, and volunteers vow to return next year in a greater, more collective force of positivity. No one is going to take this day from us — especially in such an unthinkable way. But, still, our hearts ache, as they should.
The cause still grows, and, naturally, so does the marketing. Infectious in a good way, people encourage each other to donate or volunteer; independent businesses decide to create shirts and other items with all proceeds going to help victims. A local company here in Salem, Mass., B&S Fitness, created a “Boston Strong” shirt to benefit the Woolfenden Family Fund. The Woolfendens are a local family, and my friends, so I really care about the cause. I bought two shirts. And by wearing one I’m, well, marketing the cause. Word of mouth, digital marketing, social media, and TV ads encourage us all to donate and help in a variety of ways. So, I guess I do care about the marketing.
My attempts at returning to normalcy after such a shocking, violent experience have been a mix of success and failure. But caring about the cause, being involved in the healing, and promoting the good will ultimately lead to more success than failure. Right now I do care more about the cause than the marketing, but, deep down, I know that cause marketing is a discipline that is changing the world for the better. It inspires people to act, to give, to volunteer.
So get out there and care about a cause. And, then, help market it.