Cause Marketing Done Right: Examining ‘Battle For the Net’

Battle For the Net
Battle For the Net

Net neutrality is a very important cause, but I want to talk about the amazing job done by the entities who built the platform for the Battle For the Net digital campaign.

Cause marketing is hard to execute well. I am currently in the middle of the second part of my capstone, which is about creating a cause-related marketing campaign. Last semester I came up with a brief proposal for the creation of a grass roots movement around the subject of the research I did (Certain Beauty: An Inductive Content Analysis of the Representations of Beauty and Age in Commercial Ad Campaigns).

I’ve already determined my target audience, studied them and researched what social platforms they most use. I came up with a plan I hope goes well and so far the social media aspect of the campaign is going modestly well, but promising.

What has given me the most trouble is figuring out how to make it easy for people to really make an impact on the cause. I craeted a Change.org petition, and it only has 7 signatures.

What I want to explore is what tool Battle For the Net used in creating a platform that leaves other cause-related campaigns in the dust.

I stumbled upon Battle For the Net on Tumblr. Tumblr is all about creating visually enjoyable experiences for users. I’ve been using Tumblr since May of 2011 and although none of my friends use it, I think it’s the most valuable social platform for brands, causes, and individuals.

This is the link to the landing page: www.tumblr.com/everybodyontheinternet 

The economy of space, the simplicity of message, and the visual storytelling: just enough, wish more campaigns did it like this. You scroll down and you find where you click to help: Call My Representative (or Email). This is where it get’s even better. You go to the official Battle For the Net site, and you see the two (or however many) representatives of your state. The platform figures out who they are, submits your email (in the form of a letter that has been carefully crafted to communicate the important of net neutrality and why they should fight for it and not against it. If you’re comfortable calling your representative(s), the platform has pulled the phone number for you so that it is also wasy to call them as well. I needed to figure out who built this platform.

Fight For the Future built it. Fight For the Future using Tumblr for their website. Using Web Inspector I found that Fight For the Future is a member of the Internet Defense League. I keep digging and see that a combination of tools were used to build their platforms. Heroku, CloudFlare, Engine, Chart Beat, just to name the ones I could identify.

It’s not cheap running your own digital campaign, but the nice thing about cause-related campaigns is that you can partner with other similar groups to make it easier and stronger.

Fight For the Net offers images, a countdown clock, and more to equip users to easily participate and help market the cause.

The Countdown Clock for Battle For the Net
The Countdown Clock for Battle For the Net

What’s also really great is how they provide information on the cause in a straight forward, easy to understand way. The campaign also does a great job of keeping any user up-to-date on the scoreboard. You can see how each representative votes on the cause in on the political scoreboard.

I’m left wondering how to reach the level of this campaign. A combination of ingenuity, money, and a team of people who understand web development is definitely essential. What’s also important to remember (for those of us with limited means and access) is to set realistic and reachable goals for a cause-related campaign. In order to really market your cause campaign well, communicate a clear and simple mission that people can easily understand. What compelled me about the Fight For the Net was how authentic it felt to me, and how easy they made it for me to participate.

The platform is impressive but it was the feeling of authenticity that made it effective.

For my Certain Beauty campaign, I’m going to focus on authenticity and simplicity of message. Building awareness is the first hurdle in cause-related marketing, after that, it’s about organically getting people to take action and engage with the campaign. To do that, I’m going to have to show them why it’s worth it and how easy it is to make an impact. Wish me luck.

If you have a moment, sign the Certain Beauty petition and share it with others.

Certain beauty campaign
Certain Beauty Campaign

Follow the campaign on Twitter at @MyCertainBeauty and Tumblr to learn more.

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