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Today's Marketing Cookie - You Must Give
"Before you receive, you must give."
Today's fortune came from Shawn Mathews of Grafton, MA. Shawn was like a big brother to me during my teen years and I remember wanting to be "just like Shawn". I lost track of him for about twenty-five years and I am so grateful that we've been reunited once again on Facebook.
Today's Marketing Cookie is about focusing on giving before thinking of getting. Before. Are you catching my drift? As humans, we can all learn something from today's fortune. If you are intentional about giving without a requirement of repayment, you may or may not ever receive something in return... except of course, for the joy of giving. When you give with no requirement nor expectation of receiving something in return, it is aptly called unconditional giving. If you are ever unsure of what unconditional giving looks like, look no further than the enduring love a mother has for her children. I believe that unconditional giving, is what transforms each one of us from human-beings into human-kind.
NEWS FLASH: Unconditional giving can exist in the business world... oh and in marketing too!
Why would any company give away it's products and services unconditionally, without requiring anything in return? There may be many reasons. A company may choose to support a specific non-profit because it's mission is closely aligned with that of the company. Many companies will support a non-profit because the employees demand it. Other companies support worthy causes, simply because they can. Whatever the reason, companies who give unconditionally should celebrate every aspect of their giving and set an example for their employees, their customers, their community, and their competitors.
WARNING: Not all corporate giving is unconditional.
When a company chooses to give money, products or services to a non-profit, but then connects terms and conditions to the relationship, it is no longer giving. That only qualifies as sponsorship. Sponsors may give generously, but they do so with the intention of receiving. Sponsorships that expect exposure, impressions, clicks or any other benefits is not the same level of giving that I am talking about today.
One company that I deeply admire for their unconditional giving is Google. At CommCreative, we manage well over $100,000 dollars every month in FREE advertising, for several not-for-profit organizations through the Google Grants program. Never once has Google asked us to display their logo, up-sell us on services or mention them in press releases. It is given freely. While the application process is strict and not all non-profits will qualify as a legitimate "cause", Google gives away billions of dollars (with a "B") in free advertising every year.
The Google Grant focused on giving before thinking of getting. I know this, because they first created the Google Grant before they were the number one search engine. Google focused on giving before they owned YouTube. They focused on giving before Google became a verb. As a result of the millions of dollars of unconditional free advertising I manage for our non-profit clients, through the Google Grant program, I feel good about recommending Google for all of our for-profit clients as well. In fact, our clients pour double-digit millions of dollars into Google every year. If you did the math, you'd see that Google is giving roughly 5% of the money we spend back to our non-profit accounts.
The "other" search engines do not have grant programs. They do not give unconditionally. I know, because I have checked many times. I never thought about it until just now, but I wonder if their share of the search market has anything to do with the equivalence of their giving. Honestly, if they gave away more advertising, would they get more advertisers? Is there really room in the world for another unconditional advertising grant program? Just ask a soup kitchen, orphanage or homeless shelter if they would embrace and appreciate some free advertising. I believe that its never too late for you Bing - you can always make giving your thing.