Cause Marketing and Your Business (SBM 101)

obesityWhat cause or causes are you involved in on a personal level? How about on a business level? Do you have a focus or are your efforts spread thin? As I have mentioned, having a focus can benefit your cause marketing efforts immensely. Not only will you be able to make a larger impact, you will also have a much better story to tell.

A Major Problem Worth Exploring

One powerful way to select a cause is to watch societal trends and identify issues that strike you. One that jumps out to me has been America’s obesity rates, particularly those among children.

In general, the statistics are scary. A recent article from the New York Times indicated that Americans are getting fatter instead of leaning up. Despite the wealth of knowledge we have about the impact obesity has on our lives and society, people seem to be content with living lives fraught with medical problems, such as increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and the astronomically high medical bills that come with them.

The Times article quoted a dollar amount that should concern us all. They estimated that obesity costs us as a nation around $147 billion dollars a year. Folks, that’s billions, not millions. Here in the West, we seem to be a little healthier, falling into the 15-20% obesity range. But this is nothing to be proud of.

What can businesses do with this?

If you are a food-related business this is your opportunity to shine. We have a problem and it isn’t going to go away soon. As more and more focus is placed on this issue, do you want to be seen as a solution or as part of the problem?

Why not do any or all of the following?

  • Offer healthy meal solutions
  • Offer healthy snack alternatives
  • Start a rewards program for eating healthy
  • Run an educational campaign in your store
  • Partner with local businesses and offer them healthy solutions
  • Teach health eating classes
  • Take a giant leap and reduce to junk food offerings
  • Partner with local elementary schools and run an educational program and fitness program/contest

You don’t have to be in the food industry to jump on board with this cause. Just be a little creative and do something.

There are a number of remarkable people that are working on this issue. Jamie Oliver comes to mind. He took the TED prize last year and has been working feverishly to make a difference in this area. Michelle Obama has also made childhood obesity a major emphasis of her efforts.

Regardless of your politics, there is a problem and these people recognize that something has to be done to solve it before it grows to epidemic proportions.

Maybe obesity or childhood obesity isn’t your cup of tea. So what is? What could you be doing or getting involved in that can make a difference in your local community, the state you live in, the nation, or even the world.

Never underestimate your ability to positively impact the world.

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