I have always been interested in different marketing strategies, ever since that one fateful fall morning I went scurrying about trying to find a writing professor who I would want to write for. I shan’t leave you in suspense, I found him, his name was Professor Krueger and he changed my life. In a simple writing class he taught us about semiotics and its use in the marketing world. As soon as I discovered that our seemingly random wanderings through stores were actually anything but random – in fact, stores are meticulously designed so that you will walk a certain path and see specific items to entice you, I was hooked. Sorry, bit of a tangent there, anyway, I found this article discussing the role played by sales professionals using a cause-driven marketing strategy and it sparked a few questions in my head. (Which are below, lol) The concept of cause-driven marketing dates back to a partnership between a resort and a charity – both of whom shall remain nameless. The partnership was developed to help the charity bring in more pledges than ever before – while the resort quietly reigned in these thousands of people to its opening weekend. Needless to say, the initiative was wildly successful, and so it began. At this point, I think one of the most popular companies to employ cause-driven marketing is TOMS Shoes. The company focuses on its now-famous one-for-one business model – which gives one pair of shoes for every pair purchased. This has worked wonders for TOMS, by giving people the opportunity to make a charitable donation from an otherwise necessary task of buying shoes, TOMS makes people feel like they’re making a difference. (I’m not saying that they don’t.) But what I want to know is what you think about this marketing strategy? Is cause-driven marketing ethical? Do you buy products that give proceeds or benefits to charitable causes? Which ones do you choose? As usual, any and all responses are appreciated.