Our Marketing Blog

Our industry is ever-changing. Get insights and perspective from our experts as we share our knowledge and experience on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.

This past month, we've talked quite a bit about causes. Earlier this month, we discussed how Movember has added a twist to the traditional pledge-based charity, and also how social is becoming increasingly important to causes. With the plethora of charitable organizations out there, it's apparent that innovation will become an integral element to acquire funds for your cause. Let's check out some interesting examples:

CauseCart

CauseCart is a bit of a play on the traditional 'portion of the proceeds'? idea by creating a network of giving. It's simple for both brands and consumers. Users simply install the plugin into their Chrome or Firefox browser, and then CauseCart communicates with the online shop to direct them to give a small percentage of the purchase to a cause/charity of the user's choice. Though still in its infancy, CauseCart has already secured a number of big name commerce and charitable organizations in its network like Amazon.com and charity: water.

LevelUp

We've loved LevelUp at AMP since it first came out (it doesn't help that there are about a dozen spots within walking distance of our office that accept it for payment). It's a pretty simple concept. Download the app, link a credit card, scan a personalized QR Code at checkout as your payment, and receive rewards and discounts when you reach certain spending levels. It's a simple loyalty program that rewards you for going back to the places you like. What many people may not know about LevelUp is their charity platform. In the app's settings, there is a feature which allows you to assign a % of your savings towards a charity of your choice.

CrowdTilt

Crowd funding is by no means a new or novel concept; however, sites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo make it tough on charitable initiatives. While Kickstarter doesn't allow for charitable projects altogether IndieGogo doesn't offer tax-deductible donations ' both issues creating problems for causes looking to generate funds quickly, similar to what we recently saw with Hurricane Sandy efforts. In comes CrowdTilt. Earlier this month, they started offering tax-deductible options for non-profits which makes it the 'first crowdfunding site to fully support charity fundraising.'?

Instead

How many articles have you read that tell you how much you can save just by forgoing your daily latte? Instead takes that same idea but instead (get it?) of putting that money towards a new pair of Manolo Blahniks (those are a thing, right?), they donate that money to a worthy cause (not to say that your shoe 'hobby'? isn't worthy). According to its developers, Instead is a 'micro-donation app for non-profits that encourages people to live within or below their means in order to give.'? The app is pretty easy ' just pick something you want to give up (like a coffee for instance), pick how much you want to give (usually the price of that coffee), and then pick a non-profit to give it to. The app then takes you to a secure site where your donation is processed and you have the option to share your donation via your social channels so that your friends will know how swell of a person you are.

So, what do these things all have in common? Ease. It's apparent that people are more than willing to donate to causes, but often they are overwhelmed with the process or the sheer number of options out there. If you can cut down any of those barriers, you're chances of succeeding will increase exponentially.

Related Posts

Recently the Attorney General of California (Rob Bonta) announced that Sephora had reached a settlement with the state for continued violation of tenets of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). According to the settlement, Sephora had been notified of their violations and were unable to address and/or correct them within 30 days of notice which forced the state to sanction the brand via financial penalties in the amount of $1.2M dollars.    Brands have been struggling to bring marketing and information technology stacks into compliance with modern data and privacy regulations that are being issued by various world governments (e.g. CCPA, GDPR) hoping that regulatory auditors would be lenient and/or forgiving. California has clearly stated that they are no longer taking the issue lightly and have given fair notice to businesses and data processors to comply. The South Korean Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) has also started cracking down on brands and recently issued over $71M dollars in fines to Google and Meta (Facebook) for using improperly gathered data to personalize advertisements. The European Union GDPR authorities also continue to hand out very sizable fines to businesses misusing user data and user consent.   While it can be a very challenging task to contend with strict and ever changing regulations; the problem can be broken down into workable units  (especially while partnering with consultants such as AMP Agency). Where possible it’s easiest to adhere to the most limiting regulation your brand is subject to so that there is no need to maintain or defend multiple workflows based on customer residence or other criteria.    Some helpful guidelines regarding the gathering and maintenance of consumer marketing consent: ​​Leave nothing to chance, spell out exactly what you are doing with the data Consent language must be clear and easily understood Consent must be freely given, no deception or coercion Consent is a one-time non-editable event You cannot change consent without asking You cannot change refusal of consent You can ask for new consent or different consent Consent must be a positive action Must be a click or checkbox …. “Yes, I agree” or an actual signature Absence of action is not consent You are generally allowed to send non-consensual communications when they are specific to: A transaction that requires confirmation or notice such as an eCommerce order notification A communication that is required as means to complete a contractual obligation on part of the user or organization A communication that is required by a specific membership or operational model where said model is clearly stated in a terms of service (e.g. operational emails to a franchise owner, delivery of a digital magazine subscription) As part of a Marketing Organization you need to be able to answer these questions: Is the organization capturing personally identifiable information such as name, address, birthday, gender, photographs, phone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses (this list is not exhaustive)? Is the organization capturing financial data, biometric data, genetic data, or any data regarding a user’s physical health? What kinds of data processing or models are already being performed? What are the current and anticipated use cases for processing user data? How long do you intend to hold the data? Do you have existing consents for user data? Can you provide a record of active consents? How was user consent to capture and process data collected? How does the organization flag and handle a user’s withdrawal of consent?   A simplified action plan/checklist you can use to plan your adherence to regulatory guidelines: Audit your existing data and vendors - Look across all systems and integrations - Your vendors’ liabilities are your liabilities! Document how the data is being used - How, where, when, and why Update your policies and procedures - Make sure the data is secure and exposed only on a “need to know” basis - Make sure there is a data breach policy - Make sure there is a listed contact in data policies such as a Chief Data Officer, including various methods of contact. Build mechanisms to capture clear consent - Where possible turn on Double Opt-In policies - Update the Terms of Service where applicable - Deploy Web Forms with clear notices and positive consent action items (e.g. user checks checkbox) - Build a subscription preferences page and make sure communications adhere to it - Add cookie/tracking pixel disclaimers where applicable Regather user consent whenever the data is unclear Respect consent and preferences - Use Opt-out and exclusion lists - Make sure segments contain proper audiences Provide a means to update and/or revoke consent - Provide useful content options in a preferences center - Send unsubscribe confirmations Make sure consent is always a positive action - Click, checkbox, signature Make sure you have policies to handle customer data requests- Right to be forgotten (deleted from all systems) - Right to full disclosure (data record report from across all systems) Remove anything broken or out of compliance Implement all of your new best practices into all your future campaigns - Always remember consent is key! - Always remember consent is revocable!

                                          When The Dust Finally Settles  A Comprehensive Study Of The Actual Effects For Brands That Experience High-Profile Cultural Crises    More than ever, people are pressuring brands to improve society. And it’s not just about cleaning up their own act, it’s pressure to affect change on a wider scale. This leads to drama – sometimes high profile – when people think companies have misstepped. It results in bad press, boycotts, and more. We decided to tackle the topic from multiple angles with our own research. We selected a range of brands from diverse industries who have found themselves in hot water, and we did an in-depth analysis. The result of our research is significant. AMP Agency is now able to report how customer behavior actually changes after high profile incidents – from search and social media behavior to sales. For brands seeking to thrive in this new CSR environment – an endeavor that has lately felt like guesswork – we bring comprehensive, data-fueled guidance.   Download the full report here. 

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for August 2022. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+ (sometimes 100,000+). After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. August 2022 - A Summary Looking through the top queried phrases by day last month, there were a few topics that surfaced as macro trends. As primary elections happened across different states, candidates and ballot questions landed in the top 3 daily queries.  The NFL preseason stoked interest in fans as they searched for their favorite team in Google results. The other big sports topic was Champions League soccer and we’ll present the sheer number of queries related to that European-centric subject. Lastly, there were TV and films that people wanted to learn more about and we’ll examine which ones were the most popular.   A Doodle and a Travolta Curiosity These two phrases were the only two that made the elusive 10 million plus club last month. Anna Mani - 8/22/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Google changed their logo on August 23rd to celebrate “the 104th birthday of Indian physicist and meteorologist Anna Mani, one of the country’s first female scientists.”  You can read more about her on their post. We tend to see interesting Doodles get top query status as the logo is hyperlinked to a result page tied to a keyword - in this case, “Anna Mani”.  The second phrase is a bit of a head scratcher but it’s not unprecedented.  John Travolta - 8/8/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries On August 8th, Olivia Newton-John passed away and the news sent people to Google to search. When we first looked at Google's Daily Search Trends, it was her name that was the top query. From our experience, it takes 24 hours for the report to finalize.  We have seen queries shift or change completely when we revisit the report after that 24 hour period. When we looked back at the daily top 3 for August 8th on August 10th, the phrase above replaced the Olivia Newton-John query and it was the top queried phrase of the day.  The other surprising thing was there were no Olivia Newton-John related phrases in the top 3 at all.   SInce we have been collecting this data for years now, we recalled this same sort of phenomena happening when Kelly Preston, John Travolta's wife, died in 2020.  Here’s the top phrase from July 12th of that year: John Travolta - 7/12/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries Again, there are no queries related to Kelly Preston in the daily top three of that day.  The phrase that was reported was John Travolta’s name.  The AMP team is not sure what to make of this reporting shift. It doesn’t make sense that his name would be a higher queried phrase than either Olivia’s or Kelly’s.  It does make us wonder what kind of query consolidation is happening as the Daily Search Trends report gets finalized.  Is there a knowledge graph consideration? Does the weight of the John Travolta entity make the report combine related terms underneath it?  It’s odd, for sure, and for it to happen twice in the last two years is odder.  Pet Holidays Did you know that August has two days that celebrate two of the most popular household pets?  We didn’t either. CAT - 8/7/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries National Dog Day - 8/26/2022 - 200,000+ queries On International Cat Day, Google implemented a search result “Easter Egg” where the result page for the query “cat”  was altered with animation.   Although dogs are certainly more popular than cats nationwide, the enhanced result page helped to drive more search queries for cats on their special day this year.   Martin vs. Tolkien and Other Entertainment Every month, TV show and movie queries make the daily top 3.  AMP likes looking for these phrases to figure out how large the audience is for each.  Here are the top movie related keywords from August 2022: Batgirl - 8/2/2022 - 200,000+ queries Prey - 8/3/2022 - 200,000+ queries Prey - 8/5/2022 - 500,000+ queries Orphan: First Kill - 8/18/2022 - 200,000+ queries So, the Batgirl query is a bit of an anomaly since the volume behind it is related to the decision to never release this movie by Warner Bros. People really wanted to know where they could see the latest installment of the Predator franchise, Prey (Hint: Hulu & Disney+) Lastly, the horror film, Orphan: First Kill also received a top 3 query phrase placement on the 18th a day before its release date. A couple of non-epic fantasy TV shows made our collection. They include a new series about an established character and an awards show:   Wednesday Netflix - 8/17/2022 - 100,000+ queries VMAs 2022 - 8/28/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Netflix is producing a TV series about Wednesday Addams, a character from the fictional Addams Family.  A trailer for the show was released on the 17th.  Also, The MTV Video Music Awards still stir a buzz and search interest in this year’s show drove more than a million queries on the day it aired. As we alluded to in the previous section, the biggest news for the TV audience was the release of 2 anticipated fantasy shows last month: House of Dragon - 8/21/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Rings of Power - 8/31/2022 - 200,000+ queries From the query volume, it appears that the Game of Thrones prequel series is more popular than the Lord of the Rings prequel series. We’ll keep monitoring to see which show’s season finale makes the daily top 3.  Elections and Federal Acts With the first wave of elections this year, we saw some queries related to US politics with high volumes last month, if only for a day.  Liz Cheney - 8/15/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Harriet Hageman - 8/16/2022 - 500,000+ queries Alaska primary 2022 Results - 8/16/2022 - 200,000+ queries Mary Peltola - 8/31/2022 - 500,000+ queries On the 16th, U.S. representative for Wyoming Liz Cheney lost in the Republican primary to Harriet Hageman.The Alaska primary results were also popular as it led to Sarah Palin loss to Mary Petola in the special election to replace the late Rep. Don Young.  The other topics in this category were related to the Kansas special election and two measures moving forward in the Federal government. Kansas abortion amendment - 8/2/2022 - 500,000+ queries Inflation Reduction Act - 8/7/2022 - 200,000+ queries Student loans - 8/23/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Voters in Kansas decided to keep abortion legal in the state.  The Inflation Reduction Act getting voted into law and details of the student loan forgiveness program drove people to search.    August 2022’s Sports-Related Queries Do you know what gets keywords related to the NFL back into Google’s daily search trends?  The preseason. Raiders - 8/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries NFL - 8/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries Patriots - 8/11/2022 - 200,000+ queries 49ers - 8/12/2022 - 500,000+ queries Zach Wilson - 8/12/2022 - 500,000+ queries Steelers - 8/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 8/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Patriots - 8/19/2022 - 200,000+ queries 49ers - 8/20/2022 - 200,000+ queries 49ers - 8/25/2022 - 200,000+ queries Packers - 8/25/2022 - 200,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 8/26/2022 - 200,000+ queries Chicago Bears - 8/27/2022 - 200,000+ queries Steelers - 8/28/2022 - 500,000+ queries Did your favorite team make the list?  If so, you’re in good (large) company.  Major League Baseball’s season is still going on and a couple of phrases were  Juan Soto - 8/1/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Field of Dreams Game 2022 - 8/11/2022 - 500,000+ queries Juan Soto was included in a major trade between the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres.  The new featured game that takes place near a corn field also drove people to search for more information about it. If you didn’t think European soccer was popular in the USA, think again. Fulham vs Liverpool - 8/6/2022 - 200,000+ queries Everton vs Chelsea - 8/6/2022 - 200,000+ queries West Ham vs Man City - 8/7/2022 - 200,000+ queries Real Madrid - 8/9/2022 - 500,000+ queries Real Madrid - 8/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Chelsea vs Tottenham - 8/14/2022 - 500,000+ queries Liverpool vs Crystal Palace - 8/15/2022 - 200,000+ queries Leeds United vs. Chelsea - 8/21/2022 - 200,000+ queries Man United vs Liverpool - 8/22/2022 - 500,000+ queries Champions League draw - 8/24/2022 - 500,000+ queries Liverpool vs Bournemouth - 8/27/2022 - 500,000+ queries Some members of the AMP team have a theory that online sports betting has increased the visibility of the Champions League in this country.  Looking at the phrases that are match-related where both teams are included, the checking of scores may be a reason for this query volume. Finally, Serena Williams’s progress in her last U.S. Open drove people to learn more.  She announced her retirement earlier last month.  Serena Williams - 8/29/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Other Topics Worthy of Mention Working with CPG brands, we monitor search queries for them to keep check on negative sentiment.  You hate to see it, but recalls can wreak havoc for a brand.  August 2022 was not a good month for Capri Sun Group Holding: Capri Sun recall - 8/15/2022 - 200,000+ queries People were looking to the skies with the full moon and the Aurora Borealis on their minds last month: Full moon August 2022 - 8/9/2022 - 200,000+ queries Northern Lights - 8/17/2022 - 200,000+ queries They kept thinking about those skies in anticipation of our continuing mission to the moon Artemis launch - 8/28/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Maybe someday that rocket will blast off. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.