Can marketing do more to help society?

I was very fortunate to be invited by Pete Krainik (@cmoclub), who is the founder and CEO of The CMO Club, to a recent charity event in New York to support K9forwarriers (@k9sforwarriors). I was not expected to be so emotionally affected as I was, especially at 9am on a Monday morning, but when you see what this charity does, there is only one possible reaction and that is to be blown away. I will leave it to you to go to their website to better understand what they do, as you really need to hear this from the people who have been helped, in fact saved, by man’s best friend. I can’t even start to do this justice in writing.


So what does this have to do with marketing?
Well how many of you have heard of this cause? Not many I imagine and this is because they don’t do marketing, they spend 96% of their proceeds on helping the people that matter. So here I am writing a blog and now hopefully (well if anyone reads this) we now have more people that are aware of this wonderful charity. This makes me think, is there more that we as marketers can do to help these worthwhile causes? We have the networks and we know how to engage consumers so why wouldn’t we dedicate some of our time to worthwhile causes.

I am a great admirer of Marc Benioff (@Benioff) and the Salesforce foundation 1/1/1 (@SFDCFoundation) that he created. He is now in the process of asking other companies to make the same pledge and he describes it as ”The 1/1/1 Pledge is an effort to invite technology entrepreneurs and their companies to commit resources (time, equity, product) and integrate philanthropy into their business”. The 1/1/1 refers to 1% of employee time, 1% of equity and 1% of product to be made available to help worthwhile causes.

So how can marketers help? Pete Krainik gave a very emotional address at the event and taking inspiration from his words I think we as marketers can help in the following ways:

Donate time
Time is precious, we are all so incredibly busy with our hectic lives but perhaps we need to take a short breather every now and then and look at the bigger picture. Surely we can find 15 minutes or more to help create a better world.

Activate networks
Many marketers have extensive networks with tens of thousands of followers on Twitter etc. Can we activate our networks to help these organizations raise their profile and perhaps lay the foundation for them to receive more assistance from companies, brands and consumers? We could even help embed a social purpose back into our own organizations and build stronger more valuable brands. A win-win for everyone.

Change perspectives
We are creative people at heart and who better to help the wider world gain a better perspective on things that really matter, than us. We can help create messaging and content that enables these worthwhile causes to better convey the incredible impact they are having on people who need help the most.

I am writing this from a patio overlooking Long Island Sound and realizing just how lucky I am. Thanks again to Pete for the invite and for the chance to reflect on what is truly important.


2 thoughts on “Can marketing do more to help society?

  1. David, I agree 100% with your premise and your conclusion. There are so many places to help. At our local Rotary, we’ve engaged two high school interns to help with the marketing effort to build our club. A bigger club will give us more feet on the street, to raise more money and to help more people. I’ve gotten two vendors, Kapost and Curata, to donate their products to the cause to help us raise awareness of Rotary and its three primary missions: clean water, literacy and polio eradication. In addition, these very bright, promising high school seniors will get exposed to community building, social awareness campaign and to the generousity of the tech community. There are so many ways to help. Let’s work together to make it happen.


  2. Great post! It’s good to see people like you, David. I’m a 21 years old guy graduating soon with a Bachelor in Marketing. I won a scholarship for graduate degree in one of the best business schools in the world. I’m happy, I feel like I’m on top of the world. But, I have been thinking a lot lately about this Marketing career. I no longer look at the high paying job as the ultimate goal of my career, I want to do something for the society through Marketing. I’m a very passionate person, I love Marketing, but I’m just not sure how can I use the incredible opportunities I have and the Marketing knowledge to help society. I don’t like consumerism, I hate inequality, I support fair trade and other similar causes, and Marketing just seems to be in the opposite side. Sometimes I think maybe I’m just too visionary, unrealistic and impractical. My life goals are currently under construction and I need some insight.

    Many thanks,


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