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£2 million of Great Marketing Karma

Paul Skinner, founder of Pimp My Cause and the Agency of the Future and member of the IAB’s Social Media Council, shares the impacts of a collaborative digital campaign to encourage volunteering in the marketing profession, published on the IAB UK on 19/2/14.

Thanks to the IAB and the many marketers and partner organisations who supported the Year of Great Marketing Karma, over £2 million of pro bono marketing has now been contributed to good causes through Pimp My Cause.

We created the Year of Great Marketing Karma to engage more marketers in contributing not their wallet but their marketing talent to charities and social enterprises throughout the UK and around the world.

Pimp My Cause’s partner agency, Stack, created the theme for the Year and inaugurated the Year with the launch of the Karma Audit, a web-based app.

Marketers playing the app granted access to their LinkedIn profiles, then watched as a rather terrifying Karma God performed an ethical evaluation of the Karmic Footprint of their marketing career so far. They then get to see their current prospects for re-incarnation and were offered the opportunity to improve their destiny by signing up for Pimp My Cause to improve their karma.

The Audit made a great splash, being picked up in the marketing media and blogosphere and it has now been nominated for a 2014 Marketing Design Award.

Many marketers, including most of the team at Stack and Alex Epstein and Melody Hossaini from the BBC’s Apprentice joined in the fun by re-incarnating their social media presence as the animal they were forecast to return as.

The campaign led to an over 400% increase in marketers signing up to the Pimp My Cause platform, with marketers signing up from organizations like Peugeot, Nivea, and Virgin Media.

Causes getting support included The British Council for Prevention of Blindness, Awards for Young Musicians, and Hope Animal Rescue. The causes gained support with film editing, logo creation, marketing and social media marketing strategies, overall marketing mentoring, PR support and more.

Stack also supported Pimp My Cause in building strategic collaborations to enable marketing teams, agencies and organisations to adopt causes.

Among professional organisations this included the Internet Advertising Bureau who have promoted the Year of Great Marketing Karma through their website, through talks and through thought-leadership activities; the Marketing Society with whom Pimp My Cause is now partnering in a strategic initiative called Marketing for Good which will drive their social impact agenda for the years to come; with the Chartered Institute of Marketing who have advertised Pimp My Cause to thousands of marketers and who offer their members CPD credits towards their professional qualifications when they volunteer through Pimp My Cause.

It has included working with agencies including a partnerships with the filmmakers Catsnake who created the film Twelve to help SHP fight homelessness on the streets of London; with the design agency Ellipsis who adopted a different cause for a complete visual brand make over for each month of the Year; and with Ogilvy who are adopting three of causes per year with their #ogilvychange service led by Ogilvy Vice-Chairman Rory Sutherland. A raft of further partnerships and collaborations will be announced in the coming weeks to build on this success.

The IAB and all of our partners have helped us to provide transformational support to a growing community of charities and social enterprises who collectively improve the lives of millions of people every day. But we could do so much more with the support of your marketing talent and we’d love to hear from anyone who’d like to get involved.

The IAB is a proud supporter of Pimp My Cause. For more information visit:

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