Webinar Recap: Cause Marketing and Strategic Philanthropy – A Differentiator in a Competitive Market – with Darren Sudman, Unless Agency, and Melissa Margis Kapur

Written By &Marketing

On July 20, 2021

Humans are driven by feelings. So, if you want the consumer to remember your product or brand, they must be engaged and impassioned by the interaction with your company.

Gerald Zaltman

Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at the Harvard Business School; Executive Committee of Harvard University's Mind, Brain, and Behavior Interfaculty Initiative

In our post-pandemic world, companies of all sizes are navigating three key business challenges:

  • Rising customer expectations. 60% of customers prefer to buy from purpose-driven brands. 64% of consumers would buy or boycott a brand solely because of its social or political positioning
  • Employee turnover and retention. 71% of employees feel disconnected from their work, and 60% are open to a new job. Turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion per year.
  • Hyper-competitive marketplace. Brands are struggling to find a key differentiator, stay relevant, and ultimately drive business growth.

Many companies have turned to philanthropy and cause marketing, as they’ve proven to not only benefit communities, but also create better working environments, create a strong sense of collective purpose that drives employee satisfaction, and increase profits.

However, some brands have fallen short, often lacking strategy, intentionality, and authenticity.

Last week, &Marketing’s Community Relations and Philanthropic Lead, Melissa Margis Kapur, and Darren Sudman, CEO of Unless Agency, co-led an interactive webinar and Q&A exploring:

  • The whys and hows of cause marketing programs for small and medium-sized businesses (especially in today’s hyper-sensitive social marketplace)
  • The dos and donts of cause marketing, and how to ensure your cause fits your mission and the values of your customers
  • Ways to execute a cause marketing program with a limited budget
  • How to creatively tie-in public relations and social media to tell your story about your cause marketing program
  • Examples of executed successful campaigns

If you were unable to join the webinar live, we encourage you to check out the free recording at the link below!


About the Speakers


Darren Sudman

Darren Sudman is founder and CEO of Unless Agency, a Philadelphia-based entity helping companies imagine and implement cause marketing campaigns. This endeavor is the culmination of a professional journey and personal tragedy. Darren began his career as a lawyer in 1995. In 2000, he joined the business unit at America Online (AOL) and, through the Helping Hands Initiative, saw what happened when a company embraced philanthropy. Later, Darren would help design and implement a cause marketing campaign at Advanta, which encouraged small business credit card holders to support entrepreneurs around the world by offering a match.

In 2012, Darren’s career path took a sharp turn. A few years earlier, his three month old son died, suddenly and unexpectedly. He and his wife co-founded Simon’s Heart, an organization to prevent sudden cardiac arrest and death in children, teens and young adults. After running it on nights and weekends for seven years, he assumed the role of Executive Director, where he created innovative and lifesaving initiatives, including cause marketing campaigns with The Philadelphia Flyers, Wheels Up, Speedo and Scrub Daddy.

Now, through Unless, Darren leverages his passion, purpose, and creativity for the benefit of other companies.

Melissa Margis Kapur

Melissa Kapur is the Community Relations & Philanthropy Lead at &Marketing. With a background in promotions, public relations and marketing, Melissa has been working on community-based marketing programs for 25 years. Her career has spanned small businesses, non-profits, and food retailers and manufacturers. Her specialty is crafting marketing events and public relations programs on a small budget.

About Unless Agency

Unless is a creative agency developed exclusively to connect companies and causes in a meaningful way through cause marketing, focused philanthropy, and mission building. We find a cause that aligns with your company, and then create a partnership that will differentiate you from the competition, and attract and retain the best talent.

About &Marketing U

&Marketing U is a modern marketing course for busy solopreneurs and one-person marketing departments. This course provides all of the marketing tools, education, and accountability you need to grow your business, all in one place and for a fraction of the cost of hiring an agency or new employees.

 About &Marketing

In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.

&Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.