You know that this is a political-free zone, right? I’m going to do my best to keep it that way. But, while we’re on the subject of voting with our wallets, I have some good news and some bad news for you.
The good news is that we have the power, as consumers, to vote with our wallets. By carefully considering where our hard-earned money is being spent, we can proactively decide which causes to support. This should be an inspiring message.
The bad news is that marketing executives are one step ahead of us. They are already spinning their marketing messages to appeal to our changing consumer behaviors in order to manipulate us to continue to buy what they are selling.
Here is an example. I just received a very appealing letter in the mail from a political action committee whose efforts I support. They’re offering a new phone service, claiming that my current cellular provider spends millions of dollars each year in support of opposing candidates. They go on for FOUR pages about all of the incredible causes they support, and which I fully believe in. So there I am, thinking … I need to switch cellular providers! I don’t want my hard-earned dollars going to support the wrong candidates–those who do not share my values. And, since I’m on this “vote with my wallet” bandwagon, this makes sense to me.
However. Since I’m in marketing, I like to think of myself as smarter than the Average Joe when it comes to reading between the lines (four pages worth, mind you). It turns out, they failed to mention which political campaigns their cellular service provider supports. So, I did a little internet research and found that the new carrier I would be switching to also supports the opposing political platform with 55% of their political contributions. So … that’s not really a compelling reason to switch providers, is it?
Then I started wondering … what about my device provider? I like to believe that the company that makes my phone thinks like I do … because I want to be as smart as my phone some day. Turns out … they *do* support my candidates. That’s my first miracle of December.
So … regardless of which candidates and causes you support, let me leave you with two lessons:
- Do your research. Don’t take any advertising at face value. Marketeers get paid to persuade you to think their way. And in the world of marketing, omitting facts is not the same as false advertising.
- Vote with your wallet. Find out which large corporations *do* support your candidates and find a way to support them, because as your money “trickles up” through Corporate America, all of those large corporations are looking for tax write-offs in the name of political contributions every year. Make sure your preferred corporations are supporting your preferred candidates. It’s not easy. Nobody has the time to research every corporation. But if it is a recurring expense, or something you can not live without, consider where your funds are going after they leave the retailer.
UPDATE: I just found this Good Guide site that shows you which way many corporations lean. It’s not comprehensive, but it’s interesting. Enjoy!