- Select a cause and nonprofit aligned with your company’s mission, vision and values. Harmony is the key. The cause doesn’t have to be specific to your products / services but does need to fit your mission and culture. Examples: A meat company wouldn’t want to partner with a nonprofit promoting vegetarian diets. While toothpaste and books don’t seem to have much in common, Colgate partnered with ReadingIsf Fundamental to create “Healthy Habits for a Lifetime” (brushing your teeth and reading at night) which became a great campaign.
- Make it personal to your employees, customers and other company stakeholders. Be passionate about the cause you select and it will energize your employees, your customers, your other stakeholders. Carefully evaluate potential cause programs against the “passion factor.”
- Decide which cause partner works best for you. A smaller, less-know cause might give you a “larger halo” than a bigger, well-known cause where you are one of many organizations that support the cause. A bigger cause partner; however, may have more resources to deliver just the program you want.
- Understand that the charity needs to own “the brand.” While you become partners, both parties have their own brands to protect and enhance. Anticipate that the nonprofit organization will (or should) carefully evaluate your company, its mission and products to determine whether they will accept you as a partner. Recognize that the nonprofit owns the program ... even if you pay for “naming rights.”
- Disclose any “special arrangements” with the nonprofit and your company ... such as if you have placed a maximum donation level. Transparency is the key. Let your cause partner know any details, prohibitions, requirements, etc. Determine whether your company’s PR/marketing agency will be involved and, if so, how. Be sure your cause partner is aware of this arrangement.
- Determine which form of cause marketing works with your strategies. Pinups. Transaction. Matching donations. In-store. Marketing. Your cause campaign may take many forms. Examples: Pinup: Chili’s Create-A-Pepper sheets are “pinned up” around its restaurants;Transactional: For every credit card holder consumers purchase, Target donates $1.50 to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital; Coupons: Crate & Barrel provides coupons which became a gift certificate its customers could redeem as school donations through Donors Chose.
- Develop an appropriate level of public relations support. In doing good, you expect to get recognized. Don’t leave it to chance. As you develop your part of the cause marketing, create a strategic communications program that gets you the desired level of awareness among your target stakeholders.
- Establish specific metrics and timetable to measure results. This is marketing. Determine at the start the results you expect and the amount of time you are willing to invest to achieve those results. Keep in mind that some efforts take years to be an “overnight success.”
- Refresh and update the program as you would with any other marketing campaign. Just as you refresh your advertising other marketing programs, be sure to update your cause marketing programs. Continuous improvement helps generate value by creating more energy for the ongoing program.
- Be flexible. Cause marketing is a game plan not a blueprint. Be prepared to “change on the fly” if an opportunity develops that benefits you, the nonprofit and your cause campaign.
- Review and evaluate. Establish the date when you and your nonprofit partner will meet to review the program, evaluate results and determine whether to continue and, if so, what changes to make. While you may want to hold your own meeting to evaluate your goals and measurements, it is important that the company and the nonprofit meet together to determine results of the program as well as concepts for the future.
- Take time to celebrate. Celebrate your successes ... with your employees and stakeholders ... with your nonprofit partner. Build the celebration into your campaign ... including announcing results!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tags: Cause Marketing
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Cause marketing is not a new idea. American Express started the trend in 1983. But doing it right can be tricky, according to an article in Microsoft Small Business Center by Joanna Krotz. She offers seven tips for the cause marketing newbie. Click here to read the article... For more tips and advice, contact Steve Drake: email@example.com or call (636) 449-5050. If your company or organization is looking for a cause marketing partner, Drake & Company can help. We have experience making connections between non-profit organizations and corporate partners.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The National Christmas Tree Association created an adver-game, "Attack of the Mutant Artificial Trees," to promote real Christmas trees to kids and teens.
The game was recognized for its creativity in the June issue of Associations Now.
Click here to play the game.