Drake & Company recently donated 100 hours of staff time to build a cause marketing program for the Chesterfield Arts “Make Your Mark” levee mural project, held June 4. Jill Mahoney and I were the project managers.
About “Make Your Mark”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City of Chesterfield and Chesterfield-Monarch Levee District recently completed expansion of the Chesterfield Valley (MO) levee. While it ensured safety during a major flood, the levee presented a fairly ugly image for thousands of travelers.
Chesterfield Arts, a local nonprofit, focuses on providing programming and outreach in visual, performing, literary arts and art education. They also have an interest in enhancing the environment with outdoor art in the community. Always on the lookout for outdoor art opportunities, Stacey Morse, Chesterfield Arts Executive Director, asked and answered a simple question, “Why does the levee need to remain an ugly gray wall?”
With permission from the city and the Corps, Chesterfield Arts began a plan to paint the levee. Not just paint it but make it a free, community-based piece of outdoor art, and to use the levee as a great art education project at the same time.
Chesterfield Arts worked with a team of more than 50, 8th-12th grade students from a variety of schools to design this new floodwall mural. It was then determined that June 4 would be a day in which the local community could gather to paint a piece of the mural, paint-by-number style.
Enter Cause Marketing
To increase awareness and generate funding to support the project, Chesterfield Arts accepted a Drake & Company proposal to add a pinup cause marketing element to the overall “Make Your Mark” project. A pinup campaign is an opportunity for customers to add their name and/or art to a sign that is posted on a store wall or window. Customers donate $1 (or more) to participate and receive a branded pinup they decorate or sign. The pinup is then displayed in the store.
So, here are the steps we developed to implement the pinup program.
1. Develop overall theme and timing of the project.
2. Build a list of potential retailers to approach to “host” the pinup project.
3. Design the pinup and other elements (stickers, t-shirts, collection jar, etc.) of the campaign.
4. Contact the retailers to gain their commitment
5. Build a “leader board” for the Chesterfield Arts website to show progress of the project.
6. Launch the pinup campaign: we targeted May 15 to May 31.
7. Plan and implement a complimentary media campaign to increase awareness of both the pinup campaign and the overall “Make Your Mark” project.
We made a list of family-friendly businesses to target for the pinup campaign, taking into consideration factors such as location, audience and foot traffic. We primarily targeted businesses in Chesterfield Valley due to proximity but also approached other businesses in the broader area that fit the criteria.
Two pinup options were created for the businesses to choose from. The first was a traditional pinup for people to write their name on, a simple option recommended for stores with high traffic or stores not targeting children. The second pinup was a piece of the actual mural design kids could color and bring back to the store for display.
Pinup Tip: We included information about the June 4 event and the “Make Your Mark” project on the backside of the pinup. A QR code linked to the Chesterfield Arts website was also included. Use the backside of a pinup; if you don’t, it’s a wasted opportunity to give more information.
We put together an informational folder to give to the manager/owner of each business. This was a great way to leave behind information as well as have examples of the pinups to show the retailers. Having the folder was also useful to leave behind when the manager or business owner was not available.
Included in the informational folder were:
1. A cover sheet about the campaign (what it is, how it works, benefits of participating, how to make the campaign successful and potential talking points for employees).
2. Chesterfield Arts “Make Your Mark” fact sheet (background on the project, the June 4 event, the mural design, how donations will be used, project impact estimates and information about Chesterfield Arts).
3. A press release about the project.
4. A contact sheet (with business cards)
5. Examples of the two pinup options
6. Map of where the levee is located
7. Promotional brochures from Chesterfield Arts
Tip: The trick to getting businesses involved with a campaign like this is to make it as easy for them as possible. We provided all of the tools needed -- pinups, tape, donation envelope, poster to put up at the register, etc., following up with businesses throughout the campaign to make sure they had enough supplies and collecting them at the end.
One way to boost involvement and participation is to provide an incentive for associates. An incentive could be a gift card for the associate with the most pinups sold or have a pizza party for all associates if they successfully reached their goal.
Once retailers were signed up, we worked with Chesterfield Arts to promote these businesses through social media, email marketing, contributing to various blogs and word of mouth. E-blasts and coupons were sent to the Chesterfield Arts database informing people about the “Make Your Mark” project and the pinup campaign and encouraging them to go to one of the participating businesses to make a donation. We also used e-blasts and social media to promote a 10 percent off discount at one of the participating businesses when a donation was made to the cause.
Results of the campaign
We were pleased to have six local businesses participating. Overall, the cause marketing campaign was a success for Chesterfield Arts. Drake & Company was happy to contribute and be a part of this unique project. We are also happy that the Drake & Company logo will be part of the levee mural!