By Christine Dubyts, Dubyts Communications
Doing good things for society makes people feel good, and when a philanthropic spirit is incorporated into a company's marketing strategy, it's no different - owners feel good about being generous corporate citizens, employees have a sense of pride, customers feel good about doing business with companies that give back, charities see the donation tally grow and are able to increase awareness, and the beneficiaries of causes get what they need. Cause marketing is effectively a win-win-win-win.
Getting involved as a supporter, partner, sponsor or through planned giving is, what we like to call, feel-good marketing. When it's integrated into your "big" plan, it can do good things for revenues, but only if done right.
Here are a few things to remember when choosing the right philanthropic partnership:
1. Remember your target market: an insurance broker might get better results from partnering with a cause whose targeted donors could also be purchasers of insurance policies (ie. Heart & Stroke Foundation rather than say Kids Help Phone.) However, if Kids Help Phone is targeting senior executives, it could very well be the better choice.
2. Proportional philanthropy: a small one-town company might get better results partnering with a local charity or chapter than with a national or international charity.
3. A cause to grow with: if your company has territory expansion plans ahead, consider this before choosing that local cause.
4. Do your due diligence: before marrying your brand with that of a charity, make sure it truly is a win-win-win-win. Check their reputation, how they support and promote their partners and how your money will be used once they get it.
5. Messages that meld will be remembered: Take for example Rona, an official sponsor of the 2010 Olympic Games. In one television ad, the following appears: "How-To Build Canada's Games. Rona. The Canadian How-To People." And in another: "Rona. Building Canada's Games." Choose a cause that will enhance the company's message logically.
Philanthropic partnerships are a great idea, but don't just pile it on top of all the other marketing you do. Integrate the message and the cause into your annual marketing planning. Ask us how.
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