Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Partnering for a Cause and Customers

Cause marketing (or selfish giving as some call it) can be a great way to build brand awareness, help a cause that you are passionate about, and potentially increase sales.  For-profit and not-for-profit organizations can combine resources to create a win-win program.  But you have to get creative!  Let me share a little about our recent holiday giving campaign.

The goal: Gain 3000 new fans on Facebook (nearly double our fan base). This would equate to a $3000 donation to the non-profit ($1 for every new "Like" of our Facebook page).

The strategy: Partner with an organization that is credible and relevant to our customers. Since our company makes
standing frames for people who use wheelchairs, we chose the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Give the campaign a deadline that allows enough time to reach the goal, without losing momentum. Keep it simple. Build a theme around the program that is meaningful and catchy.  Our campaign was part of an annual giving campaign during the Christmas season.

The marketing:
  1. If the campaign delivery is focused on social media, partner up with a non-profit who has an engaging social media presence (as strong or stronger than your company). 
  2. Develop a custom Facebook tab using static FBML to welcome prospective fans with a message relevant to your campaign. Be sure to set it as the landing page for new visitors.
  3. Create a landing page on your website, in addition to a custom Facebook tab. Create ways for easy sharing (Tweetmeme or Sharethis) via Facebook, Twitter, and email. Here is what our landing page looked like.
  4. Use your corporate blog to write about the campaign from different angles. Don’t forget to include content that is related to your non-profit. For us, this post with embedded video of Christopher Reeve talking about his Wheelchair on Sesame Street was a hit.
  5. Promote the campaign through your email newsletter and email blasts if applicable.
  6. Write and distribute a press release related to the campaign, if it is newsworthy and/or you have a good relationship with editors.
  7. Work with the non-profit to determine other ways they can help promote to their followers (i.e. blog, homepage link, email, social media).
  8. Target Facebook advertising to demographics that have interest in both your product and the non-profit.  Try to write the ad copy to include both the product/service benefit, as well as the call to action that benefits the non-profit.
The result:
The goal of 3000 new "Likes" was ambitious but we made it happen by combining traditional marketing with social media sharing and targeted Facebook advertising. We exceeded our goal and our Facebook “Likes” grew by 79% in less than 30 days. To top it off, we made a year-end donation to the Reeve Foundation for $3000, increased awareness of both our brands, and established a strong foundation of fans for 2011.
How do your goals align with those of other organizations? How can you partner with a non-profit to reach mutual goals?  What methods can you use to attract new fans to your Facebook page? 
 Jackie Kaufenberg is the Marketing Manager for Altimate Medical Inc. in Morton, Minnesota. They manufacture standing frames for people who use wheelchairs and also have a blog for people with disabilities, and medical professionals. You can reach her via Twitter @jkaufenberg.


Amanda Broman said...

Jackie -- thanks for sharing. I have a good friend that is involved with cause marketing and I know she is always looking for new ways to get the word out. Great post!

Jackie said...

Thanks Amanda! We don't do a great deal of cause marketing, but it is nice to include it in the mix, for building good will and increasing overall brand awareness! As well as a feel-good for employees, that their employer beyond just the scope of selling products.

Post a Comment