Use Cause-Related Marketing to Build Community Image and Promote Your Business
by Larry Miller
One of the most effective ways to market your business is to help a non-profit organization. More than giving money to a good cause, you quickly build a positive image in your community or industry. People remember, respect and buy from firms they admire.
Cause-related marketing is particularly effective in an election year. With politicians keeping issues before us around the clock, the public is ever-conscious of our world's problems.
Pollsters survey voters to find out what we care about. Then political campaigns reflect our concerns. We have always known some people do without, but now we all are aware 44 million don't have health insurance and 30 million aren't sure where their next meal will come from.
Look closely at who your customers are. Do their interests follow a common theme? Find a cause that touches local concerns or a prominent challenge in a target industry. You want customers in your area to say, "That's a cause I wish I could help. I admire those folks for doing something about an issue I care for."
Include a mention of your charitable activities in all your company correspondence and marketing.
Most large charities are highly adept at getting media coverage. Media outlets know it is good business to join with non-profits as partners. Media supplies publicity as their contribution. Because the audience appreciates and expects media to participate in community improvement efforts, programmers and editors make sure their non-profit activities get good coverage.
Larger non-profits have full-time public relations professionals to schedule media interviews, events, and appearances of media celebrities. Offer to contribute time, goods, services, or cash. Ask if your company logo can be included in ads. Your name can be mentioned in radio public service announcements and talk show interviews. Offer to appear as a spokesperson.
You can organize your own media events. Television likes events with a highly visual component. When a car dealership raffled chances to win a car, they had the finalists wrestle in a pool of Jello to find the key. Every TV station in town sent a camera.
Newspapers tend to go for ideas, studies, and stories. Make sure your spokesperson has plenty for the reporter.
Make an effort to keep your association with a non-profit from sounding too commercial. Your involvement must be sincere. The audience is probably aware you are participating with the hope of getting publicity, but they will turn on you if it looks like that is all your company cares about.
Cause-related marketing gives you a three-way win. The cause you help benefits, your customers enjoy your participation, and you get the positive boost of good community image and the rewarding customer response it brings. About the Author:
Larry Miller specializes in cause-related marketing with Effective Direct Marketing Solutions, Inc. in Sun City, AZ. Visit his web site at http://www.edmktsol.com/
Reach Larry at 623-875-6901 or email@example.com
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