Find a cause that aligns with your brand, your business and your available resources.
Wikipiedia Definition: cause-related marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a “for profit” business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. Cause marketing differs from corporate giving (philanthropy) as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax deductible, while cause marketing is a marketing relationship not necessarily based on a donation.
Any company can champion a cause and support it through volunteer efforts, event sponsorship, or pure financial donations. As a community-based business, your fun centre is in a unique position to make a meaningful contribution to a local cause that can come full circle and reward you.
Benefits of cause marketing
CauseRelatedMarketing.blogspot.ca highlighted 6 benefits your business can experience by diversifying your marketing to include a cause-related strategy:
1. Cause-related marketing can directly enhance sponsor sales and brand.
2. Cause-related marketing is a respected and accepted business practice.
3. Cause-related marketing can heighten customer loyalty.
4. Cause-related marketing can boost a company’s public image and help distinguish it from the competition. It can also give whoever does your PR a new story to tell.
5. Cause-related marketing can help build employee morale and loyalty.
6. Cause-related marketing can improve employee productivity, skills and teamwork.
To read more about cause-related marketing from an expert, visit Paul Jones’ blog.
How to get started
You’ll have the most impact if you choose a cause that fits
• your personal values
• your business’s brand
• your available resources
What is nearest and dearest to your heart? If you have 10 or fewer employees, you’ll be leading the charge in this respect and if you can pick something that truly matters to you, you’ll work harder and longer to help your cause achieve real value. If your fun center has over 10 employees, consider involving them in the selection. Challenge them to think of a community group that could use some help, and schedule a staff meeting so they can make their case.
Look at what your fun centre offers your community. Does it lean towards 12 and under children? Perhaps your local hospital is fundraising for its children’s wing. Is it more sports oriented than gaming related? Perhaps align with an under-privileged teen outreach program, and focus on sports activities. Are you well-known for a pre-school mom and me program? Maybe a local Community Center could use help with its early childhood learning program. When you choose a cause that is aligned with your brand, the public will more easily link those two elements, and look at you with a higher regard.
Sit down with the non-profit and review what they need in a year, and where you can contribute. Ideally you want to be involved for the long haul, as this will have the most benefit to the non-profit and to your business. Think beyond money—your time and your insights (especially for small or new non-profits) are the most valuable contributions you can make.
Some contributions you can make are
• Giving staff members a paid half day to participate at your cause’s car wash.
• Hosting a fundraiser at your fun center, with percentage of tokens purchased going to the charity.
• Offer to pay for the non-profit’s event advertising materials such as posters, flyers or hand-outs.
• Ask your staff to help out with the event by using their personal networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) to promote the event.
• Consider offering to sit on the board at some point in time, and reach out to your other community business partners to participate in some way as well.
Do you have a cause marketing strategy?