Today, we finalized all the details for my client, Photos By Kathryn who is graciously donating a packaging to the Unite with Art, an exciting event that supports the UNICEF’s Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign.
This had me thinking that although many people donate, sponsor or provide services to charities or their communities with good intentions, the impact is lost by simple oversights. Marketing to your community or to charities still needs to be approached with a marketing strategy in place.
Consider these few factors in your community marketing strategy:
1) Less is more
It is great to support charities, and the more you can spread the wealth the better, but, keep in mind that you and your community or charity will get more out of your relationship if your don’t spread yourself too thin. This will allow you to provide more resources to your selection(s) and therefore leverage the relationship.
2) Where is your target market?
Consider who your target market is. If your target market is seniors, it probably does not make strategic marketing sense to support the junior softball team.
3) What can you both gain out of the relationship?
Whether you can obtain a tax receipt for your donation of goods and services or receive publicity for your support, ensure that there is something to be gained by both parties. Too often, companies feel bad about discussing this openly with their community partner and that means missed opportunities. Remember that you are both looking to get something out of the relationship.
4) Does the charity mean something to you personally or professionally?
You have now narrowed down options for a community partner, but how do you make the final decision? Choose a group that means something to you personally or professionally. It will make a better story, ensure that you are more driven to perform for them, and people will be able to tell your authenticity which will strengthen your brand.
5) Give careful consideration before choosing something that may be sensitive in nature
You may be a huge political supporter, but give careful consideration before choosing topics that may offend your clients. Not everyone may be as passionate or share the same views and the idea is to give your company brand awareness not give customers an excuse to talk negatively or worse yet withdraw business.
6) Establish goals
Thought the hard part was over? As with any marketing initiative you must have goals. Those goals should be measurable and attainable. What do you want out of the relationship? What do they want out of the relationship? The more clarity you can provide the easier #7 will be.
7) Evaluate annually
Just because you have always done something, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it. Evaluate annually and review the ROI. Is the relationship worth continuing or is your time and resources better spent elsewhere?
Charitable giving is an excellent opportunity to build business, generate exposure, and to boost your corporate karma!