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Does Compassion Marketing Make Sense for Your Business?
Back in 1985, I was so surprised by an ad in Advertising Age that I cut it out and filed it. “If we give up one client lunch this week,” it reads, “we can feed a million people in Ethiopia.”
Recently, I found my copy and was struck by the subsequent growth of similar ties to non-profits by profit-making companies. The American Association of Advertising Agencies, which ran the ad, was clearly at the leading edge.
Compassion Marketing started to become a staple early in this century. Companies tie into worthy causes through existing non-profits, hoping to build their image and customer relationships. That can be good for both your business and the non-profit.
Many companies offer promotions related to breast cancer awareness, dementia awareness, or cancer research funding, which is wonderful. However, here are four key issues to consider before proceeding with a Compassion Marketing promotion:
1) Will such a tie-in be a benefit to your business, by connecting it to something positive in the consumer’s mind?
2) How much money will go to the non-profit, and how much will you spend on related marketing? Will any bump in sales cover or exceed that combined cost? If not, are you willing and able to lose money on the promotion so that a worthy entity will benefit?
3) Can the selected non-profit provide personnel, materials, logistics or any other support required for the promotion to run smoothly for them? You will not want to swamp them with incremental work. If not, what can you do to provide assistance?
4) Can this non-profit be trusted NOT to end up in the news because of a scandal?
The best Compassion Marketing ties the promotion to the business entity in a way that makes sense to the donor, and is memorable – thereby benefitting everyone, including customers. It is not advisable to simply pick your personal favorite charity and try to generate donors through your business – there may not be a logical connection at all!
Next week I will tell you about a current, noteworthy Compassion Marketing campaign. Perhaps you will be able to participate! At the least, you should be inspired.
What can you do to tie a worthy cause to your small business? It is something to think about!
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend