2013 brings with it new opportunities for individuals and businesses alike. More than ever, your success in 2013, as an individual or business, will depend upon how effectively you communicate and how you are perceived by those you wish to do business with.
Technology has made it easier to market ourselves, services and products. Easier does not always translate to “less costly” and certainly not to “more effectively”. To sort through the miasma of marketing goo, I contacted Sheila Neisler ( firstname.lastname@example.org). Sheila is the owner of Catalyst, a marketing company ( greatideas-greaterresults.com). Sheila started a small corporate gift basket business in Charleston. Despite a difficult economy, her business grew and her success caught the attention of larger firms. It was not long after that her marketing knowledge and skills became the most valuable assets to her business.
Like many of us, Sheila faced strong competition. To separate herself she developed the idea of “360 Marketing” incorporating multiple channels of communication to not only reach but stand out to potential clients. Sheila’s enthusiasm and plethora of ideas is amazing but one idea really struck home with me: “Cause Marketing.” Cause marketing is a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a for-profit business that benefits both and their community.
I mistakenly thought “Cause Marketing” was holding an event or seminar, but Sheila takes a different approach. She believes that to be successful, Cause Marketing must truly be a partnership and ongoing relationship. Don Nowak, owner of Falcon Metal Corp ( falconmetal.com), partnered with the USO. The USO is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting our troops. In many different ways throughout 2012, Falcon Metal gave of its time, skills and even some funding to USO. On Dec. 20, more than 2,500 military personnel passed through Charlotte Douglas Airport. Falcon Metal closed for part of the day so that the Falcon Metal associates could volunteer with the USO.
Through this partnership, the USO has received some much needed support and media attention. Falcon Metal’s efforts have been recognized in many media sources and they have shared that recognition with their customers and community. Most importantly, U.S. service men and women received more assistance through the combined efforts of both organizations.
“Cause Marketing can drive new customers (sales) to a company, enhance relationships (sales) with existing customers, build morale of your team AND help give the nonprofit a much needed boost in marketing exposure and funds,” Sheila said.
Cause Marketing is not about spending more – it’s about spending it more effectively.
“I’ve seen lots of companies increase sales by integrating a cause into their overall marketing plan,” Sheila explains. It can be a huge differentiator in defining your company: letting customers see what’s behind the logo – the values of your company and the values of the people who work there.”
At its most simple, Cause Marketing is about giving to others. To paraphrase an old adage: “People don’t care how much you know as much as how much you care.” Cause marketing benefits non-profit organizations, the community and your company. It truly is a win-win-win.