Find the Best Companies for Your Cause Marketing Campaign
To find a partner company, start by working with your innermost circle and contact your cause's current supporters and donors. Because they know you better than anyone else, they can open doors to other prospects. They are your No. 1 resource!
Here are the best ways to work with your supporters:
You need to know your supporters’ contacts as well as they do. A common mistake is showing up at a board meeting and asking attendees to write down everyone they know that could help you. Besides having a poor memory, people will leave out the contacts they are even the slightest bit hesitant about contacting on your behalf.
A better approach is to continuously research your supporters and know who their best contacts are so that you can speak to them directly about helping you. “I know that you do a fair amount of business with XYZ Corporation. Do you think you could introduce us to the CEO so we could talk to her about cause marketing?”
Make it easy for your supporters to help you. Most people are sincere in their desire to help, but if you ask too much of them, they won’t. While the level of help you’ll need from your supporters will vary depending on the prospect, the goal should be to have them just open doors.
Once they see how easy it is to help you and how well you represent your cause and your supporters, they’ll be more inclined to do it again.
Educating your supporters on what cause marketing is is critical. Make sure that they know you’re not just asking them to call their friends to make a donation. Cause marketing isn’t philanthropy. Cause marketing is win-win. It helps the cause and the business. Be sure that they’re clear on how cause marketing is different from giving.
After you contact your supporters, move on to your second circle and reconnect with your past business contacts and/or vendors. Regardless of whether a company is a partner or not, a good cause marketing prospect is a good prospect forever.
Keep in touch with former partners, especially when there is a new cause marketing program on the horizon. If you work for a big hospital or organization, you have vendors you can contact. They understand your mission better than anyone and benefit if your organization continues to grow.
Vendors (companies that a company or your organization buys its supplies or services from) can include the vendors of your current supporters and donors, too, so don’t hesitate to work their circles as well.
Also, remember to explore your outer circle through social media and traditional means. You’ve worked hard to keep up on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Make sure that you’re using them to connect with prospects when possible.
It can also be helpful to attend networking events, read business journals and pay attention to who’s advertising in your local newspaper and on television and radio. Companies that value getting people to notice them will appreciate the awareness that cause marketing offers.