Improving Cause Marketing Results: Motivation - dummies

Improving Cause Marketing Results: Motivation

By Joe Waters, Joanna MacDonald

Highly motivated consumers and employees can make a big difference in the success of your cause marketing program. Motivation is especially important for local programs because they generally involve smaller businesses with fewer locations and less foot traffic. In short, you need to maximize the return on every store.

There are many motivated businesses succeed with cause marketing. iParty, a New England-based party retailer with more than 50 stores and great foot traffic, consistently raises $1,000 per store with cause marketing pinups.

iParty succeeds in motivating their customers and employees in several important ways.

  • Their commitment to the cause is top-down and bottom-up. They support what the charity does at every level and know how important the mission is. They’ve earned their halo, and the glow from it is something everyone sees, even when you’re new to the company.

  • iParty has mastered executing cause marketing in their stores, making the programs easy for customers and employees. iParty plans its campaigns for busy times of year when the pinups are easy to sell. Their employees know just what to ask shoppers, and customers are incentivized with coupons to thank them for their gift.

  • iParty motivates its employees with incentives, too. iParty encourages a competition among its stores to see who can raise the most money. The top four stores receive prizes, which the employees love!

An example of motivation at work at a retailer with less foot traffic is craft store chain A.C. Moore’s partnership with Easter Seals. At A.C. Moore’s 136 stores, cashiers asked customers to donate a dollar to Easter Seal’s Act for Autism campaign and raised over $141,000. This is an impressive figure considering that A.C. Moore stores aren’t as crowded as a Target or Walmart.

While stores averaged over $1,000 in donations, locations in the Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware region collected more than half of the total funds, with the Wilmington store earning the top fundraising spot.

Another factor contributing to the success of the campaign may have been the cause itself. Autism has broad appeal with Americans due to a large spike in the number of children affected.

Finally, A.C. Moore deepened consumer engagement with the campaign by hosting an in-store crafting event at which kids created a jigsaw puzzle for autism awareness.

Press release about A. C. Moore's campaign for Autism Awareness.

The money raised overall, and particularly from three key mid-Atlantic stores, speaks to how motivated the A.C. Moore employees were at these stores! Motivation is a key quality in every cause marketing program, big or small. But if you want to raise money at lower traffic stores, you need motivated employees that can convince nearly every shopper to give.

Finding chains with lots of foot traffic and lots of locations is a key to success. However, A.C. Moore illustrates that employee and customer energy and drive can transcend stores and foot traffic and make a cause marketing program successful. The human element of every program can never be dismissed.