Displaying articles for: April 2012
The latest company to adopt a crowdsourced cause contest is Starbucks with the ‘Vote.Give.Grow’ program. Starbucks joins other such contest fans Target’s Bullseye Gives, Chase Community Giving, Lady Gaga, Tom’s of Main ’50 States for Good’, Pepsi Refresh and others, which involve consumers in helping to allocate philanthropic dollars.
Here’s how it works:
The Starbucks Foundation is giving away $4 million to help communities thrive. Anyone with a registered Starbucks reward card can vote to decide where the money should be spent. Individuals can vote one time per week in April and can choose from among organizations in their local communities. Ultimately, 124 local nonprofits will benefit and the size of the grants will be determined by the voting results.
Why the campaign is smart:
- It rewards loyal customers (which supports the bottom line) by limiting participation to registered cardholders
- It promotes pre-selected nonprofits ‘already doing great work to help solve the unique needs of their communities’
- It provides grants to all participant nonprofits so they don’t spend limited resources and valuable social capital to compete in a contest with unknown rewards
- It makes the contest relevant to local communities by regionalizing the voting options
- It leverages technology (online, mobile), but reinforces a real world, in-store experience
- It promotes social proof by encouraging people to wear there ‘I Voted’ stickers as a badge of honor
The Georgetown University Center for Social Impact Communication features an insightful interview with Fenton’s Senior Vice President and Director of Global Marketing, Susan McPherson. It's part of the Social Strategist Project and I encourage you to check out the series and access the full blog post and podcast here.
Here are a few of Susan’s thoughts on the future of corporate responsibility excerpted from the CSIC post:
- Open the kimono! “What we’re seeing now is companies realizing that by doing ‘good business’ they’re actually doing good business.” Open the kimono and use transparent communication to achieve both social and financial goals.
- Turn the equation around. “Instead of asking how we can get funding as a nonprofit, ask: how can we tell the corporation what we can do for them?
- Think about upcoming hot topics. Conflict minerals. Human trafficking. Those are two issues whose time has come, according to Susan. Susan recommends paying attention to what topics are particularly active in the public debate because they are natural areas for companies to join the conversation.
- Don’t forget employee engagement. “It’s time to find out from your employees who they want to get behind and have a contest to determine which cause makes the most sense…have your employees build that program.”
The following is a guest post from Network for Good's Chief Strategy Officer, Katya Andresen. The article also appeared on Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog.
Silverpop has a free electronic essay, “The Best Marketing Advice I Ever Received, and the Best I Ever Gave: 5 Experts Share Their Wisdom.” I like the counsel, so I’m passing it on.
1. Consider Your Audience First, Then Manage Your Brand’s Place Within. This is from Scott Monty, global digital & multimedia communications manager for Ford Motor Company. As you’d expect, I’m a big fan of this advice. Says Monty: “If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words… Even though tools and technology and the medium may change very quickly, fundamentally, human nature stays the same.”
2. Do Your Own Thing, Then Do It Simply and Really Well. That concept comes from Andrew Kordek, co-founder and chief strategist for Trendline Interactive. He warns against “digital ADD,” saying, “When you think you have to do everything everyone else is doing, you complicate things, rush things and don’t do them correctly or with any thought process behind it.” Good advice.
3. The Zany Bird Gets the Worm, but It Must Work Hard to Earn its Audience. This is the advice of Peter Shankman, marketing consultant, author and founder of Help A Reporter Out. He says not to worry about what people might think when you have a crazy idea. “If they don’t like it, they’ll say so and you’ll start over, but more times than not, they’ll be intrigued and willing to run with it, and it will work.” But, that said, don’t forget restraint and even decorum. “Having an audience is a privilege and not a right. It’s like wearing Spandex,” he says.
4. Get to It Already, but Put the Brakes on the Hard Sell, says M.H. (Mac) McIntosh, founding partner at Acquire B2B and CEO of marketing and consulting firm Mac McIntosh Inc. Get to the point in your outreach with the what, who and why. At the same time, stop selling and instead, help your customers buy. Or in our world, help donors give.
5. When It Comes to Your Site, It’s About Usability, Usability, Usability. That’s from Bert DuMars, vice president of digital marketing and e-commerce at Newell Rubbermaid. “Pretty is as pretty does” he notes. It doesn’t matter how attractive, slick or sophisticated a site is if it isn’t user-friendly and functional. Amen to that. I’ve seen fantastic nonprofit websites that aren’t slick but are wholly effective.
What’s the best piece of marketing advice you ever got?
At the US Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center conference in Atlanta last week, Aman Singh of CSRWire and Emilio Sanchez of VOXXI moderated a debate on the future of CSR. Overall, the panelists were optimistic about corporate responsibility trends, but agreed that the practice needs more rigor to become a core business function and not the first budget to get cut in hard times. Here are some pearls of wisdom from selected panelists.
Margaret Coady, Director, CECP
Coady is encouraged that companies understand the importance of CSR and are not limiting their thinking about how they can have an impact. She sees a shift from asking ‘what’ to do to a focus on implementation and creative thinking about social problem solving. How can my company solve a social problem using core business resources?
Michael Jacobson, Corporate Responsibility Director, Intel
Corporations need practices and policies to allow them to be and do good, but that's not enough. They need to align those practices and policies with core strategy and integrate them into the fabric of the company to unleash full capabilities. Companies are not in a position to solve social problems and truly invest in CSR if they haven’t covered the basics internally. Answering internal questions of ethical business, environmental stewardship etc... helps you build tools and skills to go after larger problems. And where does philanthropy fit in? Philanthropy shouldn't be a cost center - it should create value.
Richard Crespin, Executive Director, CROA
The state of CSR is unsustainable because there is a lack of management science and data analysis. CSR is at a disadvantage against other business functions when tradeoffs have to be made. CSR has to become inextricably linked to those core business functions and managed against goals and metrics like any other function.
Chris Pinney, Senior Fellow, Aspen Institute
Corporate citizenship used to be about what you gave, now it's about what you do. But we need human capital to take CSR to the next level. That includes creating a pipeline of CSR-minded professionals. We need incentives for business schools to embed CSR management science into the curriculum.