Since 2011 Charities and Causes have been suffering reduced levels of support due to the economic downturn and reduced Government funding.
Across the same period businesses have been similarly affected. Yes, by the same economic effects but also by trade increasingly disappearing on line, and/or to new fleet-of-foot competitors who have moved in with lower cost-based models.
One method of minimising the impact of these factors has traditionally been the creation of a loyalty programme, capturing customer data in return for a reward in an effective, but potentially costly, value exchange. Cause related Loyalty Marketing does this at a more modest cost and to the mutual benefit of your business and your chosen local charity.
So if you are a business that has or is suffering, how about considering a partnership with a local Charity in building a new ‘Cause related Loyalty Marketing’ (CLM) model? Here’s how it works:
- You create a loyalty scheme in the traditional style, i.e. points for spend at a level you can afford, explaining it on your webpage and through the marketing in your offices/shops. It should be simple to understand and do, with a measurement graphic that shows the total value you are creating.
- You then harness yourself to a cause about which you can feel passionate. Ideally this is one with local connections that offers community service benefits to act as a conversation starter. Sign up your customers through a simple mechanism that requires them to do nothing more than remember they are part of it
- You commit to translating the loyalty reward that has been collectively earned by your customers to that cause – perhaps quarterly, so as to give you a regular flow of news, again to your customers. An important loyalty principle here: make sure the first ‘payment’ is made, and publicised, within six months of launching your programme
The result? Your business wins through the association, and by creating new conversations with customers. Those customers feel good too – it’s cost them nothing and they have given custom to businesses they can identify with more readily. And of course the cause benefits too. Go on, start the conversation today!