How to Attract Customers: Show You Care

9 Low Cost Ways to Support Cause Marketing

The season of holiday giving makes everyone feel more generous. Why not use this time to show you care and extend your marketing at the same time? Recent research from Cone Inc. shows that customers support businesses that have a heart – it can be a deciding factor.

For some companies, the biggest stumbling block is changing your perspective. For example, the building management company featured above donated the money used for holiday decorations to feed people. They may have gotten a tax benefit for doing do. Another example is Stephen Colbert’s support of the US Olympic Skating Team last year.

Why not brainstorm some easy to implement ideas for your company? This is one form of marketing where business size doesn’t matter. Action counts! Here are nine ideas to get you started.

  1. Collect new items for underprivileged and/or hospitalized. During the holidays, a number of toy and/or bookstores do this.
  2. Get involved in a charity project. Go one step further and participate with your customers to help others.
  3. Give customers a discount coupon for making a donation. Make the discount applicable during your slow post-holiday season.
  4. Donate unsold perishables. If you sell food, why not make an arrangement to give the food that you can’t sell but is still edible to a local food kitchen?
  5. Share your window. Show your support for a local organization by giving them some space where there’s a lot foot traffic to promote their cause.
  6. Get your customers to join you. Give a proportion of your sales or have a place to collect change near your cash register. This is an old fashioned idea. In the pre-ATM days, my grandmother sat in her local bank branch and collected change for her favorite charity.
  7. Create a raffle for some of your product. Make it fun and desirable. Give the proceeds to a related charity.
  8. Recycle for a cause. This initiative is a double win—you’re helping people while making the world green. For example, my local cell phone provider collects old phones to give to battered women so they have a means to call 911, and my religious organization collects used printer ink cartridges to refill for other organizations in need.
  9. Allow a not-for-profit to use your space during off hours for meetings or an event. This has the benefit of getting people into your store or company. While you need to have staff present, it can entice attendees to buy. Why not give them an incentive to spend with a special bonus or a percent of sales donation to their organization?

This season don’t be a scrooge! Get out your thinking cap and do something to help those around you. What’s great about this marketing is that doesn’t need lots of planning to accomplish nor does it need to be limited to the December holiday season.

Do you have any other ideas or suggestions as to how businesses large and small can help those in need? If so, would you please add them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Photo credit: Heidi Cohen – ©2010 via Creative Commons below

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  • http://www.lionbrandyarnstudio.com/ Patty Lyons

    The generosity of knitters & crocheters always blows my mind! We collected over 1300 afghan blocks and will be sewing them together in blankets Sunday Dec. 12th: http://www.lionbrandyarnstudio.com/lionStudioBlog/?p=4947. Last year we collected for Partnership for the Homeless, & we collected hundreds of hats & scarves: http://blog.lionbrand.com/2009/12/09/170000-yards-of-yarn-later/

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Patty–It’s a great way to join with your customers to create something that helps the community. It becomes bigger than the company or organization and can be positive for everyone. Please feel free to share photos of the sewing party and the blanket in the comments section when it’s done. Thank you for sharing. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://ewkemper.com/ Ed Kemper

    Hey Heidi – Giving back is a great way to connect with people. I have been checking out http://www.firstgiving.com/ as a good possibility by adding a widget in my sidebars to allow donations to some of my favorite charities.

    Have you checked them out yet?

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Ed– Thank you for the suggestion. I am not familiar with First Giving but it sounds like a great way to connect with NFPs. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen