There is one special ingredient that can be found in every 7-figure cause marketing program. It’s not the warm fuzzy factor of the cause partner – there are hundreds of worthy causes. It’s not the coolest creative or the hottest celebrity or the biggest promotions budget, although all those elements are most certainly important! Of course, many factors contribute to a campaign’s overall success. But, I would argue that the one common ingredient found in all highly successful cause campaigns is effective team work.
When developing a recent Cause Marketing Forum Webinar: Cause Alliances in a Franchise Environment: Creating Alignment, I had the opportunity to work with 2 leaders in the cause marketing arena – Arby’s and March of Dimes. Each of these organizations raises millions of dollars with their cause campaigns. I will share a few of the insights with you, and I encourage you to listen to the full webinar.
When Arby’s launched their No Kid Hungry cause marketing initiative supporting Share Our Strength, they knew that the success of the campaign would be dependent on franchisee buy-in and strong participation. They identified a franchisee task force from the outset and integrated their voice into partner selection, campaign design and execution. They honed in on importance of frontline cashiers as the face and voice of the campaign. They created training programs and support tools to equip these program ambassadors to invite customers to participate and it worked! And, in addition to focusing on franchisee integration, Arby’s smartly focused on inter-departmental engagement and teamwork amongst their HQ staff. They realized a campaign focused on childhood hunger and access to healthy meals needed to include a focus on the nutritional value of their own kid’s meals too. They engaged their product development team and added healthier menu items for kids, including milk, fruit, and healthy sandwich options. This change has bolstered their kid’s meal sales considerably. And, of course, they strongly supported the campaign with savvy media strategy. It is clear, however, that it was the combined teamwork of the marketing staff and the new product development staff and Arby’s franchisees and their front line staff that resulted in the campaign’s impressive launch-year success, raising over $2MM for Share Our Strength!
March of Dimes* also participated in the CMF Alignment webinar, and their perspective further emphasizes the importance of strong teamwork in delivering 7-figure cause efforts. In fact, March of Dimes raises hundreds of millions via their nationwide March for Babies and Signature Chef Auction events. Clearly, all levels of the organization – national and local – must march in step to achieve these impressive results. You can hear more about that in the Cause Marketing Forum Webinar. However, what was clear to me is that March of Dimes’ approach to team work goes far beyond their own national/chapter staff integration. March of Dimes also engages deeply in team work with their partners. For example, March of Dimes coordinates hundreds of store visits for their staff and volunteers to visit key retail partner locations. This enables their retail partners to better engage their own field staff and demonstrates the effectiveness of team work x 2! And, March of Dimes even takes their commitment to teamwork one step further by creating and supporting cross-partner efforts too. Two sponsors of the inaugural imbornto campaign, Famous Footwear and Proflowers are promoting coupons for each other that – as a team – will multiply their support for March of Dimes.
*March of Dimes and Share Our Strength are For Momentum clients.