If you read this blog often, you know we like to keep up with industry trends. If you were REALLY paying attention (pop quiz) you’d remember that mobile is a BIG one. Today I’d like to try to inspire you to think about applying key marketing trends and cause marketing best practices to your mobile ideation process by way of introducing you to a mobile app that I just launched (yes, little ‘ol me). It’s called the Sweater-izer and it’s chocked full of fun AND cause marketing components. Let’s have a look-see!
INTRODUCING THE FREE SWEATER-IZER APP:
‘Tis the season of hideously festive Christmas Sweaters AND of holiday giving. Join Environmental Media Association (EMA), Carter’s Kids & Fun Is The Answer in “Sweater-izing For A Cause” to help us build gardens & playgrounds for low income school children. It’s holiday FUN for GOOD!
TO SWEATER-IZE FOR A CAUSE: DOWNLOAD THE FREE SWEATER-IZER APP AND…
- Have fun dressing up our celebrity supporters: Carter Oosterhouse, Amy Smart, Constance Zimmer & Lance Bass in crazy combinations of Christmas/Hanukkah sweaters and hats.
- Pose them with the Sweater-ized version of yourself, your friends, family, pets (…you name it, it can be Sweater-ized!).
- Pick the perfect background and frame and add a fun headline to complete your masterpiece.
- Share your images online for a good laugh and to get the word out about this FUNdraiser.
Make a donation HERE (or from the Sweater-izer App) to support “School Play Spaces & Gardens,” a special joint-program of EMA & Carter’s Kids. Championed by Carter Oosterhouse, television host/celebrity carpenter and Founder of Carter’s Kids, and his wife, actress and EMA Young Hollywood Board Chair, Amy Smart, this program brings together community volunteers and celebrity supporters to build completely customized play spaces and edible organic gardens for low income schools. The program greatly impacts children and entire communities for years to come. Time to start Sweater-izing For A Cause! Download the Sweater-izer app here, then click “Sweater-ize For A Cause” on the home screen.
SO, NOW YOU’RE THINKING TO YOURSELF…
“WOW, I can’t wait to download the FREE Sweater-izer App, make a massive donation and post 37 images a day for the next month…but I’m also wondering HOW I can leverage this holiday campaign example in MY cause marketing partnerships?” [OK, so I MAY have paraphrased/taken a FEW liberties when reading your mind. My apologies if I wasn’t enthusiastic enough. Teehee.]
THERE ARE QUITE A FEW MARKETING TRENDS INCORPORATED IN THIS CAUSE PARTNERSHIP ACTIVATION. LET’S TAKE A LOOK.
- Mobile: You must find an appropriate way to create brand experiences “where the people are.” More and more, the location of the people is on their smart phones. Don’t ignore this fact.
- Gamification: Make it fun! Put your creative hat on and look for opportunities to engage target audiences in a way that makes them smile. People like smiling. They will appreciate it. 🙂
- Cause Marketing: There is a LOT of valuable “marketing & PR” going on in this partnership activation. Always look for opportunities to deliver this to your partners and enjoy it for your own brand.
- Social Good: Make it easy and pleasant for people to share your message via their social media platforms. We pre-populated social media posts with key campaign messaging and links, making it easy for app users to get the word out to their personal networks in just one click.
- Crowdsourcing: In our case, the app users create their own unique images and proudly share them online. They enjoy the experience and the personalization. We enjoy the “social media marketing team” we’ve empowered. Have you thought about ideas for incorporating user-generated content in your activities?
- Celebrities: We are lucky to have a myriad of amazing celebrities on board for this project, both within the app and as supporters. Obviously this is not a simple task to accomplish or the norm. But, if you do have access to celebrities, look for the win-win for them and always make it simple for them to participate.
- Trend-Spotting: Christmas Sweaters & Cats: “The Internets” likes its cats, definitely got that memo! So, OF COURSE we HAD to include some Christmas sweaters and frames with cats on them! Meow! Also, Google Analytics shows that keyword searches on ugly/tacky Christmas sweater have been doubling year over year since 2007. I like those numbers. Do your own analysis and trend-spotting to see if it uncovers any opportunities. But, don’t go chasing every shiny new object (leave that for the cats).
NEXT UP: CAUSE MARKETING BEST PRACTICES THAT CAN EASILY TRANSLATE TO YOUR WORK:
- Mission Match: It’s pretty easy to connect the dots between my company, “Fun Is the Answer’” (a social enterprise focused on “Fun For Good”), and the creation of a fun holiday app that raises money and awareness to build playgrounds (with hands-on garden experience) for schools. Fun, Fun, Fun for good! No brainer. Make sure your partnerships “make sense” for maximum impact.
- Partnership Trifecta: Company + Cause + Media (media partner also happens to be a cause in this case) is great if you can make it happen. In our case we purposely created a partnership designed to leverage our different organizational strengths:
- Company: creative idea, technical execution, funding for activation
- Cause(s): execute meaningful impact for beneficiaries with marketing benefits to company
- Media Partner (in this case both causes act as such): Celebrity support, access to target audiences, media connections and media outreach support
- Make it Easy to Participate: Have a clear call to action (CTA). Less is more. We took this approach:
- Make a Donation: Easily from the app via online partner Razoo
- Raise Awareness: Easily by sharing with social media buttons with pre-populated campaign messages & links
- Timing Is Everything: The vast majority of charitable giving and card-exchanging happens around the winter holidays. This is definitely working to our advantage. Look for optimal timing to enhance your partnership activities.
- Project Planning: Speaking of timing…allow AMPLE time (yes, I did capitalize that word on purpose) for trouble-shooting and the inevitable “things that come up” or “things that are out of your control.” [No, I’m not bitter. Really. I’m not. I promise.] It’s great to be fast and nimble. It’s even greater to be fast, nimble and have a little cushion. You will thank me for that one.
- Be Creative! It will help you stand out in the clutter and be memorable.
A big thank you to YOU for indulging me! I hope that you found some useful takeaways that will translate well. I look forward to writing about YOUR on-trend mobile cause campaign in 2013.
Happy holidays! Did I mention you can download the app for free here?