This Episode: WhizBang! Cause Marketing


WhizBang! Cause Marketing is a technique that helps retailers like you solve the “donation dilemma” in a way that lets you help your community while bringing new customers into your store. 

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If you want to get your local nonprofit organizations enthusiastically sending their members and supporters into your store, spending money, then this episode is for you.

So today what we’re going to talk about is WhizBang! Cause Marketing. And I’m going to share the fundamentals of this really cool strategy to get lots of new customers, generate lots of free positive publicity, and of course build your sales. When most retailers think of supporting a local cause, they think of giving a donation. And while I’m all for generosity and supporting your local community, there’s always a limit.

When I had my retail business, I’d sometimes get several donation requests a day, and it started to wear on me. I started to suffer from what I call the donation dilemma. I wanted to do good, but I felt like people were taking advantage of me. I was giving, but I didn’t feel like I was getting. Then I developed what we call WhizBang! cause marketing.

WhizBang! Cause Marketing is not a donation. It involves a mutually beneficial partnership. Let me say those three words again– a mutually beneficial partnership– between a store and a nonprofit. It’s mutually beneficial because the store gives a percentage of the sales generated from the members of the nonprofit if the nonprofit organization does a great job of driving traffic and generating sales, the store writes a big check. If they do a lousy job, they get a little check. You see, you only pay when you get paid.

So let’s talk about three WhizBang! cause marketing models. The first is one store, one cause. An example of this is paint the town pink. My wife, Susan, and several of her friends, walked 60 miles in three days to raise money for breast-cancer research. They partnered with a local running store. The name of the store was Running Circles. They had an after-hour party, where Alan invited all of his customers and Susan and her friends invited all of their friends, and they had this big party, and Alan donated a percentage of the sales back to Team Save our Sisters, Susan’s group.

Now Alan got 250 new customers. He generated a ton of publicity for his store with this event. He sold a lot of shoes, and he gladly wrote Susan and her team, her partners, a big check. That’s the first model. One store, one cause.

The second model is one store, multiple partners. An example of this is Skirt, a high-end women’s clothing boutique in suburban Philadelphia. Maureen, the owner of Skirt, approached several local schools and their fundraising arms and did a Cause Marketing event. For one full week, everybody who came in the store got to choose where the percentage of the sales was going, which school was going to get the donation.

Now Maureen did two very, very clever things. The first thing she did was she put a leader board up in her store, so everyone who came in got to see which school was getting the most money. The second clever thing she did was she doubled the amount of the donation for the school that raised the most money. So this was an incredibly important, profitable, valuable event. This is one store, multiple partners.

The third model is multiple stores with multiple partners. And a great example of this is Traverse City Celebrates Downtown. This happens in Traverse City, Michigan. It typically happens on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and they have 50 local nonprofits who are driving their supporters into downtown to local merchants.

And so when these 50 nonprofits drive their supporters downtown, these supporters, these customers, get to choose who they want the percentage of their sales donated to. So you have 50 local nonprofits in Traverse City, and all of the local merchants in downtown Traverse City all working together to help their community, to keep their money local, to doing good things.

So those are your three models. They’re all quite simple. One on one, one on many, or many on many. This is a great strategy, again, to build buzz, to get new customers, and to, of course, increase your sales. If you want to know more about the details of using Cause Marketing and your business, go to your Retail Mastery System and go into the marketing module. If you don’t have the Retail Mastery System yet, I would strongly encourage you to consider investing in it. It could be a game-changer for you.

So here’s your action item for today. Think about the nonprofits that you’d like to work with. Write them down. Approach them. Put this strategy into work. It never quite happens the way you think it will the first time, but if you stick with it, great things are going to happen.

So again, cause marketing is a wonderful way for you to get new customers, to do great things in your community, to build a buzz around your business, to get free publicity, and of course to get new customers and increase your sales. Use it in your business and prosper.

If you haven’t subscribed to our free email Tip of the Week yet, I’d encourage you, I’d invite you to go to whizbangtraining.com and sign up. Every Wednesday you’ll get something great in your inbox. And if you like this, I’d appreciate your like. I appreciate your comments. And of course I appreciate your shares. So I’m Bob Negen. This is Real Retail TV, and I’ll see you next time.

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