Right about now, many people are looking at their bathroom scale in disbelief, shock and even anger. Ugh. Aunt Edna’s holiday cookies have struck again, and -somehow- that one week stint at the gym did not solve the problem.
The scale has spoken. You are not realizing your potential…far from it. Bottom line, you’ve got to take a more strategic and focused approach to create your desired results…and so it is with cause partnerships.
Periodically, you should take a good hard look at how well you are activating your cause partnerships. Partnership activation plays a huge role in the overall return on investment. It has its own set of opportunities and challenges, but when you get it right, it’s like that feeling of fitting back into your skinny jeans – the ones 2 sizes ago.
Getting Partnership Activation Right
STEP 1: GET REAL
Warning: Like the bathroom scale, this evaluation can also be a very eye-opening experience. But, there is hope. Admitting the truth is the first step to putting solutions in place to solve your challenges.
- How successful have you been at working with your national partner to create meaningful local-level experiences? Be honest.
- Are you creating and capturing powerful heart-strings moments via direct interaction with your cause partner and its mission recipients?
- Do partnership activities consistently achieve a myriad of cause partnership goals?
- Is the partnership a vehicle to support your employee engagement goals?
- Are your employees bonding, creating helpful local relationships, feeling company pride, and gaining leadership skills as a result of this national partnership?
- Are Millennials impressed and fulfilled with the opportunities they have to experience this partnership directly?
- How many neighborhoods can you say you have directly impacted through partnership activities? Are you proud of this number?
- Have you been able to scale up local level activation efficiently and effectively? Or, is this a time and money drain that still needs to be solved?
- How are you making it easy for local leaders to succeed and avoid frustrations?
STEP 2: GET MOVING
You have a lot invested in your cause partnerships. There is an enormous opportunity cost for “business as usual.” What do you need to do differently to optimize cause partnership success?
- STRATEGY: Evaluate and possibly reformulate your strategic and execution approach to deliver the experiences and impact you and your partner deserve. Read more on this topic in our blog post The Reality of Cause Partnership Activation: Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.
- SYSTEMS: Create effective systems to help facilitate consistently positive and valuable partnership experiences in neighborhoods around the country – despite your limited staff and the limited support available from your cause partner. Perhaps a Tech~Touch demo is in order?
- MEASURE: Measure partnership activity and impact against strategic goals, adapt accordingly for continuous improvement and increased ROI.
The business benefits of cause marketing have been shown in study after study. According to PwC’s 2016 US CEO Survey, U.S. CEO’s “believe that customers and other stakeholders will expect business to demonstrate a higher purpose over the coming years.” How much so? Based on current market data, the CEO’s predict a 65% increase in consumer demand for relationships with organizations that address wider stakeholder need by 2020.
Pressure is mounting for brands to create truly meaningful cause-related experiences for consumers and employees, with particular focus on Millennials. It is time to GET REAL and GET MOVING. Take the action needed to activate your cause partnerships in a powerful and authentic way so you can begin enjoying a larger return on investment.