Aerosoles, the leading footwear innovator, worked with its partner the March of Dimes to promote WalkAmerica and “Help Fund Breakthroughs for Babies”. Participation incentives for the walk were plenty, and proceeds raised by WalkAmerica would help the March of Dimes reduce infant mortality rates and birth defects through research, community service, and advocacy and education programs. But something was lacking – and these partners weren’t seeing the full benefits of this valuable opportunity.
The March of Dimes was having trouble delivering value to its corporate sponsor, Aerosoles. After years of loyal support, it was apparent that the Aerosoles stores were not getting much out of the partnership. Aerosoles comfortable and stylish shoes, and March of Dimes national Walk America event, made for a natural partnership – but it lacked activation in the field.
The stores, scattered across the country in malls and city centers, had no efficient way to connect with local March of Dimes chapters and volunteer networks. And March of Dimes staff didn’t have a programmatic way to engage with the stores. Each local market designed its own program, so the Aerosoles corporate marketing team couldn’t provide effective or efficient support.
INPEx started with a strategic plan – tailored to meet the goals of both Aerosoles and the legions of March of Dimes staff and volunteers they wanted to support. The plan detailed how to:
- Focus on Goals: The plan identified easy to understand goals that could be translated to field execution. For March of Dimes, it was to drive traffic to Aerosoles stores, by using their public service media connections to make radio promotions happen at Aerosoles store locations. For Aersosoles, it was to sign up lists of Walkers and donors for the March of Dimes during the weeks leading up to the Walk event.
- Create a cohesive support channel: INPEx equipped every March of Dimes chapter with an easy to execute schedule of action steps, and marketing materials to make the program sizzle. We used our Tech~Touch® approach to be efficient, but still fully engage every chapter with store partners.
- Be creative: INPEx conceived of the “Wear Your Red Laces” promotion that took the national March of Dimes Walk America event by storm. This inventive adaptation of the Aerosoles logo created a sea of Red Laces across the country, as March of Dimes walk teams proudly wore the red laces in every wacky fashion statement imaginable.
Aerosoles stores got free radio promotion media events in key markets across the country (valued in the six digits), a flood of incremental store traffic and an off-the-chart increase in brand awareness.
- 144% increase in Aerosoles store promotions, with a 550% increase in radio hosted store events
- Nearly $1M raised for March of Dimes by Aerosoles walkers
March of Dimes got a newly invigorated corporate partner – and raised nearly a million dollars from increased numbers of walk teams. It became an enduring Win – Win.