Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Charity Marketing

One of the businesses I recently consulted told me that part of their marketing plan included what I can only describe as "charity" spending: specifically, sponsorship of a softball team.  What was agonizing for the business was that members and families of the team didn't patronize the business.  They were left hoping that other people might see the sponsorship and become patrons. Unfortunately, that's very wishful thinking.

There are plenty of other forms of charity marketing.  Other examples include advertising in school yearbooks, ads in community theater playbills, event sponsorships, and auction donations.  Such promotional spending simply doesn't build customer activity.  It's not well targeted and there are relatively few people looking at the business name or message.

If you identify with the charity or requesting organization and want to provide those sponsorship dollars, that's fine.  There is always something to be said for goodwill and community involvement.  But understand that at best you're supporting your brand and making a friend or two.  These forms of promotion are not helping you attract customers, clients or patrons.  If you do this, set a budget and stick to it.  Spend your real marketing dollars on more productive strategies.

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