A big part of hitting your goals this year will come down to how well you match your customer personas to your cause marketing.
Don’t believe me? Let’s review some quick facts.
Cause marketing increases:
- lifetime value, 18%1
- average order value, 23%2
- conversion rates, 19%3
- new customer switching, 50%4
- pricing flexibility, 67%5
But everyone’s doin’ it, right?
“It’s table stakes now and doesn’t provide an incremental benefit.”
Well, yes and no.
Cause marketing is being used ubiquitously because it works. That doesn’t mean it’s always being done right.
You can juice up your cause marketing impact for Your company by following a simple, proven tactic.
Ask yourself, what is a tried-and-true formula in marketing that increases conversion, cart size, and customer loyalty?
The answer: marketing to customer personas.
I’d put marketing to personas in the category of gravity – it always works.
Applying customer personas to your cause marketing will work too. The more you focus on your personas and craft your cause marketing messaging and tactics, the better your rewards will be.
It's not about you
Oh, the temptation!
The temptation to pick our favorite cause and make sure it’s being promoted by our company and our services...
Or, to take it easy: stick with the one, big cause we already are supporting.
Assuming that you are choosing from a pool of legitimate causes and nonprofits, what’s more important?
Choosing one general cause that’s convenient?
Or choosing a cause that each one of your customer personas can identify with, and want to support?
Or, put another way: would you rather raise $10,000 for a generic, one-size-fits-all cause?
Or $35,000 for five causes that each of your customer personas identify with and foster greater sales impact?
With persona-based cause marketing, you’ll accomplish so much more:
- Higher donations for worthy causes
- Increased sales
- Higher conversion
- Greater customer loyalty
- Improved customer engagement
Basic principles of persona-based cause marketing
We all know our personas.
If you don’t have your personas down tight, here’s a blog and tool from HubSpot you can use to build them out.
My bet though, there, is that you already have detailed personas for your customers.
For this exercise, your next step is to rank your personas by overall sales.
Try this: rank your personas by which one buys the most products in $ value and contributes the most in gross margin to your overall business.
Now, cull the group down to the top five personas based on those revenue and gross margin metrics.
Pick the #1 persona and let’s get started!
For now, let’s just discuss your first persona-based nonprofit selection, but keep in mind you will want to do this for every significant persona.
As a rule of thumb, if a persona drives more than 10% of overall sales, it's worth aligning with a nonprofit in cause marketing.
We’ll show you how to manage all the compliance challenges later (there’s a simple solution). For now, let’s just focus on increasing revenue performance.
Our next challenge is to research and find a charity or nonprofit that matches your persona.
The tighter your target nonprofit matches the goals and desires of your persona, the greater your sales and marketing impact will be.
Here's a good example
PADI is the professional association of diving instructors. Visitors on their sites are either recreational divers or professional diving instructors.
They support an initiative called Dives Against Debris.
Dives Against Debris events are when a group of divers in an area get together and dive a specific dive region or comb its beaches for debris that is not natural (refuse). Divers then remove the debris from the area.
Seiko, the world’s largest seller of luxury dive watches, partnered with PADI to sponsor and support Dives Against Debris.
Seiko knew their persona, knew the relative socioeconomic characteristics of their customers, knew their affinity for diving and the ocean, and found a great partner to increase persona-connection to their products.
But catch this! If you aren’t a diver, you might be surprised to know that almost no one actually wears a dive watch to dive anymore. Divers wear wrist-based computers. Seiko doesn't even make wearable dive computers.
But a dive watch… that’s a fashion statement and a lifestyle vibe, and Seiko continues to sell boatloads of "dive watches" at handsome prices as a major product in their lineup.
So Seiko, partnering with PADI, supports a cause that dive watch buyers support, even though they don’t use dive watches for diving. That’s a smart persona-based nonprofit alliance!
But does Seiko stop there? No, Seiko knows that they have multiple personas who use their watches.
So Seiko supports polar expeditions (outdoor watches), track and field community outreach to young athletes (runner/triathlete watches), road races (runner/triathlete watches), youth sport competitions (kids' sports watches), swimming days (stopwatches), and even distribute clocks to lesser-developed countries for education.
There is a multiplicity of personas, so Seiko aligns with a multiplicity of causes.
Persona-based marketing = persona-aligned cause marketing!
When you incorporate that same strategy in your business – especially as part of the customer journey for online sales – the impact of cause marketing will dramatically increase.