So you found the perfect partner organization for your cause marketing campaign. You self-assessed without mercy. You specified what you’re bringing to the table, researched closely-aligned organizations, compared objectives, and secured a partnership that’s a win-win for everyone.
But before you start handing out the cigars, it’s important to set your partnership up for long-term success. How? By:
- Establishing and maintaining trust.
- Exhibiting flexibility and open communication.
- Specifying measurement criteria.
- Considering scalability and growth potential.
These partnership sustainability safeguards are critical, not only to new partnerships but also to those that have been chugging along for a while.
Build trust and be transparent
All successful relationships, including cause marketing partnerships, are based on trust—and nothing forms trust faster than telling the truth. This means all partners openly discuss their goals, vulnerabilities and needs, and honestly address hidden agendas before they cause problems.
Transparency is vital for effectively engaging both your target market and your partner organizations. A good example of an organization that requires stringent transparency in all of their cause-related partnerships is the American Red Cross, whose required donation language for any cause marketing donation program reads:
“XYZ will donate to the American Red Cross, including the amount of the donation as a flat fee (e.g. $1 for every shirt sold) or a percentage (e.g. 25% of the retail sales price) and the time frame (e.g. from September 1, 2014 until August 31, 2015).”
This kind of full transparency creates trust with the public—and with all partners.
Remain flexible with open communication
Staying on schedule and on target is important, but when a new opportunity appears,...
This content is available to IABC members only. To continue reading, log in below.