Our topic for this month is cause marketing, a catchy term that simply means giving back. The marketing part of it helps you create awareness about your business through the good deeds that you are doing in your community.
As an industry, roofing has always been philanthropical. Every year, thousands of roofs are donated by roofing contractors around the country. In the past, most contractors did not share what they were doing with charitable giving, it was considered bad manners to brag about something that the company should just be doing.
Times have changed, and a lot of the change is being driven by the next generation. According to FrontStream.com, millennials are changing expectations of giving campaigns in a number of ways:
Millennials have high expectations of their employers in providing opportunities to give back.
Millennials know more about community service and philanthropy than previous generations. It’s very likely these young adults participated in some form of community service during their school years, since it’s a common practice today. So, volunteering and giving back are already engrained in their lives. They will want to continue that in their workplace.
Millennials are peer oriented. They have lived through the inception of social media, and it plays an important role in their communication with their peers.
Not only are the Millennials wanting their employers to give to charity, but they are looking to make purchases and do business with companies that give back. According to a Fortune Magazine article concerning a survey of more than 2,000 individuals found “that nearly two-thirds of people between the ages of 18 and 34 were at least somewhat more likely to want to work for a company that gave to charity than one did that not. That compares with 59% of those between 35 and 44 years old, and 47% of people between 45 and 64 years old. Young people were also more inclined than their elders to say they would buy products from a company that contributes to charity, or to recommend the business to a friend.”
As you are planning your marketing activities, working on your website, blog or running social media, your charitable activities need to be a part of that plan. Whether your involvement is local, regional or national, contractors need to share what they are doing. Customers are looking for a cultural fit and social awareness is a big part of the appeal. Through your marketing communications, share the successes and great stories generated during charitable activities. Pictures and video tell the story of your company and employees’ involvement to the community overall and your customers.
Heidi Ellsworth is owner of HJE Consulting Group and a partner in RoofersCoffeeShop.com. See her full bio here.