By VERN ESWINE
While my past thirty plus years as a brand marketer has been filled with many clients that needed help in building or rebuilding their brand, the majority of that time has really been focused on building revenue. After all, solution based marketing does offer a return on its investment if the right investment is made.
However, many businesses have been finding out that successful, long term returns on their marketing investment goes beyond placing media, building an optimized website and getting their social media set up and getting Likes. Successful, long term marketing revenue is built with a focus on building relationships; with your clients and the communities you serve. That means more than just going to network events, making contacts and getting business cards but using the gifts and talents you have been given to serve those in your community that need them.
While we have all seen a rise in Cause Marketing efforts over the past several years, and don’t get me wrong, there are many great efforts to establish and benefit many great causes, I believe efforts for these cause marketing events should go beyond building an event to raise the brand awareness of the sponsoring company and dig deeper into the relationship of the cause itself.
Digging deeper requires getting and being more connected and involved. This means taking the time to invest your money, time and talents to people and organizations that could really use your expertise and for a longer period of time. Serving on the board, on a committee or fund raising campaign; the fact is that there are many non-profits out there that have great causes and people with great passion but are struggling because there are too few people with the right expertise that are willing to invest their time and effort to really make a difference in other people’s lives.
Over the years I have served on many boards, serving usually a minimum of three to four years at a time. These boards have tackled substance abuse, homelessness, hunger, leadership, human ethics, family dynamics and more. They have been faith based as well as industry based but all have been based on issues that affected the people and the communities that I serve and work.
Serving your community and others to help make it a better place and to ease the burden and struggles that others may have is also a great way to meet other business men and women that share the same passion and concern for the same cause. It’s a great platform to see what people can do and how they work in another arena outside the day to day workplace or field that they spend most of their time. Finally, it is also a great avenue to develop some long term relationships and friendships, both personally and in business.
So as you plan your marketing efforts the rest of this year I encourage you to take your marketing efforts, your gifts and talents, to a deeper level and get involved with a non-profit whose mission meets that of your own. Experience a satisfaction in achievement that goes deeper than revenue generation but on helping others grow stronger, get healthier or better educated. Make an effort to make a difference in another person’s or family’s life by taking an active role in a non-profit or other organization that can benefit from the expertise you can bring to the table.
I really think you’ll find that serving others and your community will always achieve a great return on your investment!