The business section of the Boston Herald last week featured an article on how retailers and nonprofits are working together to solicit donations from customers at store registers. Called mobile, pin-up or point-of-purchase programs, these checkout programs can be valuable to nonprofits, retailers and consumers. Here's how.
- Nonprofits: Mobile programs are a great way to raise money and awareness about your mission. At stores with heavy foot traffic, like supermarkets, you can literally "talk to" hundreds of customers a day--and you make a buck or two every time they listen. By the way, don't believe the Herald's claim that companies "handle all or most of the legwork" and you wait around for the check. If you're smart, you'll make the program just as turnkey as possible. I guarantee you'll have a happier partner and better results.
- Retailers: Orange phone brand founder Wally Olins said that "Ethical products are the last great commodity differentiator." While traditional advertising gives you visibility with consumers, a mobile program can enhance your favorability with them. This delivers a powerful competitive edge because consumers have another good reason to do business with you besides product and price.
- Consumers: Americans are naturally charitable and want to give back. Mobile programs are an easy, inexpensive, no-nonsense way to donate. I encourage retailers to add coupons to mobiles to incentivize consumers and to reward their generosity. Some charities even offer special prizes like money or cars!
When a mobile program is done well, everyone is sold a winner!