Perhaps you’ve noticed that it is October; leaves are changing, Pumpkin Spice is everywhere and the entire world seems to have gone pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Thanks to the recession and the ample supply of information available on the Internet, the digital revolution seems to have ushered in a cynical attitude towards the marketing surrounding major October events. The biggest target, and consequently largest victim, of savvy-consumer-scrutiny appears to be Breast Cancer Awareness; which, as this Huffington Post article cites, has become synonymous with “‘Pinkwashing’ and unethical cause-marketing partnerships.”
Timmermann Group is a digital marketing firm and this year we committed to become a participating sponsor for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in St. Louis. Despite what Huffington Post says, we are absolutely certain we made a positive contribution to the fight for a world without Breast Cancer and we did it with marketing.
- We treated the contributions of our company the way someone might treat the contributions of an individual; we selected a reputable Breast Cancer partner, with local ties, in need of community support.
- We set a goal and pledged to raise $1,000 to donate directly to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in St. Louis.
- We assessed the needs of the organization we were supporting. Not only were we personally pledging a financial contribution, but we also wanted to lend our talents to help Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in St. Louis as a whole.
- Then, we asked the individuals who make up the Timmermann Group to spring into action.
Here’s what happened:
- Our Social team saw an opportunity in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in St. Louis’ current social media efforts. One of the biggest challenges for our clients is finding, adopting and implementing new social channels to keep up with the trends and needs of the consumer. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in St. Louis was no different.We implemented two new channels for this year’s race: Snapchat Geofilters and Periscope. Both of these will bring the Making Strides Walk to life, in real time, for people all over the world.
- Our Content team saw an opportunity to tell a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in St. Louis survivor story in a unique and compelling way. Video is often touted as the most critical marketing tool of the digital age but the important part is making a great one.
Timmermann Group shot and condensed 6 hours of video footage down to a 3-minute spot showcasing the humanity behind one individual’s experience with Breast Cancer.
- Our Human Resources team saw an opportunity to host an event that not only promoted team building, but also encouraged office wellness and community outreach.
On October 18th, we hosted a PinkLates Pilates session on a downtown St. Louis rooftop. An outstanding YMCA instructor donated her time and 20 participants donated $20 each.
You can see pictures from the event on our Twitter account.
- Our client advocates saw an opportunity to strengthen our client relationships around a philanthropic endeavor. We were able to actively involve our clients in a cause that is very important to us, all while also promoting their businesses. A win-win for everyone involved.
In exchange for additional marketing and design efforts, Auto Spa Car Wash of St. Louis offered to donate $4 of any Auto Spa purchase to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in St. Louis, for the month of October.
You can learn more about the Auto Spa offer on their Facebook page.
- Our designers saw an opportunity to flex their creativity-muscles. An important part of a successful marketing campaign is consistent visual branding. Our Design team spends hours creating style guides and graphics for our clients to match the exact details demanded of superior representation of their brands.
This time, the sky was the limit. Kelly Knowles, our newest digital designer, used her visual arts powers to step outside of the brand guidelines box and offered to draw portraits of anyone who donated $10 to the Timmermann Group Making Strides team.
You can see one of Kelly’s drawings on her Facebook page.
- Our President & CEO saw an opportunity for us to leave a lasting impression on St. Louis and our industry, reallocating payroll hours into precious time spent working to create a world without Breast Cancer.
All of our efforts were donated. Thank you, Rob & Danyal Timmermann.
At the end of October, we now have updated social media cover photos, about 15 tweets, a company branded hashtag (#tgstrides), copious Facebook posts, a digital outreach letter and this blog post. And, sure, the end result might look as simple as “‘pinkwashing and unethical cause-marketing partnerships,” however, we’d prefer to see it as something a little more.
We exceeded our $1000 fundraising goal and created two new social media outlets for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in St. Louis’ participants to share their experiences. Our efforts also allowed Chrissy’s story to reach 2,500 people, telling her story over 800 times in under 7 hours! The cherry on the top will be from the joy of walking together, as a team on October 24th at 9am in Forest Park.
If you would like to join our team or make a donation visit our Making Strides Team Page: http://bit.ly/1MbaRft