Cause-Related Marketing with Customer Receipts

Walgreens and JDRF

Right now at Walgreens…the giant pharmacy and retail store chain with more than 5,800 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico… they’re selling $1 paper icons for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
This is an annual campaign and I bought one to gauge how it’s changed over the years. (Short list… they don’t do the shoe as a die cut anymore; the paper icon is now an 8¾ x 4¼ rectangle. Another interesting change; one side is now in Spanish).

The icon has a bar code and Jacob, the clerk, scanned it and handed me a receipt as we finished the transaction. At the bottom was an 800-number keyed to a customer satisfaction survey. Dial the number, answer some questions and you’re entered into a drawing for $10,000 between now and the end of September 2007.

I don’t know what their response rate is, but the $10,000 amount suggests that it’s pretty low. Taco Bell’s survey gives out $1,000 per week. At a regional seafood restaurant they give me a code that garners a free dessert when you complete their survey. Finish Home Depot’s survey and you’re entered to win a $5,000 gift card good at the retailer.

As I left the store I thought, ‘they know I just bought a JDRF paper icon. Instead of offering me the chance to win $10,000, why wouldn’t they offer to donate $5 (or more!) to JDRF when I complete their survey?’

If that seems like a stretch, take a step back. Encouraging certain human behaviors in exchange for making a donation of some kind to a charity is a defining factor in most cause-related marketing.

My purchase of the JDRF paper icon demonstrates that I have some affinity for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It’s not a big sweaty ordeal to write a couple of lines of code in order to change the pitch at the bottom of the receipt when I've purchased a JDRF icon. Heck they could even get JDRF’s logo on it, too.

Time is off the essence with these surveys. But since (according to the Cellular Telecommunications International Association) some 233 million Americans are wireless subscribers, Walgreens could even offer some sort of sliding scale whereby the sooner you call, the greater the donation, e.g.:

Maybe the only real challenge would be explaining it simply enough in 30 words or less.

Most of these surveys can also be completed online, too. That represents another chance to do some cause-related marketing and some marketing for JDRF. For people who choose the JDRF donation option, when the survey ends they could be linked to the JDRF site or maybe some interim microsite that would offer thanks and reinforce their core message. The microsite could also offer subscriptions to one or more of JDRF’s e-newsletters.

I think it's worth considering.

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