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Cause Marketing Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Pizza Hut would like to do some cause marketing with your charity. I know this because a flyer pasted on top of the box of the Big Dipper pizza we ordered the other day said as much.

What Pizza Hut has in mind is discount card promotion. You can find plenty of similar efforts from other food retailers. If Pizza Hut’s is compelling to your audience, consider calling the number listed.

But instead of this rather standard issue campaign, what if instead Pizza Hut offered a donation to your charity of choice… say $0.25… plus the opportunity to donate a much larger amount when you respond to customer satisfaction survey?

The idea was waiting for me when I turned over the self-same flyer. When you complete the customer satisfaction survey on the phone or online, you are entered into a drawing for a free iPod along with 10 chances to win a daily prize of $1,000.

These kinds of offers are commonly printed on the back of receipts (see below).

If you read the fine print, it appears that Pizza Hut has approximately $438,000 to award every year ($1,000 cash plus $200 per iPod x 365 days, assuming they award prizes every day).
Now a quarter per survey isn’t very much for a $14 food order, the price we paid for our Big Dipper. But it’s on par with the price and the donations made by Procter & Gamble when you redeem a coupon for a 48-load bottle Tide detergent from one of their charity brandSAVER FSI’s.

Moreover, I’m suggesting that Pizza Hut keep the contest element so that one charity would get a bigger payoff every day. Assuming that Pizza Hut donated to a universe of perhaps 5 charities, they would average about $90,000 each. Not world-beating, but respectable. Especially since each of the charities would also get exposure every single day on Pizza Hut’s automated survey system.

As in: “If you want your donation to go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, press 1. If you’d like it to go to the Nature Conservancy, press 2…”

Or, for the sake of simplicity, Pizza Hut could give the full $1,200 a day to the one charity which gets the most votes every day.

Why wouldn’t Pizza Hut go for this?
  • The idea is a little out there, I confess.
  • They’d have to choose the charities smartly. Pizza Hut is already involved with the World Food Programme among others. The WFP might be put out by being just one of several benefiting charities.
  • The potential total payoff for charities is rather low, especially for the Komens and the St. Jude’s of the charity world. They might not go for it.
  • I’m not a lawyer, but there may be some legal hassles involved with registering in the 40 or so states and municipalities that require it, although I suspect Pizza Hut has already dealt with that issue.
  • There’s always the question of whether it would ‘pull’ better than the approach Pizza Hut is already taking. But that would be pretty easy to test.
  • There may be some internal and external silo issues. Pizza Hut probably hires out these customer surveys to an outside vendor, and that vendor may not have the inclination or expertise to try something like this.
  • While I’ve made suggestions on how this might work, the fact of the matter is you’d almost certainly want to test several different combinations of donation and daily prize amount to find the optimum. It could be that Pizza Hut thinks the idea wouldn’t be worth the hassle.
Finally, adding in a charity component might be enough to turn a customer satisfaction survey into a lead-generation vehicle. After the survey is over and the vote is registered for one of the charities, why couldn’t you then ask people for their cell phone number or email?

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