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The Customer Survey as Cause Marketing Fundraiser

The other day I bought a paper icon at national chain store. The icon has a bar code and the clerk scanned it and handed me a receipt when the transaction was finished. At the bottom of the receipt was an 800-number keyed to a customer satisfaction survey. Dial the number, or call up the website on my mobile device, answer some questions and I’m entered into a drawing for $10,000.

As I left I thought, ‘they know I just bought a paper icon. Instead of offering me the chance to win $10,000, why not offer to donate $2 (or more!) to the cause in question whenever someone completes their customer satisfaction survey?’

Why haven’t I ever seen this kind of cause marketing?

Cause marketing is all about encouraging certain behaviors in exchange for helping a cause. Framed that way customer satisfaction surveys are a natural fit for cause marketing.

My purchase of the paper icon clearly demonstrates that I have some affinity for the cause in question. I’m not a code monkey, but I doubt that it’s a big sweaty ordeal to change the pitch at the bottom of the receipt when I've purchased an icon.

The $10,000 amount suggests that the response rate is pretty low. By contrast, the survey at Taco Bell gives responders a shot at a $1,000 weekly giveaway. Complete the survey from a regional seafood restaurant and you get a free dessert. Home Depot’s survey drawing amount is a $5,000 Home Depot gift card.

Time is of the essence with these surveys. But so what? There are some 331 million wireless subscribers in the United States, according to the Cellular Telecommunications International Association (and only 313 million Americans!). So retailers might want to offer some sort of sliding scale whereby the sooner you call, the higher the donation amount, e.g.:
  • Answer the survey within 1 hour and the donation is $5.
  • Answer the survey within 12 hours and the donation is $3.
  • Answer the survey within 24 hours and the donation is $2.
  • Answer the survey within 30 days of the transaction and the donation is $1.
The biggest challenge might be explaining it lucidly in, oh, say, 30 words or less.

Most of these surveys can also be completed online, too. The retailer could certainly run the survey through Facebook. Online customer satisfaction surveys represent another chance to do some cause marketing and, perhaps, some marketing for the cause.

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