By Dave Henderson, EZ-ACCESS
Cause marketing is the cooperative efforts of for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations for mutual benefit. Although the term “cause marketing” may be fairly new, the concept is not. In my experience, many established HME businesses already participate in some form of cause marketing, but are not using it to its full potential.
According to a 2014 Nielsen Global Research study, 42 percent of North American respondents said they would pay more for products or services offered by companies that show their commitment to positive social and environmental impact. With stats like this, how sure are you that your customers know your commitment to local non-profits?
Several years ago, EZ-ACCESS was like many businesses in HME and simply relied on cause marketing to happen organically which can be effective, but in reality we were missing out on millions of dollars’ worth of FREE positive PR. This all changed after a wonderful cause marketing campaign that just kind of fell into our laps.
In 2013, an EZ-ACCESS shipping manager brought to our attention the needs of a little girl using a wheelchair and her very pregnant mother. Since this family was on a fixed income, they couldn’t afford proper accessibility to their home so this mother would drag her daughter’s wheelchair backwards up the steps to their home. After learning of this situation, a team of EZ-ACCESS associates traveled to this family’s home on a weekend and set up a wheelchair ramp.
This simple act sparked a media response which connected EZ-ACCESS to our local community, to families in a similar situation and to individuals with a similar disability as this little girl. We even placed a picture of this little girl on our brochures. You may recognize her as the little girl in the red sweater!
Why is this information important to you? Because, as an HME provider, you have a huge opportunity to participate in cause marketing and here are the reasons:
- Financial Benefits – As the Nielsen study revealed above, customers will pay more when they see your commitment to the local community. These socially responsible actions also strengthen the culture of your company which means more dedicated employees, smoother operation and more deadlines met.
- Employee Recruitment & Retention – According to a Cone Cause Evolution and Environmental Study, 77 percent of Americans look at community involvement when researching a company and 72 percent of employees remain committed to companies that are committed to social causes.
- Customer Bonding – Customers that are impressed with your company values are more likely to buy from you. Publicize that profits went to a good cause and more sales will usually follow, and at the very least, current customers will remain loyal.
- Stakeholder Trust – The Cone Cause Evolution and Environmental Study also revealed that 66 percent of Americans review a company’s commitment to social causes before investing with them. They also showed that socially responsible investments grew four percent faster than all other sectors.
- Image Boost – Probably the most obvious benefit of cause marketing is the natural image boost. When your company aligns itself with a non-profit, they attract media attention and overall admiration from the community that the company serves.
After seeing the exact benefits listed above in response to our efforts with the little girl in the red sweater, our team at EZ-ACCESS took a closer look at what we could do to be more involved in social causes, and also what we could do to help HME dealers around the country with their social involvement. The ownership of EZ-ACCESS developed a low profit organization Evergreen Life Access (ELA) for the purpose of fulfilling this goal.
In honor of the 25th
Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ELA made it our goal to create a program that would be focused on providing equal opportunity access for all, regardless of financial access or connections. This is when Access Day USA was born.
Access Day USA aligns HME providers with local disabled individuals in need as well as local businesses, the local media and the community to raise funds or obtain donated items so that these individuals can have access to a wheelchair ramp, porch lift or any accessibility device needed to help them live a full and comfortable life.
In fact, the very first Access Day USA installation is on June 17, 2015 when the first ramp will be dedicated and installed by volunteers in Waterloo, Iowa. If you’d like to get involved in this mission to provide access or nominate someone you know that is in need of improved access, visit www.AccessDayUSA.com
Also, don’t forget to like Access Day USA