imbornto (March of Dimes, Mud Pie, BonTon and Famous Footwear/Crocs)
March of Dimes needed to diversify and broaden its fundraising properties beyond its signature March for Babies events to attract more corporate partners and unrestricted dollars. In 2012, the organization piloted a cause-marketing initiative proactively built for corporate sponsorship called imbornto, which was created around the emotional premise that “every baby is born to do something great,” and no matter what you were born to do, March of Dimes helped you get there. Discovering Americans spend $27B in the time period between Mother’s Day to Father’s Day, March of Dimes decided imbornto would stake its claim on this specific timeframe.
For 2013 launch, March of Dimes needed to increase revenue overall and activated new corporate partners with updated creative elements and honed sales tools. The following are three successful partner activations:
Mud Pie: As a small, private company selling gifts and specialty items to mostly local privately owned retailers, Mud Pie wanted to develop a way to stand out among its B2B retailer base, and drive more orders. As baby socks are the only non-medical item newborns in the NICU are allowed to wear, by tying a promotion to baby socks, there was clear alignment with the issue. This mission tie-in would allow Mud Pie sales reps to offer a product that stood out in an increasingly cluttered category, and ideally increase sock orders year over year.
Mud Pie donated a dime for every pair of socks sold using in-store collateral including socks tags, display toppers and cards, retailer packing stickers and sock catalog, as well as promotions through the Mud Pie website, sales team trainings, social media and email. The partnership resulted in a 34% increase in sales of Mud Pie socks year-over-year during the promotion time period and the company had to double the size of sock displays as retailers ordered record amounts of socks.
Famous Footwear: As a retailer with multiple vendors, Famous Footwear was attracted to imbornto to create a three way partnership with a key vendor, particularly relevant to the cause around babies and executed during the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day time period to ultimately drive product sales. Vendor Crocs came on board and donated $3 for every pair of their shoes sold in Famous Footwear stores during a 6 week window using in-store signage, display cards, cash wrap signs, digital ads and social media. Year-over-year, Crocs saw a 23% increase in sales in Famous Footwear stores. Based on this success, the brands have joined imbornto in 2014 at higher guaranteed fundraising amount and Famous Footwear is in talks with two more vendors for 2014.
Bon-Ton: This retailer, with over 250 stores throughout 23 states, headquartered in Milwaukee, WI had seen success with past cause marketing fundraisers and imbornto sparked interest in a small Mother’s Day social media campaign. Upon learning about campaign messages and assets, the company signed on for a larger campaign to be executed at checkout in bricks and mortar stores as well online for e-commerce purchases. Based on past successes, Bon-Ton hoped to raise $100K in fundraising for March of Dimes.
Bon-Ton donated $1 for each social media “like” and “tweet,” as well as solicited $3 donations at check-out and offered percent of sales donations. The retailer activated the partnership using consumer promotions tied to social media, online and in-store coupon distribution and store associates asking for customer donations. Bon-Ton exceeded its fundraising goal by 730%, raising more $730,000 raised through customer donations, percent of sales and social media promotions.