Affinity marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing for the budget strapped contractor. In essence it involves supporting an organization, usually charitable, when the organization’s patrons do business with your company, making it pay as you go marketing. Here are the six opportunities for affinity marketing.
1. Service Clubs
If you belong to a service club like Rotary, Lion’s, Optimist, Kiwanis, or Civitan, you can practice affinity marketing within the club. Every service club raises money for charity. You can help by offering to donate a fixed dollar amount to the club for every tune-up performed for club members or for every service agreement sold. Even if you sell few agreements, you make everyone in the club aware that you can fix their broken air conditioners.
2. Children’s Groups
Anyone with kids has experienced the annoying need to sell something to raise money for this trip, club, team, or other school group. By the time most children reach middle school, parents are ready to just write checks. An affinity marketing effort presents weary parents with an easy alternative for some of the fund raising requirements.
3. Animal Support Organizations
Everybody loves animals, some more than people. After all, some animals are more lovable than some people. This makes animal support organizations like shelters, rescue societies, and humane societies natural fits for an affinity marketing program. Give the organization a special code to share with patrons that credits a portion of maintenance or service to the group. Or, you can prepare special cards the organization can pass out. Patrons can present these at the time of service.
4. Homeowners Associations
Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are the easiest to track because the neighborhood has fixed boundaries. Look the HOAs up on the Internet and reach out to them. Often, this can be combined with a presentation reducing utility expense at an HOA meeting, if the HOA has meetings.
5. Houses of Worship
Contractors hesitate to reach out to houses or worship. Other businesses do not hesitate. Local restaurants often run affinity marketing fundraisers to support the youth group, choir, or some other dedicated charity. Prepare a special “Sanctuary Agreement” service agreement that the church can distribute. The pastor promotes it and parishioners fill out the form and mail it in to your company or fill out an online form.
6. Customer Charities
Anyone who runs a business gets hit up for money to support this or that local charity. Sometimes it seems hard to say no, especially when a good customer is the one asking for the donation. Make it easy for yourself by letting your customers know you offer painless fundraisers for any charity where you will donate part of a service agreement or tune-up to the charity. After all, the maintenance reduces utility bills, prevents avoidable breakdowns, and extends equipment life. Besides, it’s good for the environment.
7. Places of Employment
A deviation of classic affinity marketing is offering an employee discount for the employees of your commercial customers. It’s a way for the boss to offer something for nothing to employees and a way for the employees to save a little while also learning about a reputable contractor. The latter is more powerful than you think. A lot of home service work gets postponed because homeowners do not know who to call and who they can trust. This is the foundation of the online review industry. Yet, direct personal recommendations from people a consumer knows is far more powerful.
There May Be Breakage
It’s possible you may end up making donations for existing customers, in essence paying for business you already get. So what? Whenever you advertise, existing customers see the ads so that you are advertising to people whose business you already get. With affinity marketing, you are tightening the bonds with that customer, reducing the odds she will leave and increasing the odds she will spend even more money with your company. It’s not really breakage, it’s customer retention.
For a FREE, no strings copy of the Comanche Marketing Guide to Affinity Marketing, call 877.262.3341 or, reach out through www.ServiceRoundtable.com.