Friday, March 12, 2010

And you bought those Girl Scout cookies how...? ...and why?

Now even the Girl Scouts are online, working Facebook and Twitter to sell those incredible cookies for an even greater ROI (ref. Their campaign has just started, but it brings hope to those of us who aren’t on cookie routes and love those Tagalongs and Thin Mints. Look on Facebook for “Girl Scout Cookies’ – there’s even an app that leads you to choose the cookies you want to order, enter your zip to identify the Girl Scout Council nearest you, enter your email address and/or phone number and wait for the Council to contact you to complete the sale. How easy is that...and yummy to boot.

They’re big on tweeting too – imagine having a tweet up just to buy cookies. Sounds like a good reason to me.

The Girl Scouts generally have been smart and strategic about their fundraising approach over the years. They’re selling an iconic item of a valued brand and manage to keep it in tune with the times. Plus they’ve added double cause marketing to the equation. You now have the option of donating the cookies you buy to a specified charity. This allows you to feel good about supporting not only the Girl Scouts, but one other good cause and you don’t have to gain weight in the process! It speaks clearly to our modern lifestyle, and it’s especially relevant to women and girls, who are both the sellers and buyers in this instance.

A tweaked version of that marketing change is the “Project Cookies 4 Troops” campaign. For every $3.50 donated online to the Project, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta will send one box of Girl Scout Cookies overseas with a message from area girl scouts. How good does that feel? Now you get to not gain weight and thank the troops at the same time. That’s a double whammy of feel good marketing, and a terrific example of staying relevant and maximizing sales opportunities. It all leads to the bottom line of course and on the Girl Scouts’ books, that tallies to more than $700 million in cookie money just for online sales. No small change that.

There are lots of nonprofits, big and small, that could learn from the Girl Scouts.

What do you think? Do you have a better example?

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