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What do corporates want?


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Liz Banks, Thames Water and Jess Sutton, WaterAid

Published in: Technology, Business
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What do corporates want?

  1. 1. Developing Successful Corporate Marketing Partnerships Seminar Thursday 20 October 2011
  2. 2. What do corporates want? A Thames Water / WaterAid case study
  3. 3. Who we are... <ul><li>Thames Water… </li></ul><ul><li>the UK’s largest water and wastewater services provider </li></ul><ul><li>a steward of the environment </li></ul><ul><li>WaterAid… </li></ul><ul><li>the UK’s leading water and sanitation charity </li></ul><ul><li>champion of safe water and sanitation provision in 26 countries </li></ul><ul><li>Since established in 1981 has helped to improve the lives of more than 15 million people </li></ul>
  4. 4. The charity dating game <ul><li>What to look for in a partner </li></ul><ul><li>Research your potential partner so you can sell yourself (GSOH always helps!) </li></ul><ul><li>What can you do for them? </li></ul><ul><li>Fit the company’s values and vision </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance programmes they already support </li></ul><ul><li>Enable them meet their CR objectives </li></ul>
  5. 5. Try each other on for size <ul><li> What can you do for each other? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there other opportunities to work together? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee volunteering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work together through a third party </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work with existing partners / suppliers / contractors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can you help build positive relationships with their customers/regulators/the media? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Our partnerships <ul><li>Some of the charities we work with… </li></ul><ul><li>Thames 21 </li></ul><ul><li>Central Berkshire Education Business Partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Kew Bridge Steam Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Why we’ve entered into these partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental focus on the River Thames – direct fit </li></ul><ul><li>Local education organisation facilitating volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>Former Thames Water site, celebrating our heritage </li></ul>
  7. 7. Starting out… <ul><li>The National Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Established credible partner </li></ul><ul><li>Memorandum of understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Well-developed partnership plan </li></ul><ul><li>Funding going towards innovative projects </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteering opportunities </li></ul>
  8. 8. The break ups… <ul><li>Link through previous CEO – personal over professional </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of strategy - no long-term goal / objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Activities e.g. volunteering failed to live up to expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Change in corporate ownership – inevitable break up </li></ul><ul><li>Resulted in disappointment for both parties and potential volunteers </li></ul>
  9. 9. Case study: WaterAid and Thames Water in partnership <ul><li>Historical context – our unique relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Entirely suited to Thames Water’s values and Corporate Responsibility objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Has supporters at grass roots and senior executive level, both fundraising and awareness raising </li></ul><ul><li>2010 – 11 raised over £336,000 </li></ul>
  10. 10. In good times...and bad times… <ul><li>Facing the ups and downs </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change in ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Redundancy – loss of existing supporters and points of contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refocus of corporate values / core business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis away from charitable aims and objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan of action </li></ul><ul><li>Maximised the goodwill in the bank </li></ul><ul><li>Kept grass roots relationships alive </li></ul><ul><li>Bring out the big guns! Get senior level charity execs talking to senior level corporate execs </li></ul><ul><li>Make life easy for partner – take on the load </li></ul><ul><li>Remind partner of the love! </li></ul>
  11. 11. The success stories <ul><li>Employee-led events which engage staff and the wider community </li></ul><ul><li>High level participation in the WaterAid lottery and payroll giving </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate events: The Love Water Ball </li></ul><ul><ul><li>record-breaking fundraising event! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Customer campaigns – unique opportunity to engage with Thames Water‘s customer base </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness raising – spreading our joint message of the value of water </li></ul>
  12. 13. How we make it work <ul><li>Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Company Steering Committee with high level corporate rep and WaterAid representation </li></ul><ul><li>Targets – very focused </li></ul><ul><li>Regular communication at senior level </li></ul><ul><li>MOU and strategy – shared objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Key points of contact at grass-roots and senior level </li></ul><ul><li>Formal part of Thames Water Community Investment role </li></ul>
  13. 14. Keeping it fresh <ul><li>Innovations through collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Customer campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Using our customers for research – easy ask for the company </li></ul><ul><li>Thames4Bangladesh </li></ul><ul><li>Skills sharing – the next opportunity we are working towards </li></ul>
  14. 15. Keeping the love alive! <ul><li>Acknowledge the hard times </li></ul><ul><li>Have a maintenance plan </li></ul><ul><li>Communication! </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the business point of view – a two-way street </li></ul><ul><li>Take the lead – educate the business in what works for you (e.g. managing fundraising events) </li></ul><ul><li>Look after your grass-roots supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Great supporter care! </li></ul>