The Client

Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona is the largest Goodwill organization in the country. The client operates 84 retail stores, 20 donation centers, 3 clearance outlets, 3 furniture stores, and 20 career centers and has revenues nearing $150 million.

Zion & Zion has served as the client’s Agency of Record for the past several years.

The Challenge

Goodwill’s business model is a unique and challenging one. In short, people’s donated goods provide inventory for Goodwill’s retail stores. Revenue from the stores provide funding for Goodwill’s career centers. And Goodwill’s career centers provide career counseling services to help people find jobs with over 1,000 employers.

The Insights

Our strategy and research team generated the following insights:

Insight 1: Donations occur on donors’ timetables and are not easily subject to being “driven” due to the effort it takes a donor to assemble items for donation.

Insight 2: Donors were unaware of Goodwill’s sensitivity to the timing of donations.

The Strategy

Once the two insights above were generated, our team’s creative strategy fell like a ripe apple. Rather than convoluted messaging, we went for a straightforward approach that was:

  • rapidly deployable by our team whenever the need arose;
  • easily understood by the audience;
  • and did not rely on a back story, education, or justification.

Instead of working to convince the audience “why” Goodwill’s non-profit business model was sensitive to the timing of donations, we simply declared that there was time sensitivity. In the language of the campaign, “We Need Your Stuff Pronto.” Due to the time-critical nature of the campaign, our media team utilized the following:

Digital Outdoor

We approached only the billboard companies that had enough digital inventory to provide market-wide coverage, and we took their opening bids on what they would provide for the budget during our desired campaign weeks, and negotiated from there, working back and forth with each potential partner to sweeten the deal for the client. Because these negotiations were being done only a week out from posting, this was essentially a “remnant” buy, so it was important to look not only at the number of boards, but also the estimated number of impressions each potential partner could provide on those boards for the campaign weeks (so not just quantity, but quality as well).

Radio

To garner the benefits of a multi-channel campaign, we included quite a bit of drive-time radio and focused on high frequency over a few-week period on just one station that had excellent numbers, not only in terms of audience, but also in terms of household income—based on our research that showed who the most likely donors were. The radio buy extended beyond standard :30 spots to include live sponsorships and PSAs (public service announcements), as well as the station’s digital assets in the form of display ads and native articles.

Social and Email

Social and email were also used for direct outreach to Goodwill’s existing donors. And social was also used to reach look-alike targets.

goodwill outdoor social media graphics

Outdoor and social media graphics

goodwill emails example

Emails

The Results

The results from the first run of the “We Need Your Stuff Pronto” campaign speak for themselves. During a 3.5 week run, 3.64 million impressions were served, and seasonally adjusted donations increased a massive 24%. The campaign continues to be a strategic, back-pocket, rapidly deployable tool that is regularly used to bolster Goodwill’s donations at critical times.