The Gifts That Keep on Giving

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Higher Power Marketing (HPM), a Phoenix-area advertising agency specializing in per inquiry (PI) advertising, has decided to take a different approach to gift-giving this year. In mid-December HPM donated 1 percent of this year's gross receipts from each client to one of that client's three designated charities - in the client's name, and more in behalf of key individuals in these companies. HPM has also remained loyal to its own corporate charities.

I felt very strongly that a cookie-cutter gift wouldn't accurately represent how HPM does business. The best gift we could give to each of our clients was a donation made in their name to one of their favorite charities

A Phoenix-area advertising agency has put a new twist on corporate giving this year, resulting in a "win-win-win" scenario for itself, its clients and a wide range of charities.

As the holidays approached, Higher Power Marketing (HPM), a Fountain Hills-based firm specializing in per inquiry (PI) advertising, decided to take a different approach to gift-giving. Instead of trying to come up with a "one size fits all" holiday gift for its clients, President and CEO Peter Feinstein was inspired by another idea. In October, he surveyed the company's clients, asking which three charities they admired and supported.

"We actually received 100 percent response; every single client answered our request," marveled Feinstein. "We found our clients are all very big givers, to a wide variety of charitable organizations."

Based upon this client feedback, in mid-December HPM donated 1 percent of this year's gross receipts from each client to one of that client's three designated charities - in the client's name.

The result: a three-in-one gift - aid to the charity, recognition for the client and the opportunity for HPM to expand its range of corporate giving.

Then HPM went a step further.

"Where key individuals from each client had charities that differed from the company's charities," Feinstein said, "we doubled our contribution by giving an equal amount, on behalf of the individual, to one of his or her named charities. In the end, we actually donated close to 3 percent of our gross sales for the year; several of our clients have two or more key players we polled, and we wanted them all recognized."

While undertaking this effort, HPM remained loyal to its own corporate charities: the American Cancer Society, the ALS Foundation, the American Red Cross and others, giving another 2 percent of its gross annual revenue.

"I felt very strongly that a cookie-cutter gift wouldn't accurately represent how HPM does business. The best gift we could give to each of our clients was a donation made in their name to one of their favorite charities," Feinstein said. "As our clients have been made aware of our giving, they have expressed their gratitude and unwavering loyalty to HPM."

Feinstein likes creating "win-win-win" situations, which come up regularly in PI advertising - also known as pay-per-lead or direct-response advertising. HPM has relationships with media outlets across the country - radio, television, print, movie theaters and Internet - and access to their unsold inventories of ad space or time. A PI campaign puts ads in those spots until the agreed upon number of responses is reached. The emphasis on results appeals to clients who care about how well their advertising works, not necessarily when or where it runs. "The client makes money; the station makes money; and we make money," Feinstein says. "Everybody wins."

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TERRY MICKELSON
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