Page 4: Research and stakeholder engagement
As with any partnership, Vodafone was rigorous in researching an appropriate cause to partner. The research was carried out with a number of groups:
- opinion formers (e.g. the press, CR experts)
- Cause Marketingexperts.
A variety of research techniques were used, including:
- in-depth interviews with customers
- discussions with 60 charities
- identifying the best examples of Cause Marketing programmes
- testing of a number of propositions to see what customers, employees and members of the public thought.
The results of the research showed that partnering with an organisation dealing with communication disabilities was a clear choice. Three charities from the original 60 were identified as having the closest fit. These three charities were then rigorously assessed in relation to 15 criteria, which included:
- impact on society
- clear fit with the Vodafone brand
- impact could be measured
- employees and customers felt that it would be an appropriate partnership
- fit with communication theme.
As a result of this research it became clear that the NAS provided the best fit. Communication is at the heart of Vodafone and people with autism find communicating with others very difficult. At the time, the NAS were not well-known, nor were they receiving significant support from other companies.