Multinational companies such as Coca-Cola and Canadian companies such as Tim Hortons have harnessed the power of pay-it-forward marketing to get customers involved in acts of kindness while creating brand awareness.Pay-It-Forward BasicsSuppose you own a restaurant, and you want to create brand awareness and spread goodwill. To engage your customers in your marketing campaign, consider asking them if they’d be willing to participate in an act of kindness donating a small amount of money to a homeless shelter in exchange for a free menu item, for example. To spread the word about your business’s pay-it-forward effort beyond your current customer base, you might post to social media to invite community members to your restaurant for a free menu item in exchange for a donation to the charitable cause.Disadvantages of Pay-It-Forward MarketingWhile there are few disadvantages of helping others, some customers may not be interested in participating in your pay-it-forward efforts and could be turned off if you’re too pushy. To avoid misunderstandings, give all customers a choice as to whether they want to participate in the act of kindness. If they don’t, you should still thank them for their business with a smile.Pay-it-forward marketing should come from the heart. Choose worthy causes you’re genuinely passionate about to get buy-in from your customers and the community.