A Multichannel Marketing Quiz for Fundraisers
Fundraising professionals need to stay up to date on why multichannel marketing makes sense — both the know-how and the know-why.
* True or False: If your donor or member base is 55+, you are safe to ignore the Web in your fundraising marketing strategy.
Answer: FALSE. Young seniors (55 to 64) experienced the birth of the Internet in the workplace, and their online behavior today mirrors mainstream younger audiences. Retired seniors (65 to 69) have discretionary income and most own computers. Their online numbers are large and increasing, driven in part by their communication with grandchildren. Thirty-five million U.S. baby boomers are estimated to be online this year. In short, don’t count out those who are 55+ online in a multichannel marketing strategy!
* True or False: When adding Web-based fundraising to a traditional direct-mail fundraising media plan, the user experience should be different because digital channels are unique.
Answer: FALSE. When managing an organization’s “brand,” just the opposite is true — there is a need to create a unified user experience. While each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses, multiple channels should converge into a single voice, with an integrated look and feel from the donor’s perspective. Increasingly, marketers are designing customized landing pages online for their direct-mail messages in an effort to further engage and cultivate a prospective donor or member. Sadly, one significant barrier toward achieving this unity is internal organizational structure, rather than a lack of resources. If an organization has silos between online and offline marketing, then these really need to be broken down so donors don’t receive mixed messages.
* True or False: If you don’t collect e-mail addresses for your member or donor base, you cannot have an online marketing strategy.
Answer: FALSE. E-mail is only one of many digital interactions an organization can have with constituent groups. An online marketing strategy also can include search-engine optimization, banner advertising, paid search, natural search, micro-sites, contextual Web advertising — none of which require owning e-mail addresses. By using digital scorecards that incorporate and track performance through these other channels, an organization can determine the optimum digital mix of media and build a phased online marketing strategy to complement its multichannel efforts.
* True or False: Social Web sites (such as MySpace.com and Facebook.com) only exist for younger demographic groups.
Answer: FALSE. Pay a visit to Eons.com. The creator of Monster.com, Jeff Taylor, launched this social-engagement site in 2006 for those “lovin’ life on the flip side of 50.” Eons.com’s mission is to inspire a generation of boomers and seniors to live the biggest life possible. This is just one example of social engagement that caters to an older demographic audience — and may be one in which to engage media planning on behalf of an organization.
*True or False: Online media works best when you can drive as many people to your Web site as possible.
Answer: FALSE. This is a trick question, actually, because online media works best when visitors are driven to a landing page — not a home page, typically which is designed to serve many constituent groups and therefore include many links and possibly content unrelated to a current appeal.
* True or False: Direct mail is the most effective donor-acquisition channel.
Answer: FALSE. Every nonprofit organization is different, but most agree that testing and measuring results in various media channels — and doing so on a periodic basis — is the only way to answer this question accurately. If an organization hasn’t tested online banner advertisements, or any other channel for that matter, then it really can’t know whether marketing dollars could be stretched further by incorporating other media. In retail markets, for example, a multichannel customer has greater lifetime value — it makes sense to test and build donor value in much the same way.
Heather Costello is a senior vice president for national markets at Harte-Hanks, a direct and targeted marketing company. She can be reached at 410.412.1740 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Or visit www.harte-hanks.com