Omnichannel vs. Multichannel
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Now those messages are more likely to bump up against other marketing campaigns, and they need to relate to them in full or in part, again to the benefit of both.
Also, there was a pattern of having online communications, whether for fundraising, advocacy or other purposes, housed in the communications department, with fundraisers having to fight for a piece of the e-mail pie. With communications and fundraising under a common umbrella, that kind of dissonance is less likely to happen.
FS: Do you see this as a progression (from multichannel to omnichannel) or more of a lateral option?
DL: It's a progression in that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. What comes out of an omnichannel planning event will reach more people with more coherent messages than ever before, so the impact of those messages is amplified. And that's just among the outside audience. Inside an organization, the process of developing and executing those messages is stronger, because they are being developed by fundraising and marketing minds jointly. As an ancillary benefit, this model is more likely to create a positive and more collaborative team environment, with buy-in from stakeholders across departments, which should also help to bolster the entire organization.
FS: What does this different approach mean in terms of fundraising?
DL: For one thing, it means that fundraising will have a greater profile inside organizations than it did before. It will be seen as a necessary partner instead of an off-to-the-side silo. External relations teams will learn why donors need particular forms of cultivation and management, and development is reminded that their communications can be more integral to an organization's broader objectives — selling the whole magazine, so to speak, instead of just subscriptions to it. Also, direct mail's longer lead time is better accommodated within this structure because its stakeholders now have a place at the table from the beginning.