Profile: Conservation International
“We [had] just launched the campaign when Harrison mentioned it on Leno,” he explains. “The traffic to YouTube has come from lots of different places.”
Since CI does not have a big paid media budget, it relied heavily on viral marketing in this campaign. As a result, it created an “intentionally unusual PSA concept,” says Rachel Ahrens, manager of community and membership for CI. The concept was created by the organization’s advertising agency of record, BBDO Worldwide, and BBDO’s digital marketing division, Atmosphere.
While the integrated marketing campaign clearly is a branding opportunity for CI, there also are many opportunities within the campaign for the organization to track donations. For example, it has a relationship with MSN, which will help promote the campaign in banner ads on its MSN Green Web site, a green-oriented portal, according to Wishrad. CI will be able to keep track of visitors that go to the “Lost There, Felt Here” landing pages from these ads.
“We also did a big Google AdWords buy around all of this, where we purchased thousands of words such as ‘forests’ and ‘Harrison Ford,’” Wishrad says.
The organization also is using e-mail marketing to promote the cause. It currently has 110,000 subscribers to its monthly e-newsletter, and it included information about the “Lost There, Felt Here” campaign in its May edition. The e-mail also allowed subscribers to tell a friend about the campaign.
While this campaign is fairly sophisticated, CI launched aggressive community-building and fundraising efforts only about three years ago.
At that time, it invested in staff and technology and, says Ahrens, “has seen amazing results.”
“We have grown our online subscribers by over 2,000 percent and have increased online giving by 800 percent in three years,” she says.
Ahrens says CI needed to build its subscriber list and get people engaged in conservation issues before it would see great fundraising success.