Recurring Themes: The Case for Integrated Marketing Communications, Part 1
I, like many of you, read and post on the various fundraising discussion boards available via social-networking sites.
Recent discussions focus on a myriad of topics, but in the past three to four weeks, the recurring targeted topics seem to include the following: cold calling, converting supporters into superstars, the education angle, increased brand awareness, determining what is fundraising ROI, how to apply for grants, the correct use of social media, and planning and executing events. Let’s explore a few of these topics.
These and many other topics lay the foundation and prove the need for integrated marketing communications (IMC). What do I mean? Well, simply, if you install viable and active IMC efforts, segmented or targeted by reference groups or sub-niche, you may never need to worry about a cold call. Do you have a series or menu of programs that address those least active potential donors? Are you messaging the same content to your active donor program? If you develop a program that is messaged to address your hot, warm and cold leads, my experience indicates that cold leads are really lukewarm, warm leads are hot and hot leads are sizzling. Messaging content as much as message and focusing on media as well as deployment can move most prospective donors up to the defined and glorified role of active donor.
When you develop a correctly targeted IMC effort, you do not need to turn your donor base (active or prospective) into superstars because, with the correct messaging and media mix, they should already believe they are superstars. How? By using branded content, personalized marketing techniques, valued downloads, squeeze pages and prepopulated microsites. Password-protected sites, interactive private networks (social), limited attendance events — all these, when presented over the course of a properly developed and executed IMC effort, start the discussion at the “star” level and bring the term “supernova” into play.
The education angle
Yes, it is important to educate your prospects, but education is a long-term effort — or, as they say, the long game. Can you truly educate a prospect or active donor without a long-term, message-based educational effort? Education today indicates mobility and learning on the run, and IMC is perfect for this type of program. SoLoMo — social, location and mobile — combines three basic IMC tools into a very formidable, proven and measured fundraising tool. Use SoLoMo as your base for an educational program, and you will pass the test.
Increased brand awareness
IMC is the multivitamin of marketing, and this need alone supports the increased brand awareness mentioned. Brand development is a complex and often poorly executed effort. But brands do not live by brand alone; they need to interact, integrate, establish dialogue, and maintain engagement with the active and prospective donor. IMC, across all the many different media choices, provides not only the base for increased brand awareness, but is also the foundation for any expanded branding effort.
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Thad Kubis is an unconventional storyteller, offering a confused marketplace a series of proven, valid, integrated marketing/communication solutions. He designs B2B or B2C experiential stories founded on Omni-Channel applications, featuring demographic/target audience relevance, integration, interaction, and performance analytics and program metrics.