I thought that the article in todays Irish Times Media and Marketing section, “Reaching an Affluent Market in a digital world” by Siobhan O’Connell, has some interesting points that we, as fundraisers, should pay attention to. The article states that:
The people outside the internet tent are mostly older, poorer and rural. However, the younger and more affluent an individual is, the more likely they are to be surfing the web. And that’s why online advertising and other forms of digital marketing are assuming greater importance.
So how must marketing professionals adapt? With difficulty, it would seem. According to JP Donnelly, chief executive of the Ogilvy Group in Ireland: “Perhaps more than any time before, brands have to truly differentiate themselves.
“They have to stand for something and they have to walk the talk, not just in their traditional routes to market, but across all touch points with the customer. That means there is both a challenge and an opportunity.”
Donnelly, who is addressing a Marketing Institute of Ireland function in Dublin next Tuesday, adds: “Brands have to be significantly more in touch in a world where the consumer is totally in charge, where what others say about your brand is significantly more important than what the marketer has to say.
“The challenge is the shift in how we communicate. It’s no longer about sending messages out to audiences, but how we engage our customers and prospects. This requires a new set of rules of communication and a new tool box.”
(Taken from The Irish Times online edition 2nd October 2008)
I think these sentiments ring true for Non Profit organisations. We need to truly differentiate ourselves and stand for something. At the Fundraising Conference on Tips for Corporate Partnerships one of the speakers made the point that when they did research on non profits in one particular sector they found 5 organisations, all with quite similar names, that seemed to do essentially the same thing. (Now this should, and would normally, lead me to talk about merging and consolidating but you can read some of my thoughts on that hereand here).
Donnelly also talks about ‘touch points with customers’ and I think as non profits we often dont look at the non traditional communication routes. Yes we all have websites but are they all brochure sites as Paul Dervan calls them in this interesting post about RTE. We need to not just communicate but engage. Interestingly I think as non profits we have a much greater opportunity to engage.