Money Words (guest post)

By Perry Esler, Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals:

Tell a story – give the number. That’s the simple, best-practise, message we share with hundreds of radio people every year at stations across North America. It works. $450M raised since 1998 for our partner children’s hospitals. Great stories with a great pitch means lots of calls to the donor hot line.

Now there’s research that shows we might be able to increase pledges off those calls by how we greet the donor. Philanthropic psychologist Jen Shang has released a study that shows five words tied to moral qualities prompt larger donations.






The Indiana University Professor tested her theory at an appeal of public radio station WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana. The phone volunteers answered by thanking the caller and then they would randomly pick two of the five words to describe the caller. It sounded something like this: ‘Thanks for calling. You’re a caring and compassionate donor.’ In the end female donors gave, on average, 10% more.  By contrast the use of these adjectives had no impact on men.  Suffice to say since most donors to our radiothons are women this may be worth a try.

Many events still don’t script their phone volunteers, but this study should be enough to convince you otherwise.

Here is a recent interview we at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals conducted with Professor Shang about the study.  It concludes that a focus on the connection between moral identity and an individuals cause might create a higher ROI than focusing solely on the cause

Click here to listen to an interview Perry did with Prof. Shang.
Follow Perry on twitter here 

Smartphone and Golf – The Nike way

Think mobile, its my mantra at the moment. How can the smartphone be useful, it is no longer just about – let’s build an app for that. The thinking has to be mobile. Nike are certainly one to watch in this space.

Band Aid Magic Vision Muppet App

When kids hurt themselves, sometimes the plaster doesn’t make them feel better. This might!

A world without petrol

(from Goodbuzz)

To support Nissan‘s LEAF (electric car) launch – this ambient installation urges viewers to wonder what life would be like without Gas? To do this they re-purposed nearly 40 unique, interactive gas-pumps ranging from a mini-putt to a piano

Fundraising Awards

It is great to see the Fundraising Ireland awards in their 3rd year (I will be corrected by Ed if thats not right!). The awards are another great development by Fundraising Ireland and in my humble opinion helps professionalise the sector even more.  Fundraisers are notoriously bashful and shy! “Oh I couldn’t possibly nominate myself” – but you sure can and should. Winning awards gives the entire team a boost, your corporate partners a boost. It demonstrates you know your stuff when it comes to Fundraising.
So nominate today:

Facebook Ads don’t work?

Just as Facebook goes public, advertisers go public and start to suggest Facebook ads don’t work. Kick started by GM saying they aren’t going to advertise on Facebook anymore Headlines like these have started to pop up all over the place

Without even reading these articles, you kind of get the picture. Some of what is said in these articles is pretty stark.

John Coleman, CEO of The VIA Agency , says that Facebook’s “platform” – the free stuff, like brand pages – is an “integral” part of his clients’ marketing campaigns. In fact, he says his agency spends lots of money driving traffic to clients’ Facebook brand pages – just not with Facebook. “We’ll use Facebook for apps and other engagement but we’re using other [paid] media to drive that.”

Ryan Holiday, who is a media buyer for American Apparel says:

From the time that Facebook stopped serving banner ads through Microsoft to now, the spend I oversaw fell from nearly $1M per year to a few thousand dollars a month. “The return is not there. Unless you’re selling apps or lead generation, I think Facebook ads are underwhelming. I see bad things ahead for the Facebook IPO and perhaps, rising dissatisfaction among clients.”People go to Facebook to interact with their friends. It is fundamentally different from the ad platform that is Google. People go to Google to find something they need, possibly ready to buy, which a good percentage of the time can in fact be solved by someone’s ad. Facebook ads, on the other hand, annoy users. They yield no real value, and thus no profits.

Rance Crain in AdAge says

The problem with Facebook and other social media is that they were not designed to carry advertising.

This is a bit of a challenge right? Certainly for marketers, media buyers and it really challenges Facebook. So does all this mean that Facebook ads don’t have a role to play? I certainly don’t think that is the case. But it does mean you need to think about what their role is. Ford, for example, sees the site as a way to build long-term relationships with customers, not just as an online billboard.

Rance Crain challenges how we are thinking about these new online tools:

“The internet now allows us to do those three things with amazing efficiency and creativity,” Keith said. “But none of those activities substitute for creating and sustaining the brand itself. “The point is we need both — the brand-building skills we learned in the past, combined with the brand-extension tools technology offers today. The danger is that in our mad dash to be digital, we lose sight of the former, and a brand’s core values begin to disintegrate.”

Al Ries sums it up nicely when he says:

“if you don’t have the right strategy, good tactics won’t help you very much. And social, like all media, is a tactic. What concerns me is that too many marketers have elevated tactics — especially those of social media — to the level of strategy.”

Facebook probably need to start thinking about the challenge it is facing, especially as it tries to get its mobile ad product right. But sure they don’t need me to tell them that. Advertisers are challenging the model (although we have all known the CTR are low…for a long time!). Facebook probably need to look at new ad models that don’t interupt as much. They need to be agile enough to challenge themselves (just as their ASU’s challenged other advertisers when they first appeared).

These are interesting times. It is all worth keeping a very close eye on. But don’t discount Facebook ads just yet. Just make sure they are part of your strategy, that you are tracking and measuring them, and they are working hard for you. Then, like any media spend, you can determine if they are right for you and what you are trying to achieve.