We all know that multi-channel marketing isn’t new, but data on what exactly organizations are doing with it isn’t necessarily well documented. Some organizations may be tracking their results, but many aren’t utilizing the information in their findings. We wanted to look closely at the best practices organizations are taking within the world of multi-channel marketing. Where are the nonprofit organizations today and what are are their key success factors moving forward?
Commissioned by Convio, Edge Research conducted an online survey for nine weeks gathering responses from 123 nonprofit practitioners and conducted 15 in-depth interviews, resulting in the Integrated Multi-Channel Marketing Study.
The principal finding was that adding online communications to a direct mail-only treatment improved donor retention rates, increasing frequency and consequently lifetime value. Other key findings include:
- There is a broad consensus that an integrated approach makes sense. The word is out and the masses agree: integrated marketing is not only a logical approach but it strengthens brand, cuts through the clutter, increases response rates, engages new audiences, grows revenue, and can even save some money.
- Motivations for adopting an integrated marketing philosophy vary. There are many forces that drive the integrated mindset, including the need to save money, need to unify message to preserve/enhance the brand, need to generate better response and as a byproduct of managing online
- Integrated marketing sophistication and size don’t closely correlate. Size doesn’t really matter. More than 50% of the $20M+ orgs are only considered Juniors (in the participant categories), just beginning their journey with integrated marketing. Contrarily, more than 50% of <$10M organizations are marked as Advanced in their multi-channel efforts.
- Online marketing’s contribution varies greatly. Percentages of funds raised online are all over the board in terms of org size.
- Concept may be logical, but making it happen is anything but trivial. Two important findings that tend to have the greatest impact on advancing marketing and communications are an org’s commitment to the philosophy and investing in the mechanics to make it happen.
- A supportive culture fosters integrated marketing success. Time to get current! Organizations who say they are successful at integrated marketing attribute their success to their org’s culture.
- Organizational structure makes a big difference.
- Integrated strategy and processes are essential – many seek outside help.
- The systems and technology to support integration are an essential part of the process. Having systems that support integration has implications on the front end for campaign design and on the back end for measurement and analytics.
- The process of proving ROI is complex. As one of our survey participants put it, “some things you can’t measure – you just have to trust your gut!”
- Critical to understanding success is tracking and mining engagement interactions. Some of the most valuable types of interaction include: opens of each email appeal, website visits/activity, duration from message to activity, cross channel activity, etc.
- Social media is a new channel for most, but an integrated part of the strategy for the more sophisticated groups. Some are professional tweeters at this point, but others are slowly wading into the ocean of social media.
- Mobile marketing is of real interest, but is uncharted territory. “Sounds cool but I have no idea what, where and when!” Some are in the experimental phase; many are still tilting their head at what exactly mobile marketing is.
The whitepaper is chock-full of valuable metrics, current best practices used by nonprofits, new media channel activity levels, organizational strategies, and more. Take some time to look over what 123 nonprofit organizations are doing today with integrated multi-channel marketing and discover best practices that may be the key to your organization’s multi-channel success!