Digital marketing has higher potential at nonprofits

July 3, 2013

Digital marketing has higher potential at nonprofits

Nonprofits should be eager to look into online advertising when trying to increase donations and grow their following. However, a new study commissioned by Adobe Systems revealed many organizations are missing the mark on the opportunities they have in their digital space. For example, 32 percent of consumers and 21 percent of marketers surveyed believe online advertising is still not as effective as it could be.

Personalize the experience for online followers
When nonprofits build websites and create plans for social media platforms, they should consider how people will feel when consumers come across the organization's advertisements. The study showed one-third of respondents believe personalized offerings can be valuable, while less customized ads are considered not as effective, with nearly half of consumers stating they don't appreciate banners they encounter on websites.

"Consumers realize they are now in control and won't accept it," said David Edelman, global co-leader of digital marketing and sales practice for McKinsey & Company, the research firm that conducted the study. "Yet, beyond banners, there is a lot of online marketing content that consumers do interact with, and the era of creativity to explore what works is just beginning."

Creating online content is important to today's nonprofits as it is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate interest in organizations. Ninety-four percent of consumers and 91 percent of marketers believe traditional media is effective and credible, while 52 percent of consumers and 68 percent of marketers have high hopes for modern and more digital sources. Figuring out the right ways to engage people and get them to the organization's site will garner interest and get more people to contribute to the nonprofit.

"The best marketers will focus on building their muscles in data to drive relevance, design to generate an experience that makes consumers feel good, and delivery to bring it on-demand," said Edelman. "And as a side benefit, as consumers appreciate those experiences more, they will also value the marketing profession more highly, helping it attract the talent that will drive the right virtuous cycle."

Learn what makes consumers tick
The best way to figure out when people are interacting on the Internet is by harnessing information collected through big data streams. This insight will help nonprofits not only understand which potential donors to target, as well as help them the use the right platforms to engage interested parties. An article for CMS Wire outlined how organizations can create better marketing campaigns by leveraging data:

  • Use the most effective channels: Organizations have direct mail, email, display, search, social media and a number of other platforms to reach people. With the massive amount of information floating around in the digital space, nonprofits must use big data to find people who are most interested in their mission.
  • Create strong landing pages: After using digital marketing campaigns to drive potential donors to a nonprofit's site, visitors should be able to learn more about the organization. By taking advantage of landing pages, nonprofits can promote what they are doing to make a difference.
  • Distribute a message that relates to people: Many nonprofits are built around a cause, and by using a message that gets people thinking, organizations will be able to add to their followers and donor network.
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