Integrated Marketing Communications plan Nonprofit / Marketing communications

Integrated Marketing Communications plan Nonprofit

Nonprofits look to integrated marketingChantal Todé

Nonprofits are embracing digital media channels to support their direct mail fundraising efforts. However, while multichannel marketing is the ideal, those who are coordinating efforts for an integrated approach are still the exception. That may soon change.

"Data is a huge challenge, " says Jeff Regen, VP of online marketing and communications at Defenders of Wildlife, an advocacy group for endangered species.

Nonprofit databases can be cumbersome, and accessing constituent information in real time isn't something many organizations can do, Regen adds, noting that many nonprofits also aren't organized for integrated marketing, with their structures, cultures and communications inhibiting cohesion.

However, nonprofits are finding many benefits to overcoming these challenges. Jann Schultz, director of donations at Operation Smile, a group that helps children with facial deformities, says that diversification "reduces our dependence on specific channels and allows us to make the best decisions about where to invest the budget."

With integrated marketing "you're really seeing all channels working together to build impressions and produce a higher return than any of the channels working alone in silos could produce, " adds Alan Hall, EVP at Russ Reid, an agency that works exclusively with nonprofit companies.

Vinay Bhagat, cofounder and CEO of Convio, which creates software for nonprofits, says that renewal efforts are still limited by the fact that most nonprofits have e-mail addresses for only about 20% of their donors.

"A key challenge to multichannel marketing is capturing e-mail addresses, " he says.

Defenders of Wildlife is an example of an organization progressively using integrated marketing for both renewal and acquisition, Bhagat says. The group uses constituency votes, viral marketing and other methods to build its e-mail lists. It "will then typically take a multichannel approach to convert as many leads as possible to donors, " he says.

Both Operation Smile and Defenders of Wildlife noted the Red Cross' success in raising more than $32 million for Haiti earthquake victims through mobile. Because of this, these organizations will test ways to incorporate texting in the future, says Schultz.

"We recognize that there are certain vehicles where mobile is best used, and we are trying to figure out ways to leverage it" he says.

Operation Smile changed its strategy last year for the "Hometown Heroes" promotion, which targets a single local market for a set time period with a multichannel approach.

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Here's what I learned in 2 minutes on the internet:
Today, successful companies build and maintain profitable and ethical relationships with customers and other stakeholders by controlling the messages and touch points with these groups. To grow customer relationships, it is essential to understand the customer's needs and wants, then promise and consistently deliver a meaningful and compelling brand experience that increases the value of the company and brand.
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is the process for managing customer relationships that grow brand value.
Marketing communications builds awareness, preference, changing attitudes and ultimately behavior

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