Applying the 2012 Marketing Trends Survey to Nonprofit Fundraising | Miratel Solutions

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Applying the 2012 Marketing Trends Survey to Nonprofit Fundraising

When it comes to nonprofit fundraising and marketing strategizing, charities should keep an eye on what the for-profit world is planning so they can keep up as they compete for limited disposable funds. StrongMail, a company that provides email and social media marketing solutions to businesses asked 939 business leaders questions surrounding their marketing budgets for 2012 via an online poll conducted in November 2011 by Zoomerang. The result was this years’ 2012 Marketing Trends Survey. Although the respondents were mostly for-profit businesses, nonprofits did factor (a mere) 4% of total respondents. The statistics generated through this survey can be a way for nonprofits to compare their own marketing plans for 2012.

At first glance the results can be interpreted as predictable, especially with the growing trend of the increased Email and Social Media presence in the market place. This is evident by the overwhelming 92% of respondents who plan to maintain or increase their marketing budgets in these channels, with 60% confirming an increase in Email marketing and 55% citing an increase in Social Media marketing.nonprofit-fundraising-social-media-relationship-building

Other traditional marketing channels ranked much lower in the spectrum of planned budget increases, including Direct Mail (18%), Trade Show & Events (18%) and Public Relations (16%), all of which are non-online or web related channels. In fact, 28% plan to decrease spending in Direct Mail initiatives and 23% were decreasing spending in Trade Shows and events. Nonprofits should definitely pay attention to and join the social media revolution, to remain competitive in engaging supporters and ultimately securing the highly valued donor dollar.

Effective nonprofit fundraising begins with relationship building

The trends, as this survey clearly indicates, show that generating revenue is not the primary reason for businesses to be involved in Email and Social Media marketing. The largest value business leaders see in email marketing initiatives include Building Customer Loyalty & Retention (67%), Awareness Building (51%) and thirdly Driving Revenue (44%). Similarly, the value in using social media as a marketing channel is for Awareness Building (64%) and Building Customer Loyalty & Retention (48%), while Driving Revenue is 6th with only 19% of respondents. A large number of organizations plan to increase their marketing in Email and Social Media initiatives for their customers’ lifecycle including Winback and Reengagement programs (68%) and in Welcoming customers (59%). Both are effective ways for nonprofits to use these channels without the expectation that these will generate immediate revenue.

Interestingly, while increases are being planned in social media marketing, fewer respondents saw an increase in staffing or training and education (each at 16%) in 2012. This may suggest that organizations may already have trained staff in place although 43% of respondents still cited a Lack of Resources and Staff as their biggest marketing challenge for 2012. The results definitely send a mixed message, one that can be attributed to the enigma that Social Media Marketing has become to many organizations, including nonprofits. While this channel can be an effective and strong tool, nonprofits need to ensure they understand that increased time and/or resources are required with increased initiatives to ensure maximum value for their marketing dollars.

Not surprisingly the largest social media marketing program investments is in Facebook for 39% of respondents. But, what was surprising is Twitter coming in fourth at 24%. While Twitter is seen as one of the Social Media platform giants, usually 2nd only to Facebook, it’s clear that there is still some uncertainty by many businesses on how to integrate this channel effectively into their marketing plans. Nonprofits should not discount Twitter as an effective engagement tool, as it’s utilized by a segment of the market that is highly and socially engaged.

While a lot of efforts seem to be directed to social media platform giants like Facebook and Twitter, fewer organizations are considering mobile programs. Many experts predict that the mobile web will be more popular and overtake the typical web by 2013. However, 24% said they were ‘Not Sure/Don’t Know’ and 24% also said there were no plans to increase any spending in mobile marketing. While organizations are overwhelmed with the social media revolution, it’s clear that significant amounts are not ready to even consider mobile marketing. Daunting, but it is the way of the future.

If you have the time, have a read as there are many other interesting results available in this 17 page, 18 question survey that makes up the 2012 Marketing Trends Survey.
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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