Here’s a little chart on the current and future projections for the US Social Network thanks to eMarketer.
Facebook remains the king, but Instagram has come so far so fast. Are you using Instagram?
I guess some people still use Pinterest!
Here’s a brief overview of copyrights and trademarks for those of you who might have questions.
While its not mandatory for those of us toiling in the marketing trenches to know all of the details, it is certainly good to have a basic knowledge of the terms.
Thanks to good friend Bryan Tuk for the post. Check it out: http://www.tuklaw.com/main/?p=242
Hot off the virtual presses, the 2016 Events Marketing Trends A-Z First Edition with letter A-M covered. Article appears on pages 29-31
Thanks to our friends at International Festival and Events Association where this article first appeared.
Watch for N-Z coming soon.
A friend of mine and I have had the tradition over the past decade plus to text one another throughout the Super Bowl on the status of the ads, the game, the halftime and in turn, America.
Sometimes there have been exceptional moments to share and to be a part of the collective experience that is the unofficial holiday of Super Bowl.
The game’s quality aside, throughout this year’s broadcast was “meh.” We found ourselves grasping for some semblance of an ad, a message, a theme that would resonate beyond this morning’s news blurbs on local tv… and there just wasn’t any to speak of.
The trailers for movies were just about the same trailers as we’ve seen for the last umpteen years. Autos seemed off message. Messaging about Marilyn Monroe seemed to be as disconnected with the millennial generation, just as a block of what one could only assume was millennially-focused spots mid- second quarter that fell flat with older demos. Enough with the computer generated or enhanced animals. We’ve seen enough.
While a certain level of creativity was present in many ads – kind of like a spark of an idea – but none of them have me running to YouTube to watch and share this morning, (which I keep reading is the value-add of spending $5 million for thirty seconds of time.)
What I really miss is the emotional, smart, thought-provoking cleverness that used to permeate the advertising industry. What I fear is that the combination of the Trump effect (mean spirited, Tweet driven, lowest common denominator messaging) and the reliance upon metadata to make deciions has extinguished the flame that created messaging that resonated.
As a proponent of arts marketing – and in turn arts advertising everywhere – I will continue to stand on my soapbox and preach the virtues of quality content and efficient messaging to a world starved of meaningful engagement.
Either that or we just need a new Apple product launch.
More news on Facebook tweaking their newsfeed. Good two minute back-to-basics video thanks to Mashable.
In the last full-length blog post, we looked under the hood of end of year campaigns at some of the takeaways from the projects we worked on at the end of 2015.
With this installment of the blog, I would like to delve into a few more of the keys that made the projects successful, or could’ve made them even more so if they would’ve been executed as originally planned.
• Pre-campaign momentum. There’s really no replacing a good quality project plan, with plenty of energy and excitement rolling up to the start of a fundraiser. Given the holiday season, a well-executed “pre-launch” is particularly difficult for some organizations to accomplish as there is so much underway and mission critical.
However, if you do have the luxury to spend time on the ramp up to your next fundraising campaign, I would highly recommend having 4-6 weeks which is planned to have periods of donor acknowledgement, mission messaging and of course, the all-important quiet time.
We all get so busy within the constant drone of the have-to-do’s and need-to-do’s which fill our communications that the audience of our messaging might become tone deaf to which messages matter most.
If you can objectively set up the game plan for pre-campaign activity, it will make for a much more uniform and strategic game plan for all involved. Just the right mixture of messages from and about your cause combined with salutes to your donors and volunteers can carry the day. When sprinkled liberally with doses of complete silence, it will make your messaging stand out so much more.
• Retention rates – As most of us know, retention rates are of huge importance if we want to maintain the inertia from previous successes. Holding on to donors is the life blood of what we do, yet the median retention rate is only 43% according to the 8,025 organizations surveyed by Bloomerang. That fact alone tells us we have a long, long way to go.
How does your retention statistic measure up? If there’s one key performance indicator (KPI) that we should all be measuring it is how we fare versus the national donor retention average.
But if we’re measuring the donor, why not as well measure the donation retention? According to the same survey, the median gift retention rate is slightly better with 47% being retained from one year to the next.
As for our 2015 projects, we had a 48% retention rate on donors for the same campaigns… slightly above the average. One note: if you run multiple campaigns based on seasonality or some another specific timeline, it is always important to make sure to track past donors in order to compare apples to apples and to avoid mixing fruits and fundraisers.
On the donation retention side of the ledger, we had a remarkable 43% increase from the same donors year-over-year. That’s a pretty great increase and put us on the road to overall success of the campaign. As I had mentioned in a previous post, we may have grown top end donors at the expense of affordability for lower level supporters and this is something that will need to be addressed moving forward.
• Refresher on the tricks of the trade – A few things became very apparent when rolling up the sleeves on the grass roots level of a campaign.
First and foremost, always remember to block and tackle. While you can have the flashiest players or social media platforms at your disposal, but if you don’t do the basics correctly, all the new tech toys will just wind up being a distraction. Here are a couple of the “solids” brought back to my attention.
• Social is great for conversations, but never forget the tried and true. Snail mail with all of it’s bulkiness, is still the way for many to give. While many projects have been able to move online and the giving rate has stayed 50-50 for online/offline, you have to recognize it’s a really big 50% to walk away from. Make sure you have budget to use the good ol’ USPS at least for the next several fundraising campaign cycles.
• We always hear about personalization – but for many of us that goes not much further than the subject line or the initial salutation. What worked very well in our tests was the suggesting of a specific level of donation for each individual. This is a one of those opportunities where you should take yourself out of your day job and put yourself in the place of the recipient.
Pretend you’re receiving a donation letter from an organization you support. Do you know what value you put on that interaction and engagement and what that brings to your life? Or would it be easier if the organization did that for you? Take the step and do some testing moving some of your smaller donors higher and some of your most significant donors even higher. My guess is you’ll be surprised by the results!
• Keep Cleaning – Of course your results will only be as good as the content of the letter, the efficiency of the donation forms online and off, but don’t overlook the importance of constantly maintaining your database. This step is critical, yet many organizations don’t have the capacity internally to have this managed on a daily or weekly basis. I am here to say you need to step up and make it part of someone’s job – and if “someone” no longer works for you, it is probably your job until you find a volunteer or intern to help you in your cause. It’s that important!
Make sure when the mail is received and the bad addresses come back they are immediately corrected in the system. Same with hard and soft bounces through your email system. Remember our motto: Digital cleanliness is next to godliness! What to do with bad emails is a little tricky – but you can try reverting to old school techniques like sending a quick “Was it something we said?” postcard, phone call or even stalking on Facebook and messaging supporters that way. (Not that we’re advocating for stalking).
Whatever trick you use – try everything you can to keep people engaged, however if they’ve moved or god-forbid passed away, keeping your data clean will make it that much more effective in the long term.
Well, that pretty much recaps the high and the lows of our most recent end of year campaigns. We hope we refreshed some of the training you’ve had along the way and possibly even showed you a new way or two to think about your next fundraiser. Good luck and happy fundraising in 2016!
For those of us who toil in the world of marketing Facebook is our greatest resource and our toughest challenge.
I love this Slate.com article on how the mysterious Facebook algorithm works. You know, that thing that decides what we see and what we don’t — and more importantly what our fans and donors see and don’t see.
Spoiler alert: it’s really PEOPLE behind it all. Real, live authentic human beings. Who would’ve thought that?
Best takeaway is the future of data: Marketing decisions based on data INFORMED rather than data driven.
Give it a quick read:
For so many of us in the non-profit ranks – and especially the arts – the end of the year campaign is usually the most stressful time of the year with heavy performance schedules and fundraising, coupled with the personal commitments to the holidays.
Now that the holidays have passed, it’s a good time to reflect back on the efforts of the end of the fourth quarter and review how we did. January is always a good time to do a post-mortem on your fundraising effort while it is still fresh in your memory. Before you move on to the next project, take a few minutes to write some notes, and be brutally honest with yourself about your efforts. Hopefully, you will be left with some ideas to file away for the next rodeo.
After reviewing the results of the end of year projects I was involved in, here is the first set of notes from my own personal experience on what to do and what not to do for your next fundraising projects. We’ll include some other tips and hints in our next post.
1) Remember what you forgot. We’ve all been there. It’s that place halfway into a campaign where there was that one ginormous concept, you learned before – but went on to forget. Now’s the time during the recap phase to jot down those notes and put them in a file to review before you go into your next battle. It could be as easily as making sure you updated all those address corrections, or something in the process that saves you and your volunteers/staff extraordinary amount of time. Perhaps there was a concept something you learned in a blog post, webinar or training session? It’s good to have a catalog file of tips, tricks and helpful hints, but its only good if you continue to use them. Today is a great day to start that file.
2) There’s no underestimating the importance of the personal touch. If you haven’t succeeded in segmenting your list and assigning personal outreach tasks throughout the organization, now is the time to put this on the top of your to-do list to prepare for your next fundraiser. The Executive Director should have her list. The Board should have their lists. And you should have your list to cultivate to ensure the right message is getting to the right individual.
3) Watch your “ask.” Given the theme of one of the 2015 projects we worked on, “the ask” led many of the smaller level donors to opt themselves out. From the early analysis on the returns from the fundraiser, it appears as if donors misunderstood the campaign’s focus. In retrospect, it is clear the message appealed to higher-level donors, rather than encouraging participation from supporters throughout the generosity continuum.
While the personal outreach phase of the campaign emphasized a specific gift amount based on past giving history, the overall theme, context and general public outreach promoted a higher gift amount. Be aware that the initial messaging sometimes obscures the personal communication that can result in unintended consequences. A reminder that some of the results may be due to the timing of when a message is received, or what part of the message is consumed more readily.
But what is underscored is the importance of a holistic approach to every part of the message. One never knows which communication is going to influence a supporter to make her donation. So be sure your direct mail, email, website, social and personal outreach are all in sync with the goal, and make sure if there is a pathway #2 for your supporter to make the gift that is right for them.
Getting more money from less people is efficient, however it shouldn’t necessarily be a goal.
We hope these items are of some assistance in your recap and planning. If you have any thoughts, share them here – we’d love to continue the conversation.
Check out “So How’d You Do Part 2” to be posted shortly with notes on pre-campaign momentum building, social and marketing support and retention.
In case you missed it, last month Space-X, the Elon Musk-led space racers, accomplished what some may have thought to be the unimaginable. As part of their continuing progress towards making space travel commonplace, Space-X launched a rocket with a payload of 11 satellites, propelled them into orbit and then brought the rocket back down for a safe landing on a launch pad in Cape Canaveral. Amazing!
If I didn’t see it for myself, I wouldn’t believe it. The video actually looks like it is being run in reverse as the rocket lands softly and the engines. It was almost too perfect. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5bTbVbe4e4
Of course, I’m a marketer and not an engineer – so there is a great deal more to the flight plan and the months and years of work put into making such an accomplishment a reality. I apologize for simplifying down to a few sentences, but celebrating such an accomplishment MUST be done.
And celebration is why am I writing about this on an arts marketing blog. The celebration of all of the dreams and hard work to make those dreams a reality is palpable in the video. It’s true. It’s genuine. It’s what we all search for in a work environment or on a team or part of a theater, dance or musical production.
At about 32 minutes into the video, while some geniuses are giving a layman’s explanation to the intricacies of the project, an audible roar begins to build in the background as the entire team of hundreds realize what’s about to happen. All of the studying. All of the work. All of the tests. All coming to a conclusion before their eyes. It’s enough to bring tears of joy to your eyes – if not raise some major goose bumps!
The convergence between what is about to happen and the ongoing commentary is not contrived as so much is in these days of hyper-planned media extravaganzas. Look no further than Starwarsification I mentioned in a recent post.
I’d trade the authenticity of this amazing real-time video for every over-Disney-fied, Oscar-telecasted, reality-based, Super Bowl halftime performance ever. There’s an emotion that is triggered in us all when we witness real people with true passion. It simply cannot be duplicated.
Hat’s off for a tremendous accomplishment and an even better example of what it means to be a true team. Bravo!