A new study released today by Convio, called Integrated Multi-Channel Marketing: Where Nonprofit Organizations are Today and Key Success Factors Moving Forward, shows that multi-channel engagement should be the aim of all nonprofits big and small.
The study also defines 5 criteria for multi-channel success. According to Vinay Bhagat, founder and chief strategy officer of Convio,
"Today, every constituent can and should be engaged through multiple channels so that both the organization and the individual get the most out of the relationship. In doing so, nonprofits can deepen those relationships by better anticipating needs, interests and passions, and providing relevant interactions and opportunities for participation."We didn't use to believe this.
In days of old (back in 1998), many predicted that donors would be "single-channel," i.e. if they came in online, they would only give online and if they came in via the mail, they would only give offline. New research and COMMON SENSE shows this is not true!
As human beings we don't limit ourselves to just one means of communication. Sure, we have our preferences, but even us old folks (like me) use mail, email, social media, phone, etc.
The challenge for nonprofits is MANAGING, COORDINATING and RESPONDING to all of the inbound and outbound communication whizzing through and around our organizations. Tracking all of these conversations, so that we can reinforce our brands and offer our donors a seamless and fruitful experience every time they engage with us, is SO important. Alas, it is no small feat.
Again, from the study,
"While the concept of integrated multi-channel marketing is logical, moving toward an integrated approach is ANYTHING but trivial. The two factors that tend to have the greatest impact on advancing integrated marketing and communications are (a) an organization's/leadership's commitment to the philosophy and (b) investing in the mechanics (business processes, measurements and software tools) to make it happen. The absence of these becomes a real barrier to effective integration."Struggling to move to the next stage of multi-channel marketing? You may need to start at the top and check out the report. It offers some great food for thought.