Digital marketing spending will surpass traditional advertising for the first time this year, according to the latest eMarketer forecast. That fact is not lost on today’s nonprofit organizations, which recognize they must keep pace with the expectations of today’s consumers when it comes to communicating their mission, delivering a superior user experience and simplifying the donation process.
“Even though traditional methods such as direct mail and telemarketing continue to be a strong channel for nonprofits,” says Cyndi Lee, Senior VP, Sales & Strategic Development at Specialists Marketing Services, “the use of digital marketing is increasing.”
Adds Kathy Hermann, Specialists’ VP Sales, New Business Development, “Nonprofits are constantly seeking ways to effectively market by exposing their audience to media beyond the traditional postal setting that’s been the foundation of their acquisition efforts. Many are finding success in areas like video, social media, partnerships, donation at retail checkout, and multichannel efforts such as display and search.”
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But diving into a brand-new medium isn’t easy with limited in-house resources and an even more limited budget. That’s why many nonprofits are turning to digital marketing partners for help designing and executing effective integrated marketing campaigns to capture new donors, turn donors into sustainers and reinvigorate lapsed supporters.
When it comes to selecting a marketing partner, the pros at Specialists and its digital arm d3 offer the following tips to nonprofits and their agencies:
- Do they educate or simply execute? Most nonprofit organizations prefer to work with partners that can help them become more knowledgeable in new channels and how to make the most of their budgets.
- Are they clear about transparency? Trust and transparency are critical when working with a digital partner, according to Lee. “Your organization must trust that your budget is being spent wisely and have a full understanding of results by channel.”
- Do they value testing? “End results matter,” says Specialists’ VP Business Development Anna Feely, “but continued testing is equally important. You need a well-thought-out plan for whom you’re targeting, what content to present and in which channels.”
With its proven track record in helping nonprofits define and achieve their goals, Specialists prides itself on its proactive approach to helping nonprofits make better-informed decisions about how and where to spend their budgets to achieve ROI.
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