eMarketing & Commerce reports that Epsilon, in a survey of 175 Chief Marketing Officers of major corporations, finds that 63% are moving their marketing spend toward more interactive/digital marketing. And away from traditional marketing media like TV and print.Where will they be spending their marketing dollars? According to the survey:

  • Social computing — including word of mouth, social networking sites and viral advertising — was the most popular emerging channel with 42 percent of respondents expressing interest in adding it to their marketing mix.
  • Blogs were the second most popular emerging channel, with 35 percent of respondents saying they want to pursue blogs and 19 percent noting that they already use them.
  • Nearly one-third of CMOs mentioned podcasting as an area of interest. In fact, 31 percent said they are interested in adding podcasting to their marketing mix and 18 percent already have.
  • According to the survey, 29 percent of respondents said they’re interested in mobile devices — such as cell phones and PDAs — and 22 percent have added them to their marketing mix.

Call me cynical, but I have to chuckle at this. Having consulted for major corporations on their marketing strategies, I’ve seen two tendencies … 1) a surprising eagerness to jump on flavor of the month marketing fads, despite the lack of data on their efficacy; and 2) a willing suspension of disbelief when confronted with their relative inability to document the impact of their traditional media spending. So it doesn’t surprise me that they’d jump to podcasts and PDAs.If you have no real hard data to justify your TV or magazine spend, it doesn’t take any real courage to move your resources to something new and cool … and equally ungrounded empirically.Most nonprofit marketers I’ve encountered, certainly the fundraisers, don’t have the luxury of moving resources from one “unknown” to another. Historically, most of the fundraisers are using direct mail … where the performance of every dollar spent can be analyzed right down to the hair on a gnat’s arse.So the question of moving, say, 10% or 20% of that investment to even “conventional” e-marketing (like email campaigns) is a risky and perhaps intimidating judgment call … let alone spending it on Facebook pages or mobile campaigns.My hat goes off to nonprofit fundraisers who are willing to take some risk to experiment and innovate in areas like social marketing. All I ask is that: a) you always keep a clear sight on the audience you are trying to reach (and why); and b) you formulate explicit marketing hypotheses and test, test, test them.If you do those two things, your marketing efforts will be better grounded than many corporate efforts.Just consider these findings from the Epsilon survey:“When asked how their firm determines their target market for each channel, 50 percent said they use data-driven marketing techniques, and 31 percent agreed with the statement, “You use sophisticated modeling tools to analyze existing customer data (behavioral, preference and demographic).” Meanwhile, 19 percent of respondents said they analyze past purchase behavior, and 28 percent said they made rough estimates based on past experience.”Talk about flying blind!Tom

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This article was posted in: DonorTrends / DonorVoice, Nonprofit management, Online fundraising and marketing, Social media.
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