[VIDEO] Guide to Multichannel Marketing for Nonprofits

In this webinar, Beth Brodovsky will show you how to create a cohesive, creative campaign and make good choices about where and how to share it.

Full Transcript:

Steven: All right, Beth, is it okay if I go ahead and get this party started?

Beth: Ready to go.

Steven: All right, awesome. Well, good afternoon, everyone. Good morning, if you’re on the West Coast, I should say. Thanks for being here for today’s special Bloomerang webinar all about multichannel marketing, “To Be Or Not To Be Everywhere.” You’re going to learn a little bit about practical approach to multichannel. You know, I’m excited. I’m glad you’re all here. It’s a dreary day in Indy, but we’re going to try to bring the sunshine here over the next hour or so.

I’m Steven. I’m over here at Bloomerang. I’m our Chief Engagement Officer, and I’ll be moderating today, as always. And just a couple of housekeeping items before we get going here. Officially, just want to let you all know that we are recording this session and we’ll be sending out the recording as well as the slides. There’ll be some worksheets, some other goodies. We’ll get all that to you this afternoon. Don’t worry. So if you have to leave early or maybe get interrupted, if you’re working from home like me and a kid or a dog walks in the room, that actually happen to me so hope you’ll bear with me. But don’t worry, we’ll get all that stuff to you.

But most importantly, please feel free to use that chat box right there on your webinar screen. We’re going to try to save some time at the end for Q&A. So don’t be shy. We’re going to try to save some time at the end. We’ll try to get to all the questions. So do that throughout the hour because we’d love to answer your questions live. You can also do that on Twitter, where I’ll keep an eye on the Twitter feed there. If you want to send us a Tweet, we’d love to hear from you.

And if this is your first Bloomerang webinar, I just want to say an extra special welcome to all you folks. We do these webinars just about once a week, although we’ve been doing a lot of webinars if you’ve been paying attention because we just want to get some good out info out there for you. But if you’ve never heard of Bloomerang beyond the webinars we do, we are a provider of donor management software. So check that out if you’re interested in us. If you want to learn more, you can even watch a quick video demo and see all that good stuff in action. Don’t do that now though because I am really happy to welcome back a friend of the program joining us from beautiful Philadelphia, Beth Brodovsky. Beth, how are you doing? You’re doing okay?

Beth: I’m awesome. How are you?

Steven: I’m doing great. This is exciting. You’ve done some really good webinars for us in the past. If you guys have caught her past presentations, she did a really good one on digital PR for us, also content marketing. And now back to kind of round out that circle with multichannel. So I’m excited. We scheduled this a while back, Beth. I don’t know if you recall, but things have changed a little bit in the world. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that.

Beth: Things have changed a little bit in the world. Yeah.

Steven: But I think this is still a really topical topic. A topical topic. Yeah. I just came up with that myself. And what she has to say I think is really going to help you with what’s going on right now. So real quick about Beth. If you all don’t know her, check her out. Check her out at Iris Creative Group. She’s got a really good podcast also the “Driving Participation Podcast.” You’re going to want to subscribe to that. I think you just hit like 200 episodes. Is that right, Beth? You hit a milestone.

Beth: Yeah, we hit 200. Yeah, we hit 200 episodes.

Steven: Wow, those are really good, by the way. You should all subscribe to that, take a listen to them and she . . .

Beth: And Steven is one of our guests and he did a wonderful episode.

Steven: Well, yeah, you had, like, 20 cancellations probably, you invited me but there were probably some better guests on there. But her and her team are doing a lot of really cool marketing stuff for their clients. They’re doing a rebrand. They’re, you know, helping with events online days of giving. And she’s got a lot of knowledge she wants to impart to you all. So I’m going to pipe down because you don’t want to hear from me, you want to hear from Beth. So Beth, I’m going to let you share your screen.

Beth: All right, I will share my screen. Here we go.

Steven: Hopefully, it’ll happen.

Beth: There you go.

Steven: Yeah. Cool.

Beth: Hang on, I guess my chat disappeared so let me just pull that back up. There we go. Here we go. I’m going to shove my chat a little bit off to the side. So, Steven, if something comes through the chat that people really need to know that I might mess because I’m, like, moving along, just please feel free to, like, jump in and call my attention to it or stop me.

The other thing I always like to say when I start is I’m a marketer. And I try really hard to use simple language to use, like, normal, regular people language. But all of us in our worlds have jargon that we use that’s the kind of insight . . . Shall we say inside baseball jargon? If I say a word or a term or something that you have never heard of before, please feel free to call me out on it and ask me to explain what it is because we lovingly call our people that we work with/marketers, I don’t know if any of you resonate with this, maybe you came into your company, your organization as a development director and you made one change to the website, and now they’re like, “Great, you’re now the development director/communications director,” right?

Or you somehow inherited, like, all of this marketing communications work when it wasn’t really necessarily what you expected. I often say that, like, I feel like most of the people we work with, like, they used to be, like, theater majors in college and now you’re marketing and development directors. I don’t know how that happens. But my brother says it’s because theater majors are really good at being told, “Hey, we have to put on a show. We have three days to do it. We have no resources, no time and no plan.” And I think that’s what makes you all so suited to handle what’s going on right now so well.

So Steven already gave a little bit of an introduction to me. I will tell you I look exactly like this right now. I’m just like all of you do, I’m sure. And I run a firm called Iris Creative and we are a brand-focused firm, and we do a lot of rebranding, brand definition, getting people to really think about stuff. And through that work, we really realized that there was a need for people who work in and to do marketing for their organizations to kind of learn new things, brush up on old skills, address the stuff that didn’t exist maybe when you were in school.

So that’s how I got into teaching. And so I’m thrilled to be able to do sessions like these on my own platform and for amazing organizations like Bloomerang, who was so terrific at bringing content like this and all kinds of different educational content out there for you guys every single week.

So when it comes to multichannel marketing, it’s like okay, there’s a first piece of jargon, what the heck does multichannel marketing mean, right? It could mean lots of different things to lots of other people. And so it’s great to ground ourselves in, like, definitions. Like, what are we even talking about when we talk about multichannel? So content is a thing that you create. A channel is a place that you distribute it. So people will say things like, “My video channel.” Well, video isn’t a channel, video is a thing you create. Video is the content, YouTube might be the channel or you could even go bigger and say social media is your channel, the way you distribute something. Does that make sense? So that’s an important thing to get really sense. When we’re talking about channels, what do we mean by that?

So when you think about examples of channels, you might think about printing mailing as a channel. You might think about your email. You might think about your website. You might think about social phone. Some of you might even do TV or different things like that. These are the different vehicles, the different places that you can distribute the content that you create.

So multichannel marketing offers communications in different ways so that people can choose where and how they want to interact with you. And you’ll see a lot of this behavior in things like retargeting marketing. The reason multichannel is so important to consider and so important to think through is the concept of repetition. It’s really a psychological concept of the fact that the more impressions something has upon you, the more familiar it feels. It’s no different than the concept of when your phone rings and there’s a number on the phone that you don’t recognize. And you answer that phone with, like, a hello versus when you see a phone number on caller ID that you recognize and you pick it up excited because you have a familiarity to it.

The whole point of marketing is to get people from unaware and inactive to aware and active. And so all of the things that we’re doing are trying to move people along that food chain from awareness to action. And so the more times they see something, the more likely they are to do it. There’s an old statistic from the newspaper days that you have to put in ad in a newspaper between 6 and 12 times before people are ready to take action on it.

So the question though is, what does repetition actually really mean? Multichannel customers actually spend three to four more times than single channel customers do. So when people actually see things in the different channels that they see them, they’re more likely to take the action and they’re more likely to take even a bigger action. And so by multichannel, it’s different than just regular repetition. So regular repetition might mean putting out the same content or the same story on Facebook over and over and over again. That’s repetition. But multichannel means expanding that story, expanding the impact and the impressions that you’re creating into the different ways that people might be exposed to your message.

So donors are 50% more likely to respond to direct mail when they’re receiving it across multiple messages. So this is the kind of thing that people often wonder. So, well, if I start marketing in lots of different places, how do I know where it works? Well, it can be challenging to know whether it’s your social media working or your email marketing working. There’s this feeling today to only do the things that are digitally trackable, right? So Facebook advertising is digitally trackable. Facebook and social media action is somewhat visually trackable. You can get statistics on what people are doing. You have to go pretty deep into tagging things properly to really be able to see how somebody got from a Facebook post into, say, a donation. But it can be done if you set these things up.

But other things like direct mail, or television, or billboards, or what’s called out of home, when people just see your message, maybe at a bus stop or something, it can be harder to tell, well, was it that message that actually worked? But what statistics show from people who do enough marketing that they have the budgets to be able to actually study it is that when you do these other digital things, it even helps the print.

It’s so is easy to think, “Well, let me stop doing print because digital is easier. Digital is cheaper. Digital is more trackable.” But the reality is, is that each of the different channels have their benefits and have their upsides. And so the more you can do things in different places, the more you can track what’s happening, and see what you’re doing and where the impact is, the more it will help you know where to invest your time and energy.

So when you move from the idea of multichannel and then there’s another jargon term out there and it’s called omnichannel. So omnichannel, technically what it means is literally being everywhere, like we talked about in this, being everywhere. Omnichannel means all of them, being in all the channels. And I think it’s really interesting that the more places you are, the more of a lift that you can get. I mean, that’s not a big surprise, right? So if you get a 20% lift if you’re in omnichannel, but omnichannel being everywhere, right, like, I’m sure a lot of you are all working from home. Many of you may be juggling a new role as a school teacher, like we were talking about before we got started here today, trying to deal with your day jobs.

Many of you might be dealing with the unexpected cancellation of in-person events and programming. Many of you may be dealing with delivering your actual services remotely when you’re used to dealing with them digitally. And all of that is creating, you know, a giant pile of communications that you have to be dealing with, which in some ways is even more so than what you’re normally dealing with.

But every nonprofit marketing communications staff person that I’ve worked with, when I studied this, they say that the biggest crisis, the biggest commodity, that’s of value that they don’t have access to enough is not budget. It is not that there’s not enough money. It’s always, always time. Everybody says that the biggest constraint in them doing their jobs effectively, doing them well, is time. So it’s really important to not just learn how to do something, it’s really important to think about when to do something and why to do something. Because being everywhere, shallowly, may not actually get you that lift that those statistics are reporting. A consultant I heard at presentation once said, “You don’t want to be an inch deep and a mile wide. You want to be an inch wide and a mile deep.”

And so the more you spread yourself out and out and out, the thinner you’re going to get because everyone has capacity. It does not matter if that you’re working from a one-person staff with no extra budget beyond yourself or whether you’re working with a global nonprofit with a staff of 100 and a multi-million-dollar budget. There is always a capacity. There’s always a limit to what you can be doing. And so you have to think about what being everywhere really looks like to you in order to be effective.

And so the way to think about it, about how to choose where you invest your time, is what . . . I mean, start everything with what is your goal? It amazes me how many times that’s lost in the fact that you end up . . . I don’t know, has anybody else ever had a project where the only reason you’re doing that project is because a board member or an important donor or your executive director, walked into your office and said, “Hey, you know what we need to do?” And the next thing you know, you’ve been, like, sidetracked off on to this other pet project that’s being done just because somebody thinks it’s cool, somebody thinks it’s neat because somebody heard that there’s a statistic that video is the number one thing that people look at on social media. So now we need to just invest all of our energy into video.

And the goal, like, I would say, the capital G goal gets disconnected from the tactics that you’re actually busy working on every day. Anybody has ever had that happen, give us a shout out right now. So the goal is a big thing really knowing, like, “Why are you doing this? What are you trying to achieve?”

The next thing is your audience. Where is your audience? If you are, you know, out there focusing on a certain set of channels, and your mandate is to reach a certain audience, you need to really be thinking about whether that’s the best place to reach your audience. If your donors are 60, 70, you know, older donors, you know, they’re probably not doing TikTok videos, right? So when somebody’s out there saying, “You know what? This new thing called TikTok just came out, we need to be there.” Okay. Slow them down and say, “Why? Who are we trying to reach? Here’s who our strategic plan says we’re trying to reach. And these are our goals. Do we think that adding a strategy for TikTok is going to help us get there?” It’s really important to put these bus stops in the way along the path to deciding what more looks like for you because you could easily end up with a big pile of more that does not move you forward.

So think about where your audience wants to interact with you. You know, your audience, may be, you know, you may have heard a statistic that says, “Wow, there’s a lot of 45 to 55-year-old moms that are on Facebook.” Yes, they’re on Facebook, but depending on what you do, is that where they want to interact with you?

One of our clients is a hospice. And one of the things that we’re working on with them right now is a review strategy, a strategy to get more reviews and in sort of looking at, you know, best practices around how to get reviews, a lot of them are really inappropriate for a hospice. You know, some of the advertising that’s kind of been bundled up into their advertising, we just recently discovered is showing up retargeting advertising, is sending them to places where somebody is on an app. So they’re maybe playing Candy Crush and an in-game app will be like, “Hey, if your loved one is seriously ill, you know, you should consider a hospice.” Well, if you’re playing Candy Crush, chances are you’re trying to get away from the stresses of your life. So where they want to interact with you is really, really important. You don’t want your messaging to get in the way of your relationship with them.

What’s your budget? What’s your timeframe? What’s your skill set? So all of these things play into this, you know. Like, there’ll be a lot of people that preach or teach on Facebook advertising. And best practices might say, “Don’t do boosted posts.” Boosted posts is basically just giving Facebook money. You can’t track them. You can’t do all these things. That is all 100% true but going up to the correct level, the right way to, you know, see my air quotes when I say “right” way to do Facebook advertising is through, you know, an advertising portal of building it out with a landing page. It’s a much more intense and complex project that requires some skill and some learning. If you can’t get there, sometimes it’s better to do a boosted post and get somewhere than get nowhere. So there’s lots of ways to think about how you decide whether it’s worth taking the next steps and what omnichannel should look like for your organization.

So when we think about goals, you want to be thinking about what is your goal for your organization, overall? I always like people to look at their strategic plan and make sure that the tactics that they’re taking at any given moment, are tactics that are supporting helping them reach those goals. I often find that strategic plans are written and then thrown in a drawer somewhere, and then a year or two or three years in, you have to, like, you know, send a report to the funder that funded your strategic plan about how well you’ve done and they haven’t gotten anywhere because there’s never been an effort to re-point your communications towards your new strategic goals.

So you need to be looking at your big goals but you also need to be looking at what are your different marketing goals? All marketing goals are not the same. So one marketing goal might be awareness and that’s getting known to the right people. Do people know who you are? Have they heard of you?

Another one might be acquisition. Awareness marketing alone may not be enough to make people take an action. So that’s the thing to really be thinking about. When you want to be omnichannel, when you want to be in more places, what are you trying to get people to do? Are you trying to get them to know who you are? Are you trying to get them to sign up for a list? Say yes. Take like the first little desirable action. Are you trying to build engagement? Are you inspiring more action, conversation, participation? Are you getting people to partake of your offerings, shall we say?

Transaction. So now transactions are trying to get people to do things, getting people to generate donations, sales, become a member, register for events, sign up for a class depending on what you do.

And then the last piece is retention, engaging with stewardship, renewing your membership if it’s something like that, signing up for your next class, enrolling in your school for a second year, all of those different things. And that’s a real thing that’s important [inaudible 00:21:22] everywhere, but what action do you want people to be taking? What’s your goal of what you’re doing at this time?

When I talk about focusing on your audience, this is really key. And for all of this, this is really the heart of a lot of the work that we do at my company because when we want to grow, when we want to be seen everywhere, the answer is, “Well, who do you want to be seen by and what do you guys think?” Most people say to me, “When I say who’s your audience?” Most people will say, “Everyone,” right? Because we all do really amazing things. We all do things that we wouldn’t work for the organizations that you work for if you didn’t believe in the value of what you do.

That’s one of the big differences that I feel like I see between people that work, maybe in corporate America or people that work in nonprofits. Many of the people that work in nonprofits are there for a reason, right? Like, so we’re not always a good judge of who our audience is because we’re already, as they say, drinking the Kool-Aid, right? We are deep believers.

So one of the ways to think about your audience that it’s really holistic is to think about who’s at the center of your circle or who needs to be at the center of your circle. When we start thinking about everyone and as people call “the broader audience,” we tend to be aiming our marketing at that outside ring on the target. And when you aim at the outside ring of a target with your marketing, what is more likely to happen? You’re more likely to miss the target entirely.

So if you’re targeting, if you’re shooting for the outside ring, the unaware that every one, all the people we would ever want to know about us, you end up, I say marketing, like there’s a sale on commas. If you are this or this or that, you know, if you like dogs, or cats, or ponies, or goldfish, then you are the perfect person for our organization. So you end up having to bundle up your marketing and have all of this stuff that’s trying to make it perfect for everyone. When in reality, you’re as I call it, hope marketing. Like, “I hope that if we spread it really wide and get it out there to everyone that maybe somebody is going to really care.”

Well, what that ends up doing is that’s what puts you into that inch deep and a mile wide. But if you can really look at who needs to be in the center of your circle and then who are the people just outside of that. Who are the likers? Who are the lovers? Who are the likers?

Who are the people that if you put your attention on them, they are more likely to move from a liker circle into that central lover circle so that they would then become your next best supporters? So how can you take your multichannel marketing, really focus on your goals, really focus on your marketing, and then honestly, no matter where you go, the impact that you create will be that much more effective?

So when we think about your target, a lot of times when people say, “Oh, we know our audience,” [inaudible 00:24:36] year old or our audience is lawyers. That is not an audience, that is a label. It’s not an audience. It’s a label. It’s a definition of the type of people that you want, but it doesn’t actually help you message those people, connect with them, and understand what they care about so that you can actually communicate and get that next piece where you get people to take the action that you want. So you really need to think deeply about this audience and think about your targets as more than just categories, but think of them as people and think about what kind of actions they want to be taking so that you can serve them.

So let me now get you into some examples of some of these different things. So I feel ironic that Steven and I planned this presentation a couple of months ago. So a number of the examples are events so I feel like I’m, like, pouring salt into the wound right now by giving event examples.

But they’re still really good examples. And I promise you, we will all be back to them. So when we think about our goals and we think about the multichannel, so this goal for this event was awareness and acquisition. So this is small, it’s the Philadelphia Engineers association of the . . . It’s like the Electrical Association of Philadelphia is the name of the organization. And what they wanted was they wanted to start attracting electrical engineers. And so for them, new audience, right, so you’re going a little bit out in your circle. So we got really focused on where we were going to put it and really thought about where these engineers were.

And so we did email but we did direct email to the engineers that were already on their list. And then we did emails to partners, people who could be a bridge between the audience they had now and the audience they wanted. So rather than just, you know, putting out things everywhere, they went and looked for partners to who could get them into the audience that they want. They did some Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn advertising. They did some direct mail and then they made changes on their website. And as you can see, we came up with this look that’s very bright. It’s very bold colors.

It has graphics in it that say, you know, electricity and engineering and then we used it everywhere. So it was very, very simple. Like, they didn’t have a big budget for this event. They were using Eventbrite as their event marketing tool. And so we just took this header graphic and implemented it throughout everything that we did. So we used the tactic of consistency. So consistency across platforms is one tactic that you can use to really help your omnichannel approach get more awareness, especially if it is, you know, a new audience.

So Ellen is asking me to expand on partners. So partners can mean a lot of different things with different organizations in this case, so they are the Electrical Association of Philadelphia. So for them, a partner could be two different things. It could be another type of association like the Electrical Engineering Association of Philadelphia, who was a partner so another association that has the people that they wanted to connect with that is somebody that they have an ongoing relationship with. A partner might be a company. So they have partners in the form of sponsors, like organizational sponsors, who are maybe, like, a large electricity company.

I’m trying to think of the name of . . . We did, like Heil. Heil was the name of one of their large electrical supply companies. And their company has a lot of electrical engineers as employees. And so they then worked with their sponsors, their corporate members, in order to ask them to share their messaging with their employees, their partners, a lot of different things like that. But we kept this look consistent throughout everything because there was a very short timeframe. It was like a happy hour type of an event. It was a little bit of a program and a little bit of it, and it was an educational program and cocktails, very short simple events. So we didn’t have the time to be everywhere, to go to a whole lot of different places. And we needed to make sure that in the short timeframe that we had, we were as consistent as possible so that people, we would just drill the message into them. So we kept our messaging the words the same. We kept our look the same. We really changed it up very little.

So many times when we are messaging out there, we have this feeling like, “People are going to get bored with it and so we need to change it up.” And the thing to remember is you’re the ones, you internal people, you’re the ones that are looking at things all the [inaudible 00:29:42] or they get bored with things [inaudible 00:29:45] other than somebody on the outside. The people on the outside just at that point where you’re having that itchy feeling, like, “Oh my gosh, we’ve got to change it. We’ve been sending the thing,” that’s usually just at the point where it’s starting to sink into the brains of the people that are looking at it.

So here’s an example of a Giving Day that we did for a college that’s here in Pennsylvania. It’s Chestnut Hill College. And their goal was actually engagement and transaction. So they wanted to engage their students, engage their alumni, and they wanted to raise money, transaction. So it was a fundraising event that they also wanted to raise money from. And I have to say, everyone, I apologize for the audio for cutting out. I think we’re all working from our homes. So I’m on my home, internet, which is probably not nearly as good as my office internet, which is a lot stronger. So if the connection isn’t as good as we hope it would be, I apologize for that. Typically, in the recording, it still ends up being clear.

So if there’s parts that you missed, where the recording might drop out, then go back and listen . . . Excuse me, where the play might drop out, go back and listen to the recording because it may clear up there. And you can all also please, Steven will give out my email address if you missed something or if you have a question after this is over, it’s totally fine to email me.

Okay. So this was a giving day. So it was a 24-hour campaign but the thing that’s important to know with a giving day is the amount of work that goes into those 24 hours. I actually did an online panel with one of our clients that just did a giving day for the whole state of Delaware. I did this panel last week. There’s a recording of it out there. So if you want the link to the recording, make sure you give Steven your email so that I can get it to you.

It was a panel discussion on this statewide giving day, and Sarah Fulton, who was one of the leaders of the event was saying that a really good way to think about a giving day is to think about it just the same way that you would think about an in-person event. And imagine the amount of work and effort that goes into prepping for your gala. You’ve got to get your table sponsors. You’ve got to get your regular sponsors. You’ve got to figure out who your awardee is. You’ve got to design the event. You’ve got to . . .

All of that stuff, a giving day is just like that. It’s so easy to think of a giving day as that it’s all about the online, the live part. But there’s a whole lot of the iceberg that’s underneath the water that needs to be there. Otherwise, the day doesn’t happen well. And so that’s where this multichannel marketing comes in. It works really, really well for giving days.

So for this one, we had an online component, we had an in-person component. And so to get people to participate online, we made this postcard that we mailed home, and inside of it, you can’t really tell from looking at this picture, but the postcard opens up and folds open, and on the inside of the postcard so it’s basically five-and-a-half by eight-and-a-half, you open it up and inside is an eight-and-a-half by 11 page that you see behind there, which we used as a selfie card.

We could have done that as a PDF, right? We could have said, “Hey, we’re going to send you an email and email you this PDF with a download.” But the thing is these days if you . . . How many of you guys have been to your mailboxes, right? How empty are your mailboxes right now? Right? They’re really, really empty because everybody is deer caught in the headlights frozen. So mailboxes, in general, even when there’s not a pandemic going on are more and more and more empty.

And so the attention that you can often get if you show up in someone’s mailbox is much higher than if you’re trying to get somebody’s attention in their email or on social these days. If it shows up in their mailbox, they’re guaranteed to get it and chances are, they’re going to look at it. And so we decided, instead of just sending the selfie card as a PDF, we would send it as a mail as a postcard to get something physical and tangible in front of people, and into their hands so that it would be a trigger that once they started seeing this exact same look going out in email, on their website and on social, they would start to connect it with the giving day.

So we did it, we did print, we did email, we did a social website. We did all kinds of different things. But one of the key things that they did is they used the phone. I feel like today, the phone is one of the most underrated channels for marketing. We all want to just, “Let me just hide behind email and push email out.” But making personal phone calls is invaluable, especially if you’re doing something like a giving day, getting those donors, those major donors to come in and contribute and do matching grants is only going to happen if you reach out to people in-person or by phone.

So here are some other examples of how that day played out. So we created a whole toolkit for them and there was all kinds of different graphics. We wrote all these posts and had everything sort of preset and scheduled to map out the day. So that’s one part of a giving day is having that look played out with a couple of variations. But you can see it’s very cohesive. It looks the same pretty much throughout.

Then they had some on-person. So someday when you could be back in your buildings again, you can think about integrating an in-person event but people are coming up with really creative ways to even mimic the idea of in-person. And the other thing about a crazy time like we’re living in now is that everyone’s going through it together. People are trying different things, experimenting with different things and doing things that would never be even acceptable in the real world. Like, as you can see from my “Star Wars” slide, I am a total nerd, right? So I watched “The Walking Dead.” And so after “The Walking Dead” is one of those fan shows where they, like, recap the show that only, like, the true nerdy nerds watch. If everybody watched it, anybody else that’s a Walking Dead fan.

So I watched this show, this after the show and it’s usually, like, highly produced, totally polished, make up, hair, interstitials, all of this stuff, gorgeous. Well, in the apocalypse, they can’t do it. And so the other day, I turned it on and they were doing basically a Zoom meeting broadcast. I can tell you in a million years, their execs would never have let something like this fly if it wasn’t for this apocalypse. But I truly, truly believe that with constraints comes the most amazing creativity that you could possibly imagine.

So how could you mimic that feeling of in-person? What could you do if this goes on for longer than you expect to connect people, engage them, build those things? One of the things that we did for them is we got this ginormous board printed with their mascot. And then for them, the way we got students involved is throughout the day, we had the students coming down. There were sticky notes on the table. They would write a note on the sticky note thanking their teachers, thanking their parents, thanking the people that helped make them into the people that they were. And then by doing that, that gave us content to broadcast throughout the day. And then every student that came in, we gave them a little sticker so that they could walk around campus with a sticker that said, “I’m a Grateful Griffin” so people could then ask them, “Where did you get that sticker?”

So then during the day, so you’ve got to think about, like, “How do you integrate this look and go multichannel before something, during something, after something?” So multichannel is about how much you do the consistency. It’s about where you have it but it’s also before, during, after. You’ve got to think about all these different things. We then integrated this look throughout the day, build momentum. And then they took what was happening during the day and they pumped all of that content back onto the donor page so that throughout the day, the donor page was updating with the Twitter, the Facebook. Different photos were getting popped into the top based on things that were being submitted. So it was a very dynamic day. But throughout the whole thing, it had consistent messaging, consistent look, repetition. So they ended up as you can see, beating their goal that they had for the day. But it’s this build up over time.

And you can do that . . . You know, if you look at multichannel marketing, you can apply that concept to your overall brand. How is your brand staying consistent? But you can also apply it to a specific event or a specific initiative that you have in some way.

So this is an example of a trade show. So this is, unfortunately, I have last year stuff in here because this year’s just got canceled and I just didn’t have it in my heart to have to look at it all again. So trade shows are even bigger. So I showed you first a tiny little cocktail hour and then an online giving day. And now this is a really big international event. So, as you go to bigger things, no matter what your version of bigger thing looks like, you need to think about multichannel in a bigger way. You need to think about your brand. You need to think about consistency. You need to think about how many different people are going to be touching the tools that you’re creating?

So with this trade show, it’s really interesting. So they have an in-house graphic designer and then they work with us. We do the message. We do the feening [SP]. We do the copyrighting and we come up with the look and feel for the event. But it’s a huge trade show. And just like all of you guys, most organizations don’t have the capacity to use an out of the house firm for, like, every single thing that you do because for any event that you have, there’s the look in the field, there’s the key pieces but there’s a million other things.

There’s all of the ads, there’s the program book, there’s whatever else you might be doing. And so at some point, the other people need to pitch in and iterate based on what’s created. So to really make multichannel work well, you need to be able to maintain consistency no matter who’s working on things.

And so, in this case, they have a whole bunch of print direct mail that we do in advance of the show. There’s tons of emails that are reminders to their members to participate. But there’s also a whole separate set of emails that go to their vendors. There’s social, there’s Facebook, there’s LinkedIn. And in their case, let’s see if this is the next . . . Oh, it’s not the next slide. There’s a whole microsite that they create.

So, interestingly, now, this is what I wanted to show you. Wait, can I go back one slide? Okay. So if you look at this, I want to show you how certain how things transition. So we started out with a very blue look. And we have this graphic in the background that’s all these little circles that you can see. So it’s blue and orange. And then we have the second piece that you see below, which is this really cool, complex, fun, folded piece that has dye cuts. It’s like a designer’s dream to produce. It was really fun. We wanted it to be really tactical and have it really be physically engaging for the people to receive it.

But as we moved through, we started to change things up. So, you know, in this case, this multichannel marketing campaign, it’s an every other year show. So that marketing campaign lasts about 14 months. And so when you’re doing something that has a long-time horizon with your multichannel, you need to start thinking about where your cattle shoots. If you make your cattle shoots so narrow, that only one cow can get through at a time, it’s going to become very restrictive and one of two things will happen. Either everyone is going to be so bored of looking at the same thing again, that, like, there does get a point where over time, people, I call it they go brand blind, right, so they’re so used to seeing stuff that they just literally it becomes invisible to them. So that’s one thing that can happen.

The other thing that can happen is that the people that are creating the materials are getting bored and frustrated by iterating the same exact thing over and over again that they start to go rogue, right? And you start to start seeing things that are out there that you think, “Wait a minute, who created that? Where did that come from? Who did approve it? And you start, you know, seeing things that are so off the brand, that it’s breaking down the effort that you put together. So you need some range of consistency. But you have to think about, at what point do we transition? Where do we open things up?

And one of the things that we do with this is that the very last piece, so we start out with a lot of print, and then in the middle, we have a lot of digital, a lot of emails, a lot of social, a lot of web. And then as we’re getting close to the show, we loop back in some print, but we end up using we call it the subordinate color scheme. So we don’t randomly be like, “Okay. Here’s green. Here’s something totally different.” But we flip it and throughout the whole thing, in this case, the blue was the dominant color. The orange was the subdominant, the subordinate color. So when we go at the end, we flip the color palette around to brighten it up and catch people’s attention, who it’s not like a complete outlier but it just gets . . . It refocuses their attention on this event with a little bit of a shaken-up color palette.

And then, in this case, they have an entire, you can see here’s the whole micro palette that they do for the microsite, I mean. So the interesting thing is that we produce maybe six or seven of the pieces. We create the initial look. And then we create a couple of those key pieces that you saw at the beginning. Everything else for this show is created by their in-house team.

So we give them a tool kit. We give them a little bit of a branding guide and we give them the assets that they need. Like, we give them the circles. We give them the colors. We give them the fonts. And that way they can take the templates that we create and iterate, and keep their program fresh and changing but still consistent throughout everything that they do.

So, as we’re wrapping up here, I want to make sure I give us some time for some questions. I wanted to show you a different version. So I showed you a very tiny little event that was a multichannel, and then an online event, and then a fully integrated event with multichannel. Those are the ways to look at multichannel marketing about that whole being everywhere. But I also just wanted to take a little minute to talk a little bit about spreading your message across all the different channels is not the only way to market something. You can say, “We don’t need to be here. We don’t need to be there.” You can also say, “We’re using this specific channel in a specific way. So remember I said that there, you know, a channel, print, web, email, social and then even within social are specific channels of social.

So I want you to think about those channels and what is the content that’s great for those channels? Where does what you do in a unique and an amazing way line up with what a channel is especially good at? Meaning, the type of content that a channel is especially good at delivering or the type of audience that this channel is especially good at attracting.

And so I’m going to use YouTube as an example. So YouTube is a channel, right? And YouTube is actually the second biggest search engine in the world. I don’t mean the second biggest video search engine. I mean, literally, the second biggest search engine. There’s Google and then there’s video. People go out to YouTube to search for all the same kind of things that they search for on YouTube, but they’re searching for a video solution to that.

And so some people are doing a really good job of thinking of when someone comes to YouTube, how can we solve their problem? How can we be the answer to their query? And what’s our strategy for working this specific channel. And I think that that’s an important thing for us to think about. And honestly, it’s a great thing for us to be thinking about right now. Right now, when all of our events are maybe canceled and the big, like, the sort of that churn that we get so caught up in and so busy with on a day-to-day basis just isn’t accessible to us right now. This is a great time to start thinking about how you can use the channels that are available to you to deliver an experience for your constituents in a way that’s unique to you, that delivers them something that they couldn’t get from anyone other than you.

And so I’m going to use this example of the Nature Conservancy because they’re doing an amazing job with their content strategy. So this is what the top of their YouTube page looks like. And if you can see over here on the right are some other channels. So they have their main channel, but they also have sub-channels that people can subscribe to. And then as you scroll down their page, I highly recommend you go to YouTube and look at their page because it’s comprehensive. And the key thing is, look at it as an idea generator. It’s so easy to look at a ginormous non-profit and say, “Well, that’s nice. They have all the money in the world to do this. You know, that’s great.” I believe you can do anything on any budget if you are creative enough.

You can learn from what they’re doing, from their architecture, from their structure, from their strategy, from the different audiences that they’re trying to reach, from the different problems they’re trying to solve and figure out a way that you could learn from that and do what’s right for you. Like, they have a whole line of videos that’s literally just 360-degree video, then they have a whole nother line of videos that are playlists.

And this is something that I think people aren’t thinking about. You can actually take YouTube and organize it the same way you might organize a website, thinking about your different audiences, your different content streams, your different programs, and think about, what would people want when they’re coming here? How can you literally take a channel and make that channel, multichannel based on the different goals that you have for your organization and your different audiences?

It’s sort of, like, an inside out way of looking at multichannel as opposed to going out across all the channels. How can you dive deep into a channel and have it provide different types of interaction for people? And then if you click on one of their playlists, this was the TNC California playlist, you can see this is what it looks like. It’s almost like they just have layer upon layer of different things that you can dig into before you would ever even leave YouTube. Really, they’re doing an amazing job.

And so that’s sort of the stuff that we’ve got for you today. So the last thing I want to share with you before we jump into our Q&A is multichannel is no joke, right? Juggling all the things that you’re already juggling is pretty hard. So the way that we do it at my company is we create something that we call Project Map. So whatever we’re doing, whether it’s a year-long tool or it’s a couple of month program that we’re working on, we create this little tool that says, “From today to the day, we’re delivering it to the launch day, here’s the breakdown.” And sometimes we break it down by month, sometimes by week, sometimes by day, depending on the scope of the project. And then on the left, we break down the elements of the project. So we always at the top have a top line that says project planning so that we can capture, like, the big picture thinking that it needs to happen before we can move forward. And then we break it down by channel, email channel, website channel, social channel.

The great thing about doing this is it really helps you by pulling it all together. It lets you see, what do I need to do first, before I can do this thing next? One of the things that it’s easy to forget is if you are writing an email, you can then take that email and pull sentences out of it to fill your social posts. But if you haven’t written your email, you’re going to be writing your social posts from scratch. So mapping out your project plan for all your different channels will do a tremendous amount to cut down on your workload and let each thing that you do add up to more than the sum of its parts.

And then from there, once you figure out what you’re doing on each thing, the next thing we do if it’s something new, is we create what we call an action plan to actually map out how we do, like . . . ? Who’s going to be involved? What’s the purpose of this thing? What format is it going to be? What’s our project plan for it? What’s the timing? So that you know all of the steps.

So those are some of the tools that we use to kind of handle and get our arms around doing multichannel. I think we’re going to jump into questions now. So as you’re now thinking about the questions that you have for me, I have a question for you. What is one thing that you learned today that’s going to make a difference in how you’re able to jump into your marketing?

If as you’re asking questions and putting your questions into the Q&A if you could also pop your thoughts on what you learned today, it’s super helpful to me to help me make my education, my learning better for everyone that’s out there trying to do the things that you guys are trying to do. So put your questions in, we’re going to jump over to that now, Steven.

And the last thing, I’m sure Steven’s going to have a vehicle for you to do this, but I actually have a copy of a blank project map and an action plan. We have a package that we’ve put together that normally we only give to our clients but because you guys all came today, if you give Steven your email . . . Steven, what’s the way you want people to do that?

Steven: Yeah, I have their emails from when they registered so I can send it out when I send the slides and the recording. Does that work?

Beth: So actually, what I’m hoping is, if you guys can let people know who you can pass your emails on to me.

Steven: No, yeah, we’ll do that. Yep. Yeah, for sure.

Beth: Oh, yes. So, Steven will give me your emails and we will get this out to you. And Steven, do you want to feed me some questions?

Steven: Yeah, there’s some good ones in here. Probably won’t get to all of them. But we’ve got best contact info on the screen there. So we’ll definitely . . .

Beth: And please if I don’t get your question, please feel free to email me.

Steven: So a couple questions about target audiences, Beth. What’s a good way to maybe start that process if they’ve never kind of defined who those folks are, what those audiences are? Any starting tips?

Beth: You guys you’ve made me so happy. You asked my favorite question.

Steven: Yeah, they’re a smart group.

Beth: Oh, my God. I love it. I love it. Okay. So this is really good. So this is a big part of our sort of consulting philosophy. So I’m going to tell you that I’m going to answer it the way that we’ve learned to look at it based on my 30 years in business, based on 5 years of talking to 200 nonprofits, that has all worked to inform how we look at target audiences.

It’s so easy to say, “We . . . ” Here’s my horrible joke that you’re going to be all horrified by, you’re going to learn way too much about me by saying this. I always say we, like, pick our target audiences by, like, hoping a celebrity gets our disease. You know, like, wouldn’t that be good? Like, then they’ll open us up to a whole new audience, right? Like, hope marketing doesn’t work. So you can’t even let yourself get caught up in, we need to get, you know, all of the whatever the lawyers on the East Coast, you know, to be part of our community, that happens to be an audience for somebody I just got off the phone with. So that was top of mind for me right now or they need to reach out to, like, therapists to get people . . .

It’s a school for behavioral health students. So they realize that a great target market for them as therapists. And so, like, that’s great in theory, but here’s how we do this. What I want you to think about is what are your desirable actions? You can’t just think about the audience’s that you want, that’ll be cool to have participating. If you’re investing your money, your budget in creating programming, and creating events, and creating things, you need to make sure that you have first thought about if we miss these people, we are, shall we say out of luck? You know, we’re going to be in trouble.

So if you can think about, if there was one thing in your organization, what’s the number one thing that if you could 10X or 100X, that you would be golden, you’ll be like, “This is amazing”? I know that there’s probably 100 things that you want to have happen. But think about it from the perspective of what we would call a terminal outcome, like, the actual outcome. So saying, “The desirable action that I have is I want more people to like our Facebook posts,” okay, that’s only a good metric if you have a plan to take people from liking a Facebook post to something that is a mission-driven financial outcome, right? So you need to think about what are the mission-driven financial outcomes?

So, for a lot of people out here, well, you know what? If we can get people in as donors at the hundred-dollar level, they are the ones that most often become our thousand-dollar donors. So that’s the kind of thing to look at. So I would say talk amongst yourselves. Talk about what you think are potential desirable actions and then go back in and research some of them.

Well, that’s one of the things we’re doing with a client right now. I asked them, “Go back and look at it.” If somebody in your group says, “You know what? We think it’s our thousand-dollar donors.” Great. Go back and look at your thousand-dollar donors. And where did they show up first? Did they show up first as a $25? donor? Did they show up first in an event? Did they show up? Where did they show up? That will help you learn more about these people with what is this desirable action?

So once you know what this desire will action is, here’s the thing I want you to do. Go in and export a list of people that have taken that desirable action six times or more or another list of people that have taken that desirable action two to three times. The people that have taken that desirable action six-plus times are your lovers. The people that have taken it two to three times are your likers.

People that have taken a desirable action once outliers, right? People that have come in, maybe were a member of your organization, left, haters. It doesn’t matter. Let them go for now. Like, you have to focus your energy on the people that matter.

And then here’s a really goofy trick. When you export those spreadsheets, do a first name sort. You will be surprised at how much you can learn about your audience from their first name. For example, one of the people that followed our process who came to all of my trainings, they were having an event and they had a first name that was Linda. So based on somebody that’s named Linda, you can pretty much guess how old they are. If you’re afraid of guessing, go look at the census data. Go look at the most popular first names and see what year, what birth year those names are the most possible. You can figure out how old most people are. We just did this in our database. And it turns out that our lover is Jennifer and our liker is Jessica.

And a lot of that has to do with their age. You know, Jessica’s are about 32 because it was the most popular first name in 1989. Oh, it’s crazy. And then okay, if you discover that your lover is 32 versus whether they’re 62, well, you know, what are they doing with their life? Do they have kids? Are they married? Where do they live? What are they likely doing on the weekend?

If they’re likely to be, you know, on soccer fields or at a . . . What would you say? Like, college visits on the weekends, then chances are maybe you shouldn’t have your event on a Saturday morning. You know, it’s amazing how just this little trick can help you really get deeper into your person.

So that’s what I would say, start with a desirable action, then build out an idea of who this person is. Ultimately, you want to get down to what they value because that’s where you get to new audiences. The key thing is, if you could understand the values of your lovers and see if those same values are modeled in your likers, you can take those values and look for them in new demographics that will get you out to those new audiences. Does that help?

Steven: I love it. That was good answer.

Beth: Great. I should have written a book. That’s what I should be doing right now. So let’s get to a couple of other questions.

Steven: Yeah, maybe one more because it’s almost 2. But Beth, a lot of folks here were asking about the role of the board. And I’m sure you work with lots of boards over your career. How can they kind of help out with this project, maybe not get in the way? It’s kind of what I thought of . . .

Beth: Yes. Okay. Everybody who’s here, raise your hand if your board always does exactly what you want them to do, right? No one? No one? Okay. So, first of all, my first question is, it depends on the type of board that you have, when in my . . . like so the first thing we look for when we start working with clients is where the decision-makers? Are you an organization that is board-driven that the board-driven? Is the decision-makers and the staff are literally, they actually function like employees of the board. And the staff is there to do . . . shall we say, the bidding of the board, right? That’s one structure of an organization.

Other organizations are structured, that it’s a staff-run organization, and the board is there for oversight, for input, and for financial support, right? So that’s the first thing to think about is what is the role of your board? Excuse me, too much talking. Based on that, then also look at what the expertise is of your board. Some times on the board, you have a marketing person, that can be awesome because you’ve got somebody that can give you a little more insight into this, or it can be difficult because your marketing person could be somebody that like works for Comcast. And they’re going to be like, “Well, at Comcast, we do this.” And you’re going to say, “That’s nice dear, right?” Because it’s just not going to be necessarily equatable to what you do. And it’s tough.

So the first thing I would say when it comes to the board is be careful who you ask and be careful from what you ask about. Because if you ask a board member, for their opinion, or for advice, and you don’t take it, I’m sorry. Getting to the end of my talking rope here. That being said, sometimes the board can do a great job. They can help you out with things. They can be on a committee. They can point you to good resources.

I would mostly ask the board, especially when it comes to multichannel marketing, the number one thing your board can do is share your content time with their friends. They need to be ambassadors for your programming, for your organization. If your board is not willing to in some way, they may not be on social, that’s fine, pick up the phone and call if they’re not willing to help you be if they’re not willing to be an element of your multichannel distribution system, then maybe that’s something to think about with the way you need to communicate to your board that you’re expecting of them, or what you need to be putting into your, you know, board responsibilities as you’re bringing people on board. Or it’s worth having a conversation with him about saying that this is something you need and talking about [inaudible 01:01:41] comfortable being part of that. How’s that?

Steven: I love it. Wow, that’s a good pep talk. Beth, you’ve been so gracious with your time and I want to save your voice.

Beth: Sorry, guys.

Steven: I feel bad. But this was really awesome. And I know we didn’t get to all the questions. So do reach out to Beth, you’re going to hear from her. She’s going to send you this cool template you see there on your screen. So be on the lookout for that. And hopefully, you all can stay connected. So Beth, thanks for doing this. This is a really cool way to spend at least my Tuesday afternoon.

Beth: Awesome. Thank you so much. This was so much fun. I really appreciate you guys jumping on here, focusing on this and please, you’ll get my contact information. Reach out if you need anything, if you don’t receive anything. And you want it, just let me know. And please connect with me on LinkedIn too.

Steven: Yeah, do it. She’s obviously a wealth of information. So we’re come to the end of our time. I just want to give you all a quick heads up on our next webinar. Next Thursday, our pal Sarah Durham going to be talking about . . .

Beth: Oh, Sarah. She’s wonderful.

Steven: Oh, yeah. So she just wrote a really awesome new book. It’s sitting behind me right now. And basically turned that book into a presentation and it’s very applicable to what’s going on right now. You’re going to pick up some really good communication branding tips. So definitely be there next Thursday, the 8th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. If you’re not free at that time, don’t worry, we’re going to record it. And we’ve got lots of other webinars happening. I think we’re going to be doubling it up for the foreseeable future.

Beth: We are too.

Steven: We want to get that info out there. So check out our webinar page. There’s lots of cool sessions coming up. All we’re going to have a little bit of a flavor into what’s going on with the coronavirus, so you’ll get some good information there. So we will call it a day there, look for an email from me and Beth. We’re going to get all that goodie, all those goodies in your hands, webinar, recording templates, the slides, all that good stuff. We’ll get it to you today. Just be on the lookout and hopefully, you have a good rest of your Tuesday. Stay safe out there. We’re all thinking about you. Hopefully, you’re not going to stir crazy in your house. But do reach out to us because we’d love to keep the conversation going. So have a good rest of your day. Have a safe week and we’ll talk to you again soon. Bye now.

Beth: Thanks a lot.

Kristen Hay

Kristen Hay

Marketing Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Hay is the Marketing Manager at Bloomerang. She also serves as the Director of Communications for PRSA’s Hoosier chapter.
Kristen Hay
By |2020-04-07T08:01:13-04:00April 4th, 2020|Webinars|

Leave A Comment