Integrating for Nonprofits

June 15, 2015
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When it comes to marketing nonprofits, to those held accountable for it, the responsibility can be overwhelming. If the person(s) in charge of the task is not trained or experienced in marketing communications, it’s easy for them to get bogged down in the voluminous combination of minutia and magic it takes to create a successful marketing program…“successful” being the key word. Anybody can create and run a marketing campaign. But not everybody can manage a successful marketing campaign. Poor marketing campaigns happen for several reasons: Sometimes people don’t have the resources… or the time. Sometimes, as is often the case with understaffed nonprofits, they don’t have a good idea of where to begin.

That’s why the concept of Integrated Marketing can be a nonprofit marketer’s best friend. Understanding the concept of Integrated Marketing will help provide tools to build a marketing plan, maximize use of the budget, and amplify the message.

Integrated Marketing can be defined as making sure that your messaging is strategically consistent, audience relevant, and interconnected across all platforms of client engagement. It’s a formula of marketing and technology that takes advantage of various distribution and feedback channels in order to create a cohesive brand experience and sometimes, an exchange of information.

Knowing how to address an audience through various modalities and how to interconnect those modalities is key to devising a successful integrated marketing program.

An example of good integrated marketing is the Starbucks birthday card program. If you’re a rewards club member and about to celebrate a birthday, Starbucks sends you an email to confirm your physical address, so they can send you a birthday card that gets you a free drink when you come in the store, and the card has information on how to share your good fortune on your own social media outlets. Now, that’s a very good use of multiple platform touch points with a customer in one contiguous experience. Not only has Starbucks interacted with them on three different levels, they even encouraged the customer to give them their current address so they can keep track of them and broadcast their message on Facebook. That’s integration.

Now, all integrated marketing schemes don’t have to be so intricate, but the key is to think in that manner. By interconnecting your platforms, you can leverage the intrinsic strength of each and create a more effective engagement. Whether it’s emailing invitations to an online webinar, or sending postcards to drive people to participate in your Facebook contest, by thinking about integration overall, keeping your brand consistent, and segmenting audiences when possible, you can build marketing campaigns that are effective, engaging, and exciting.

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