Thursday, March 5, 2009

Use Integration Instead of Interruption

My professional friend Katya Andresen recently had a visitor -- a door-to-door canvasser for Save the Children. She writes in her blog about his visit, and that she ended up giving him a pledge worth $336. Katya writes:
"...what I really wanted to know was why they were doing fundraising via canvassing. He said because it worked wonderfully. Most of Save’s child sponsors sign up via canvassers, apparently. Save is focused on this approach, scaling back TV ads and other broad-brush, less effective means of getting recurring, monthly gifts...."
I was surprised to read that they've found success in this form of highly-interruptive marketing. With so much focus these days on permission-based marketing, to hear that door-to-door fundraising is working makes me wonder what's going on. But after a bit of thought, it all made sense to me.

Of course Save was not getting any ROI from their TV ads and other "broad-brush" efforts -- it is precisely because they were so generic in nature that their impact was so low. The failure of Save, or any other nonprofit/cause related organization, to see any return from their marketing efforts is due to a lack of integration in their marketing mix.

Right time, right message, right person, through the right medium -- that's the challenge and opportunity we all face in getting out the good word of our organizations. And, when we fail to do that effectively, and resort to interruptive marketing tactics like door-to-door canvassing, of course we'll see an uptick in responses. And just because it's a worthy nonprofit doing the canvassing doesn't make it right.

I'd challenge Save the Children to rethink their approach and find a permission-based model to work from.

What do you think?

-- David Kinard, PCM

[image credit: Save the Children]

No comments: