Making Mobile Work – A Creative Take on the DMA Fundraising Conference – Part 1 of 3

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As the Creative Manager at Fundraising Direct, it’s my job to make sure we’re always looking forward, trying our best, and doing something new.

As such, you can imagine that I have a rather unique take on a fundraising conference like the Data & Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation in Washington DC this past February. What I’m looking for is creative, innovative ideas that will help us take our clients and their supporters somewhere unexpected. The future of fundraising is in the subway and the shopping mall. It’s on Facebook and web ads and Twitter and in text messages. It is mobile and social, insightful and exciting.

To cover all that ground, I’m going to share with you what were for me the three stand out sessions: Making Mobile Work with Paul de Gregorio from Open; Behavioural Science – Turning Insight into Action with Kiki Koutmeridou, PhD from Donor Voice; and How to Build a Better Brainstorm with Madeline Stanionis from M+R.

Digital = Mobile = Social

Paul de Gregorio from Open and Nick Allen from Open America are understandably known for the cutting edge work in out-of-home text and mobile programs. Their work is dramatic, challenging, and often shocking. It is also grounded in some hard realities of marketing and fundraising in the modern world.

 

High impact ads drive response in out of home ads. Image copyright: Save the Children
High impact creative drives response in out of home ads. Image copyright: Save the Children

Mobile is Eating the World

Ben Evans famously said, “Mobile is eating the world.”

73% of the world population has a mobile device. Facebook has 1.85 billion members and 1 billion of them visit at least once a day. If you’re designing for the real world and not thinking about your content on a cell phone, you probably need to think again.

Successful campaigns can be adapted across multiple platform including print and social media. Image copyright: Open
Successful campaigns can be adapted across multiple platform including print and social media. Image copyright: Open

Turning Mobile into Money

De Gregorio monetizes this trend with two ingenious marketing concepts: text donation, and text value exchange; campaigns that live in subway cars, trams, on billboards, and in the palm of your hand.

Dramatic creative ties to text-to-donate drive immediate donations and allows for fruitful follow up. Image copyright: Open
Dramatic creative ties to text-to-donate that drive immediate donations and allows for fruitful follow up. Image copyright: Open

Text-to-donate is an itch and scratch proposition. Present the problem, ask a question and make the solution the instant relief of sending one simple text message. The process is frictionless and leads to high rates of successful lead generation.

Text value exchange is a two-step process. First you create the itch. Then the end user sends a text. The second step is to call them to get their mailing address. It’s the perfect opportunity to begin the stewardship lifecycle and even convert to monthly.

Text-value-exchange work by delivering something of interest to the end user. Image copyright: Open
Text-value-exchange works by delivering something of interest to the end user, like information on how to spot cancer. Image copyright: Open
A packet of seeds inspires donors to give cash and then grow plants to support bees. Image copyright: Open
A packet of seeds inspires donors to give cash and then grow plants to support bees. Image copyright: Open

Keys to Success in Canada

For the Canadian market, there are a couple of keys to the success for text-to-donate and text-value exchange campaigns that are worth keeping in mind: you need dwell time, time for the audience to digest the message. Public transport is a great place for a captive (and often repeat) audience. You’ll also need lots of foot and digital traffic to get the numbers you need. Online, retargeting plays a big part here and geography in the brick-and-mortar world. Knowing your demographics can be a big help.

 

Keep an eye out for my next article: The Behavioural Science of Giving