Marketing automation is often understood as a purely digital undertaking. But this is not the case. Effective marketing automation requires a holistic approach that encompasses target audiences across all channels. In many NPOs, however, marketing automation is only used in departments that are exclusively dedicated to digital fundraising. Employees in these departments are social media-savvy, design great donor journeys, launch Google Ad campaigns, and meet in their own online fundraising events and forums. Elsewhere, entirely separate departments dedicated to offline marketing are simultaneously implementing tried and tested offline measures.
However, today’s target audiences can no longer be neatly put into online and offline boxes Rather, journeys are developed in such a way that they tailor to the individual’s level of involvement with the organisation. Develop this relationship based on their particular needs and interests. The focus here is on considerations such as: What do I want the person to experience in the given situation? How can I win their goodwill, involve them, etc.?
Commercial market leaders have fully incorporated this consideration into their strategy. The phrase “You might also be interested in this …” is ubiquitous and demonstrates said customer orientation. Naturally, this also shapes the expectations of today’s target audience.
This clearly shows that the shift from fundraising campaigns to fundraising journeys means much more than merely implementing technical adjustments in CRM and the fundraising software used or “plugging in” a marketing automation solution. Indeed, nothing less than a thorough adjustment in the way the entire organization interacts with its target audiences is required. This cultural change cannot be accomplished overnight and must be addressed specifically.
However, it takes more than a cultural change: Marketing automation must link digital and offline communication – in the way the individual wishes and needs to be addressed. That is why some existing fundraising departments in organizations need to be reorganized to suit a more holistic approach or even replaced by a team that acts and thinks as one.