Sustainable Marketing: is Web 2.0 the Solution?

12 06 2008

After this quarter’s NVCF Council meeting today, I found myself in a strangely optimistic yet frustrated state. One of the attending directors asked desperately: “How can we reach out to the community with a more effective return and yet without all of the direct mail that often is mistaken for junk mail?!?!?!”

My heart leaped out of my chest! This is what I have been talking about for months to this community and yet the message has not penetrated. What is the problem, people?!??! I have been trying to demonstrate how to get your mission, message and success standout among the constant barrage of other competing messages for months now! From pizza coupons to credit card campaigns, the direct mail thang is really not sustainable and arguably not viable if a 1-3% return is all one can expect. We all know we need something more, but what?!?!?!?

DUH! Its Social Networking with the Internet, right? Or is this a pipe dream that will never be implemented?

Without the present state of Internet technology that is so cost effective and easy to use, it would be blood, sweat, tears and elbow grease that throttles an effective, exhaustive and exhausting outreach campaign. BUT NOW, given the many opportunities to maximize and archive your efforts with Web 2.0 applications like Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter, you can do it with style and grace (your brand and logo) without the need for much more brochures, postage or bill posting. Collaborate with similar nonprofits to share ad space in traditional media and you effectively increase your outreach at a portion of the cost.

But what really frustrated me was the fact that here is this executive director, (who probably didn’t attend my previous speech because it wasn’t about “money” as in Annie B’s Fundraising campaign) and here she is crying out for tools and solutions. Damn! What a crazy mixed up world! I have been giving the cow away for free at this blog for 4 months now and she is still oblivious. Not to mention anyone of the nonprofit blogs I link to in my blog roll have ooooooooooooooooooooooooooodles of resources that are begging for attention. If you are a nonprofit executive director and you have a question on how to handle something, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Ask the blogging community, and I bet you a Billiondy Gazilliondy Dollars there is an answer out there for you. No need to get rhetorical in public, get the solution at a blog and share it!

That is why we also need to research (at least 15 minutes a day) other nonprofit blogs to find out what works and share your findings at your own blog. Research, Learn, Share, Rinse, Repeat ~ I believe this is the way; so, why aren’t more people adopting these often free tools for their outreach strategy? I am mystified!

Therefore, I pose the question: are Web2.0 tools a sustainable outreach solution? or am I missing something here? RSVP in my comment space!

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One response

12 06 2008
Andrew A. Peterson

Nice rant.
I wanted to add that, in addition to the ‘obvious’ ‘web2’ venues for creating a presence in your online neighborhoods, like social networking service and blogging or podcasting, there are also things like Google’s Local Business Center, which is free, and AdSense/AdWords which is very cost effective (I think you can buy clicks for as low as five cents and you can even locally target the ads and set a maximum monthly expense, and gather all sorts of metrics on what the clickers do and don’t do and if they convert, which is very informative for assessing the effectiveness of a web marketing campaign)… G’s Local Business Center is how business show up in Google Maps, which I suspect will soon merge into the GPS space. I think not being there is stupid, since it’s free and I wouldn’t be surprised if Google Maps starts to move in on the Telephone Directory/Yellow-Pages market share real soon, if it hasn’t already.
Links:
http://www.google.com/local/add/
http://adwords.google.com/

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