Integrated Marketing Success in Western Canada
Posted by Guest Blogger at Apr 25, 2013 07:04 AM CDT

This article was written by guest blogger Brock Warner. Brock is a fundraiser for War Child Canada & US, as well as a TEDx speaker on philanthropy, a blogger, and volunteer with the AFP Greater Toronto Area chapter.

Here at the IMAB, we’ve spent plenty of time profiling great campaigns and appeals that have demonstrated how integrated marketing has helped organisations achieve results that would otherwise have been impossible. This time, let’s step back and take a look at an entire annual giving program that always went to market with a multi-channel strategy and that used technology as the key enabler. The result? Success in all respects.

The Canadian Cancer Society in Saskatchewan saves lives. The Society has more impact against more cancers in more communities than any other organisation. To ensure they could be effective in their fundraising, communication and marketing activities, they began implementing the Convio CRM and Convio Luminate tools (Now Blackbaud Luminate) in 2010. By 2012, The Society had their new technology up and running in tandem with an integrated calendar as a roadmap and a directive to ensure all campaigns were multi-channel.

The impact on their fundraising program was immediate. Early indicators showed that the Society was on track for a banner year, and they proved correct by year-end. Here are just a few growth stats from 2012 over 2011:

A single tool
None of this growth would have been possible without a pan-organization commitment to a single comprehensive tool that could enable multi-faceted integrated marketing. Prior to this overhaul, the Society had highly fragmented technology with no central database of record, and limited capabilities online. The transition was complicated and is still ongoing, but even in the first few months has proved well worth the time and investment.

Multiple channels and targeted communications
There is a lot that any charity, regardless of size or location, can learn from what the Society has accomplished. In the planning for 2012, it was determined that no campaign would be launched in one channel only. No event, advocacy campaign, newsletter or appeal launched without targeting, segmentation and promotion in place to ensure the best response possible.

Another important lesson to be learned is about the importance of list organization, and testing messaging. The Society successfully enticed direct response donors to events, while advocates and volunteers were looped into fundraising campaigns and donors into advocacy campaigns. The cross-list promotion created more loyal, active supporters that facilitated the remarkable growth the Society saw. The Society has been remarkably successful in creating cross-functional teams that work closely together to achieve mutually beneficial results.

Never stop thinking about how you can get the most out of your data, how your charity can use technology to the best effect, and how you can work with all the teams at your organization to provide the best possible programs for your supporters. In the end, it pays off.

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