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A new study has found that traditional channels are most effective for getting their message across and procuring responses from Charity donors. The study has found that the mainstream and traditional marketing methods such as TV adverts, websites and direct mail are most effective. Although the study was undertaken in Australia, this is a country with a similar culture to Britain and it gives insight into how charities choose certain channels to target different demographics.
The study called The Creating connections that matter: How Australians want to hear from brands revealed that 65% of respondents preferred to hear new of how their donations were being spent as opposed to 48% via email.
Overall the respondents of the study rated websites (52%), TV advertising (48%) and personalised direct mail (44%) as the top three most useful channels when considering whether to donate to a charity. There were key findings between the demographics with the younger professionals rating radio advertising above direct mail. Those over 65 years old strongly favoured direct mail (59%) but interestingly, nearly half used websites (48%) while press advertising was nominated third most useful (45%). It wasn’t surprising that the study found direct mail to be a favourite among the older generations and the younger generations preferred websites (57%). This is showing, for Australia at least that older generations still haven’t caught up with technology use but that the young are very responsive to it.
A recent article by Charity Times agrees that traditional marketing is still effective, but that techniques such as direct mail and leaflet drops can’t be reliable upon solely to persuade people to donate and they have to be integrated in multi-channel campaigns. In the past an innovative campaign usually meant thinking up a new creative idea for a leaflet or advert, but now this campaign idea needs to be rolled out across all channels, therefore targeting various markets and ensuring the campaign isn’t ignored.
Derek Humphries, director at charity consultancy company THINK Consulting Solutions, says that although it is important to use a variety of channels when creating a marketing campaign you also need to be selective and think about your target donor. Research and testing needs to be done in this country to see which media channels various demographics use and respond to so that adverts can be targeted. You should also offer options of responding to the appeal, not just one medium so that it is accessible to all audiences.
Humphries argues that in order to find out which marketing methods appeal to which demographics and which are most effective. He acknowledges leaflet distribution as being extremely effective for charities: emails can be deleted and adverts ignored but leaflets are likely to be picked up, read and sit around in the house for a while. However, the article argues hat it is important for charities to mix and match techniques to ensure they secure donations from consumers across all ages and spectrums.