Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Merging of Technology and Marketing

I'm finally recovered from a solid NTEN experience, my first ever. I will leave most of the commentary, notes and reflections to the great round up on the NTEN blog and will instead talk about something that is happening to our industry (or may have already happened):

Marketing and Technology are forever merging into one beast.

What is evident from the lack of marketing people in attendance (or so it seemed to me!) is that the marketing folks either don't see how important this is, or have their heads in the sand.


One reason could certainly be how the conference positions itself (The Non Profit Technology Conference or NTC) certainly could throw a marketer off. What marketer would possibly want to sit around with geeks all day talking about code and open-source software?

A smart marketer would, that's who. The reason a smart marketer should attend these types of conferences is simple - but understated.

While technology should never drive strategy, it most certainly does enable strategy.

As a (hopefully) smart marketer, I am fully aware that I need to engage my constituents at a variety of levels in a variety of venues. And while the verdict is out on whether or not "web 2.0" tactics will ever raise significant funds, it's quite obvious that social networking and the entire gaggle of new technologies are acting as an enabling platform that will allow organizations build bridges to their constituents.

What is happening, not to put too fine a point on it is that the geeks are creating a set of tools that allow organizations to extend and empower their ability to build strong relationships.

If you are a traditional marketer, this is an important point.

Think of it this way... in the old days, you'd run a print ad or a tv spot. You'd do all the work up front (focus groups, testing, production etc) then run your ad. And then it was done.

But now, the ad lives on. The web site generates comments and people pass around the URL or the podcast. People blog about you, run badges on their myspace pages and re-create your brand in SecondLife. Not only do you have a customer service and brand maintenance issue, you have TECHNOLOGY to worry about as well.

How does this relate to NTEN? If you are a marketer, decide now to get to NTEN next year - and look me up while you are there!

Special thanks to Erin Anderson, Peter Deitz, Chris Phillips, Carolyn Pizzuto, Jeff Herron and Seth Mazow for being on the 2 panels that I moderated.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Speaking Opportunity For You!

Here's a great chance to raise your visibility and participate in a terrific conference... I'm leading two sessions at the upcoming NTEN conference (Washington D.C. April 4-6, 2007) and need help!

I've already got initial commitments from several super smart non-profit marketers and consultants to help me out but I need a few more to round things out... in particular if you are are a NPO marketer (not agency or consultant since I've got a few of these already) I'd be happy to invite you participate with us.

The speaking gig pays nothing and you'll pay to get into the conference, but if you want a chance to stand up in front of your peers, this is it! Email me directly at msirkin(at)gmail.com and we can chat... in your email, let me know which one of the two sessions you are interested in:

1. Not Your Mother's Online Fundraising Campaign

Email is SO yesterday. Well, it'll probably be around for a few more years, but in terms of online fundraising, there are literally dozens of new strategies you can use to reach your stakeholders. In this session we'll highlight some of the latest technologies and the circumstances under which they are most successful. We'll bring up blogs, video appeals, keywords, text messaging and more.

  1. An tour of the newest tools and strategies for online fundraising
  2. Tips and tricks for implementing these strategies
  3. Case studies from the sector

2. Selecting an Online Fundraising Technology: Larger Organizations

Many times an organization quickly jumps into the question of which technology to choose without first defining what they need and what the organization will need to do in order to achiee the benefits of the technology. This session will review how to define your organization's technology needs, what changes your organization will need to make, and how to review available solutions. An organization that has recently made a technology solution decision will discuss the approach they used, lessons learned, and their satisfaction with the outcome.

  1. Translating your business processes into a needs document
  2. Tools for evaluating the options
  3. Resources for implementation.
Let me know as soon as you can!