On either side of the Atlantic, the wisdom you get to build relationships with your donors is interesting to learn. This came true when Professor Ian Bruce, President, Center for Charity Effectiveness at London’s Cass Business School talked about the theory and practice of building effective relationships.
According to Prof. Bruce, successful relationship building has four components: establishing relationships, strengthening relationships, customer appreciation and relationship strategies. In American terms, this means relationship building, stewardship and ongoing donor communications.
You scan your environment to seek out the most influential people interested in your cause. Engage them well, pay close attention to their needs and consider them the most important people in your network. Prof. Bruce advises that you must be ready to talk about the negative things that are happening at your organization and how you are trying to fix them. What are the pillars that need to be strengthened?
Often, most of us forget the common sense initiatives we need to take to build relationships. This includes reliability (deliver what you promised), responsiveness (give prompt service always), assurance (convey trust and confidence), empathy (a caring attitude), and always make sure that you provide the best tangible experience of your assets.
Sometimes, giving up top spots allotted to your CEO or leadership to high value customers will help strengthen relationships. According to Prof. Bruce, this will help you build financial and social bonding with your high value customer.
His highly acclaimed book “Charity Marketing: Delivering Income, Campaigns and Services,” elaborates on the theory and practice of building effective nonprofit marketing strategies.
During my school days, an elderly biology teacher taught us cross-pollination in simple terms. Today, it’s interesting to see how content gets cross-pollinated across multiple platforms.
By definition, cross-pollination of content is very simple. We dust pollen off, in this case, words into every conceivable content platform we can. Our craze for repurposing has led us to rewrite less. Instead, we spend more time identifying keywords for search engine optimization. As content gets monetized, we forget ideas that really impact the bottom line. What do consumers want?
In our hasty bid to create, market and cross-pollinate content, we sacrifice authenticity for choice words . We engage in a mechanical, thesaurus hunting expedition sacrificing creativity. We look for platforms to cross-pollinate content and forget, to quote William Zinsser that rewriting is harder than writing. Are we creating content that provides a new user experience, adds value and moves an individual’s decision-making process?
Research from Hubspot says that adding 15 new pieces of content will increase traffic on your site five times more. Great! But is that traffic relevant? At a recent seminar, content marketer Arne Keunn gave out some statistics showing the growing power of sharing content online. Here are a few observations: 93% of people use search before making purchases, 86% of search is for non-branded items, 90% click on organic clicks versus sponsored advertisements.
According to renowned writing coach, Ann Wylie
, marketers should be “attention creators,” not just content creators. Once you know what your customers want, develop content that is easy, intuitive and usable. Think strategically about cross-pollinating content across different platforms so that in every medium you become an attention creator. Optimize content for your audience, your audiences’ devices and promote it through your website. Make it fresh every week. Today, marketing begins and ends here.