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The Seven Essentials For Integration

I’m so excited to be attending the The Bridge Conference in DC this week! I’ve been before and I’ve always come away with dozens of ideas and new fundraising friends. I also love that it is a fundraising conference 100% dedicated to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising – one of my favourite topics.

We talk a lot about the benefits of integrating marketing and fundraising at Blakely and refer to it as ‘The Perfect Mix’ like a great Gin and Tonic.

It’s so exciting to see so many organizations leading on integration but I think we still have a long way to go as a sector. And for those that are thinking about taking next steps towards integration, here are seven essentials to keep in mind:

1. Identify and target appropriately

Knowing your audience is key — but also knowing how to reach them is just as important. As you may have read in Oliver’s post, single channel campaigns are not enough anymore. You need to communicate with people in multiple ways on multiple channels. When a donor sees the same ‘kind’ of message consistently regardless of channel, it has a psychological effect and increases their chances of responding.

Great integrated campaigns reach different audiences in different ways, through different channels.

2. Mix things up!

Your message doesn’t have to be the exact same message across every channel. Great integrated campaigns tweak their concept for each medium but always relate back to the central theme. Mixing up the way the creative idea is expressed is key!

3. Integration is not easy

But great things never are. It’s difficult to find that ‘big idea’ and carry it out across different platforms with slight tweaks to make it more interesting, but it’s worthwhile when it makes ‘getting it’ easier for your donors. It allows them to be a part of the story in different ways and allows them to be more aware of what you do and why you do it. And as a result, they will be inspired by the work and more motivated to give.

4. Surprise and delight

The best integrated campaigns will surprise you, and get you excited! They take you on a journey and you want to be a part of it. You find that you want to share them with others and you want to be connected to it somehow because it has inspired you and made you think differently.

5. Lighten the load

Individual pieces can lighten the load, whereas one piece has to tell the whole story. A great integrated campaign should be compelling enough that everyone looks to find the other elements to piece together the full story.

You want people to be compelled to find out what happens, or how they can help and are motivated to be part of the solution.

6. When it feels BIG it doesn’t have to cost BIG

A great integrated campaign that has a look and feel that it is big doesn’t have to come with big price tag. But if the budget is not big, then the plan must be smart – excellent targeting, great use of media and flawless execution will hopefully lead to earned media that can do the work the budget alone couldn’t.

7. Timing is everything

The best integrated campaigns feel timely and of the moment. They take a truth in the world at a given time as it relates to the cause or popular culture and they make it relatable and actionable for the donor.

Something is happening, you want to be a part of the solution, here is what you can do right now to help.

Hopefully this is a starting point for discussion when it comes to integration. If you are going to be at #Bridge18 and want to talk more please reach out and if you aren’t, I would still love to talk integration or anything else fundraising and marketing related — especially over a gin and tonic!