Tag Archives: advertising

Marketing Campaigns for Nonprofit Organizations

Marketing for a nonprofit organization can present challenges to marketers. While basic marketing principles follow the same guidelines for products, there are differences in marketing for organizations that are nonprofits providing critical services, versus products from for-profit organizations. For-profit organizations can focus marketing messages on the delivered value and benefits of the products for the consumers. It’s relatively clear-cut.

On the other hand, nonprofits have a wider audience and often have no tangible product that can be delivered to its supporters. And, instead of more easily identified consumers, nonprofits must attract and retain donors who may be giving funds only when the spirit moves them. These are not necessity purchases per se; they are donations given to support something that is important to the donor. While donors and consumers can both be considered target markets, donors are driven by passion and causes rather than immediate needs and wants. They psychology is different.

Nonprofits need to use compelling visual marketing to appeal to donors. Top nonprofit marketers use powerful videos and photos of those whose lives will be changed by the organization. Testimonials and infographics are also important tools along with clear, targeted communications in order to retain the donors. A disaster may drive donations to quickly mount, but how are the donors retained over time?

Social media is an important tool for nonprofits to reach and engage donors. Branding is also critical to build and maintain a clear identity. And, social media campaigns have the added benefit of possibly going viral. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? That was one of the top campaigns ever produced, generating $115 million in the summer of 2014 and garnered celebrity participation and donations.

All that from a bucket of ice.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of marketing for nonprofits.
  2. Show several nonprofit campaigns:
    1. Make a wish: https://www.youtube.com/user/MakeAWishFoundation
    2. Water is life – 1st world problems: https://youtu.be/fxyhfiCO_XQ
    3. Project life jacket: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectLifeJacket/
    4. Truth: https://twitter.com/truthorange
    5. Water Aid: https://www.wateraid.org/us/get-involved/give-a-shit-donation-country-page
    6. World Wildlife Fund: https://twitter.com/wwf
    7. ALS Ice bucket challenge: http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html
  3. Divide students into teams and have each team select five different nonprofit organizations that they admire.
  4. Have each team delve more deeply into one of the nonprofits, making sure that each team has a different organization.
  5. Finally, have students develop a storyboard for a nonprofit organization.

Source: Allen, Z. (15 August 2019). 8 top nonprofit online campaigns that rocked social media. Socialbrite.org.

 

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Mascots Help Bring a Brand to Life

Brand mascots have been around for decades. The fictitious and colorful characters are used by companies to bring brands to life and create personalities that engage consumers. Mascots can be human appearing, animals, cartoons, or even an object. Quick – name five brand mascots right now…. Chances are that you could actually name many more than five, and that you have positive feelings about each of the mascots!

Mascots do more than garner positive feelings. According to research from System1, brands increase the effectiveness of advertising when using mascots. Campaigns that included a mascot were 37% more likely to increase market share than campaigns without a mascot. Plus, mascots are 27% more likely to increase customer gains, and 30% more likely to grow profit gains. So, why is it that in the U.S., a study found that only 4% of ads used mascots in 2018?

Mascots also play an important role in recognition and retention. Consumers are more likely to remember an image than they are to recall a phrase. Not all mascots last the test of time though. A mascot has to be the right character for the brand, and it has to have personality that resonates with consumers. Plus, it has translate into visual campaigns and last for years.

What is your favorite brand mascot?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Divide students into teams. Have each team list as many brand mascots for consumer goods as they can in the next few minutes. (You might want them to have a separate category for sports teams.)
  2. List the mascots on the white board and count the top vote-getters.
  3. How do companies use these mascots in advertising?
  4. Show the chart with brand mascot recognition by generation: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/infographic-how-brand-mascot-recognition-has-changed-over-time/?utm_content=position_4&utm_source=postup&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MorningDigest_Newsletter_190827054610&lyt_id=194931
  5. For an interactive class, show the following quiz and see how many mascots the students recognize: https://www.thequiz.com/product-brand-mascot-quiz/
  6. Why are different mascots at various levels of recognition by age cohorts?
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product that does NOT have a brand mascot. Develop a mascot for that product.
  8. Each team should present their idea to the class.

Source: Smiley, M. (23 August 2019). Research says brand mascots really do move the needle. Ad Week.

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Are You Being Manipulated by E-Commerce Sites?

As on-line shoppers we often depend on the reviews, comments, and purchases by other shoppers to help guide our decision-making. We see how many “likes” a product has received, and if it performed according to the promised description. We might even like to score a great deal on a hot trend that others are snapping up. What does Suzy from San Francisco know that I don’t know?

A common message on shopping sites is that “four other people are looking at this offer right now” or “Suzy from San Francisco just saved $202 on her order!” or “You just missed this great deal!” As it turns out, there often is no “Suzy from San Francisco” online scoping out the same deal as you. The messages are often fake; these are an example of something called “dark patterns,” which are online tactics that manipulate users into doing things that might not otherwise do.

These dark patterns directly benefit the company, not the consumer, and can be regarded by many people as fraud. (This happened to me recently when updating a standard software program – I kept clicking “next” without realizing that it was modifying my computer preferences!)

Lest we regard ourselves as lazy, consider that people do not read every word on every page all the time. We pick up on patterns and make assumptions. A “dark pattern” makes it difficult for the user to do something that does not benefit the company (such as cancelling an account). Companies can use color and design to mislead or trick users. A recent study from Princeton University used software to scan more than 10,000 sites. They found that more than 1,200 of the sites used tactics identified as “dark patterns.”

Here are some examples of dark patterns:

  • Sneak into basket – something is added to your basket because you didn’t opt-out
  • Roach motel – trying to get out of something such as a subscription service
  • Price comparison prevention – that makes it hard to compare the price of an item with another item
  • Disguised ads – that appear as content or navigation in order to gain clicks

Consumers need transparency from companies, not tricks to make us buy more.

Which dark pattern have you experienced?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students. Who checks review prior to buying something online?
  2. View video at Dark Patterns: https://www.darkpatterns.org/
  3. What have been the students’ experiences with dark patterns?
  4. Discuss the ethical considerations of marketing.
  5. Are dark patterns legal? Are dark patterns ethical?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select an e-commerce site and review how to set up an account, cancel an account, and more.
  7. How many of the dark patterns can they find?

Source: Valentino-DeVries, J. (24 June 2019). How e-commerce sites manipulate you into buying things you may not want. New York Times.

 

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