Power Tools: Leveraging Your Marketing Toolbox for an Effective Omnichannel Campaign 

Learn how Cure SMA runs an effective omnichannel marketing strategy.

By Amy Thomasson, CAE

Content Marketing Platform Concept 3D Illustration

Regardless of whether you’re a marketing professional, understanding multichannel marketing, how it works, and the execution methods for successful campaigns is crucial. The campaigns can attract donors, renew memberships, and more. Omnichannel marketing, by definition, is the practice of engaging with an audience of potential consumers, customers, or members through a variety of direct communication channels such as mail, email, phone calls, and text. It also includes indirect communication channels like social media and advertisements. The primary goal of employing both direct and indirect channels is to produce actions like purchases, donations, or sign-ups. 

Omnichannel marketing is the key to meeting your audience wherever they are, regardless of the channel. Think of the VISA slogan, “It’s everywhere you want to be.” Omnichannel marketing helps increase the chances of discovering customers by leveraging the power of frequency and reach through multiple communication channels.  

Now that we’ve clarified the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of multichannel marketing, let’s delve into executing an effective campaign.  

Step 1: Define Your Audience 

Your communication will be for naught without the right audience. Cure SMA, an organization dedicated to the treatment and cure of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), uses a combination of demographic and behavioral segmentation to identify the ideal audience. Demographic segmentation categorizes individuals based on factors such as age, gender, geographical location, and more. Behavioral segmentation groups people based on behaviors such as conference attendance, monthly donations, or fundraisers who’ve raised $1,000 or more.  

Cure SMA’s Walk-n-Roll program, a nationwide fundraising program that brings communities together to support the organization, targets past Walk-n-Roll attendees (behavioral), donors from the past three years who’ve contributed but not attended a walk (behavioral), and occasionally individuals within the local geography of the event (demographic). 

Step 2: Select Tools from Your Toolkit 

You don’t need to utilize every available tool, but understanding all the tools and their applications is essential. For the Walk-n-Roll campaign discussed above, we use a combination of email blasts, one-to-one outreach, peer-to-peer coaching, ringless voicemail messages, advertisements, and website promotions to heighten awareness of the program, driving registration and fundraising.  

This might seem like a lot, but each tool has a dedicated purpose. Email blasts and website initiate word-of-mouth about the event. Texts and ringless voicemail drop messages feel personalized and are quick ways to send registration reminders. Advertisements can range from general, such as ads in your organization’s magazine or newsletter, or more targeted ones like geotargeted Facebook ads. Lastly, one-to-one emails and calls offer a personalized experience with a higher conversion rate, while peer-to-peer coaching demonstrates social proof.  

Step 3: Leverage Your AMS/CRM 

Your association management software (AMS) or customer relationship management (CRM) software is an excellent resource to extract demographic and behavioral-based data and insights. It’s a terrific way for both information collection and cross-departmental sharing. 

Make sure you know what to collect and why you’re collecting it. Your membership, marketing, fundraising, and/or operations teams are suitable places to gather insights. Your dedicated account manager within the organization hosting your AMS or CRM can provide you with guidance and a framework to get you started. 

Step 4: Test and Recalibrate 

Feedback, though it may not always feel like it, is truly a gift. For instance, the Cure SMA team was initially concerned that texts and ringless voicemails might be received negatively by our constituents. So, we beagn with smaller groups and then expanded when we found that these communication channels were generally well-received. We’ve also utilized A/B testing, which involves sending similar communications with one varying component, such as adding a video or using a different subject line, to evaluate their performance within segments of the same group. Don’t be afraid if something doesn’t work the first time. What might seem like a failure often provides valuable feedback.

Last but not least, make sure your premium cable package isn’t the only multichannel offering you’re capitalizing on. With these four steps, you and your organization can embark on an omnichannel communication strategy, helping you develop winning campaigns.

About the Author

Amy is Vice President, Marketing & Communications at Cure SMA. Amy has more than 17 years of experience in marketing and nonprofit management.

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