AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerDigital First to Digital Only

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Digital First to Digital Only

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, there was a phrase many were using in marketing meeting. The phrase was “digital first.” It was a reminder to make sure there was a digital component or alternative to a marketing campaign. transformation business concept

Now, that phrase has gone from first to only: You must be “digital only” for the near future. We’ve been forced to think and act digitally all of the time. No big meetings. No trade shows. No events. No in-person presentations. No normal marketing for now.

This has caught most of country flat-footed. You’d think everyone was digitally oriented, but using email and Zoom doesn’t mean you have a digital marketing strategy.  Even retail was only 15% digital going into the crisis despite all you’ve read and seen — just 15 % of the total. that’s means 85% for the most part stopped in mid-March.

Here are some ideas our clients are finding helpful in this crisis:

  • Websites not built on ease-of-use platforms (such as WordPress) are difficult and expensive to change out and update on the fly in a crisis. You need a CMS that has user experience at the center of its core in a crisis
  • Website notification bars are helpful in communicating temporary, ever-changing emergency information. These notification bars can be used for any information that needs to be communicated quickly in the future from disasters to changes in hours of operation.
  • E-commerce solutions need to be built into your site. You need a stable and safe way to accept orders and donations electronically. Many organizations that didn’t have retail as part of their revenue stream will need e-commerce. We’ve heard of nonprofits selling support T-shirt and items to generate revenue instead of donations.
  • Video is a critically important way to communicate in a crisis. Video messages help communicate quickly, but just like a Zoom meeting have the human touch and communicate emotionally
  • Organizations need infographics and content to fill social media channels especially when there is little going on in the organization in terms of activity, events and daily interactions
  • Crisis communications is different than regular communications. We’ve all changed in one way or another and messaging needs to change as well.

Some are already awakening to the new reality. Some are still in the shock phase of crisis communications. It is going to be different marketing world in this age of COVID-19. It will not end on one specific day. If you just go dark during this time, how much harder will it be to come out on the other side?

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.