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August 28, 2019

Demystifying Digital Marketing: 5 Systems Fundraisers Need to Know


Our world is truly digital. Technology is rapidly evolving and assisting in almost every interaction that consumers have with companies … and with charitable organizations. As consumers (and donors) become empowered to interact with organizations over a variety of channels, companies and charities need to deliver a seamless experience, both online and offline. To provide that consistent messaging and optimize your campaigns, it takes a higher level of effort, manpower, and budget. This is where the wonderful world of technology becomes an advantage: available systems and software truly become an ally to marketers and fundraisers alike.    

Marketing automation is a broad, umbrella term that defines the software platforms that are designed specifically for digital marketing efforts. 

These systems are built to handle automation and triggered activities, and streamline online marketing tactics such as email, social media, websites, etc. Without the help of marketing automation, an organization would need multiple, highly skilled individuals to perform these digital marketing functions manually. The marketing automation market has exploded over the past few years as more and more companies and organizations turn to these technologies for help.     

According to Prescient & Strategic Intelligence’s Marketing Research Report from February 2019: 

The marketing automation software market is expected to reach $32.6 billion by 2024, registering a CAGR of 13.6%, during the forecast period, the growth in the market can be attributed to rising adoption of digital marketing, and growing social media usage across the globe. 

In a previous post, Demystifying Digital Marketing: 7 Starter Terms Fundraisers Need to KnowI shared basic digital marketing terms that all nonprofit leaders should be aware of, regardless of the organization’s size. Just like the complex digital marketing landscape, with what seems like endless tactical options, the marketing automation options are no less bountiful and evermore complicated. In order to effectively execute those basic digital marketing tactics, your organization will need the assistance of one, likely more than one, platform. In this second post, you’ll find a similar starter cheat sheet around the basic systems that make all those complex digital marketing strategies and tactics come to life.  


5 Digital Marketing Automation Systems for Your Online Fundraising Cheat Sheet

  • ESP – Email Service Provider (ESP) platforms manage and deploy an organization’s email marketing efforts. ESP systems include optimization tools for the design creation, development, deployment, and testing of email communications. In addition to creating and sending email, the platform helps to maintain subscriber lists, unsubscribe, and suppression lists, as well as provide analytics reporting on email performance metrics. The ESP will help to monitor and optimize deliverability of email campaigns.  
  • CMS – Content Management System (CMS) applications create and manage digital content. Your website is built in a CMS, giving admin users the ability to publish content changes. A CMS tool will typically integrate with your digital asset management, digital document management, website design templates, and website content authoring functionality. Features can vary across CMS options depending on level of development needs, size and type of digital content to be housed, and budget for set-up and ongoing maintenance. 
  • CRM – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the technology that an organization uses to manage and record all of its customer relationships and interactions. A CRM system centrally stores the details about those customers, donors, or prospects; who they are; and how they’ve interacted with your organization. Ideally, the CRM system is integrated with the ESP system. If integrated, information is shared across both platforms and updated records reflect the most recent digital marketing activities. 
  • DMP – A data management platform (DMP) consolidates multiple unrelated data points (such as device identifiers, cookie IDs, location etc.) across first-, second-, third-party channels. The unified technology gives you the ability to merge all those dispersed data sets into cohesive audience targeting for various digital channels (such as social media, display, and email). DMPs are used by digital advertising buyers and publishers to target specific audiences for programmatic ad buying, ad networks, and ad exchanges.  
  • DAM – A Digital Asset Management (DAM) system stores, catalogs, and organizes digital assets (such as images, videos, documents, logos, ads, etc.) in one central platform that can be accessed by multiple users. As digital content and asset sharing increase, one of the biggest challenges is finding those valuable assets quickly. Another challenge is managing permissions of images, usage rights of assets, and copyrights. A DAM provides the ability to locate items with sophisticated search capabilities while also offering a secure environment with expandable storage capabilities, saving on valuable server space.    

In order to engage your donors online, you need the correct tools to make the experience enjoyable for your supporters. These 5 digital marketing automation systems can streamline processes that can be cumbersome, manual, and rife with human error. Ultimately, proper use of these platforms will help your charity reach more donors and raise more funds.

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