CauseTalk Radio Ep10: Atlantic BT Talks Mobile, Nonprofit and $25k Contest

In this episode of CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to Tonia Zampieri, Mobile Strategist, Atlantic BT about how mobile technology is changing nonprofit communications and cause marketing partnerships. We discuss having separate mobile strategies for smartphones and tablets, and some interesting new research on the connection between emotion and mobile ads.

Tonia also walks us through a new contest being sponsored by Atlantic BT that will give one lucky nonprofit a mobile makeover worth $25,000!



I generally don’t recommend QR codes for web pages. You might as well use a plain old hyperlink. But if you’re planning to listen to CauseTalk Radio on the go, scan the above code with your mobile device and you’ll always have a direct link to our podcasts on iTunes.


Atlantic BT Contest Site

Making People Cry Isn't a Good Nonprofit Mobile Strategy

Making People Cry Isn't a Good Nonprofit Mobile Strategy

I write a lot about the important role emotion plays in cause marketing. If you don't lead with emotion, you're toast. I also talk a lot about mobile technology, which will be a key driver of cause marketing in the years ahead. But here's the rub: emotion and smartphones may not be a good mix.

That's my conclusion after reading a post by Mediapost's Steve Smith on research by A .K. Pradeep, founder and CEO of Nielsen NeuroFocus, on the connection between brainwave analysis and ad response. I won't repeat what Steve has done a fine job of summarizing, but I will share what I like to call his Famous Last Words - that thing we should remember after all else is forgotten.

As screen size decreases so does the viewer's emotional response to what they are watching.

Think about the implications for nonprofit marketing. You've worked hard to create a strong emotional message with your nonprofit videos but on smartphones it will fall on blind eyes.

So, if you can't make people cry on their smartphones, what should your goals be?

Get their attention. Just because you can't engage people emotionally on smartphones, that doesn't mean you can't get their attention. You might need to grab them with something totally unexpected, or emphasize another component such as audio. The background music to a video, among other things, may play a bigger role in getting and keeping a user's attention.

Timing is everything. The impact of emotional messages depends on where and when it's viewed. This makes sense to me. When I had the chance to add a QR Code on a pinup sold at the register I didn't link it to a video on my nonprofit. Who has time to watch a video when you have to lug the groceries out to the car? Instead, I linked it to a question and answer page on the program so people could quickly find out to what they just gave a buck to - a common question/complaint after shoppers donate at the register. But you might be more successful with a video if the QR Code is on a cause product that people can scan after they get home and have the time and inclination for a good cry.

Focus on tablets. Nielson's research shows that some of the emotion lost with smartphones is restored on their big brother, tablets. Nonprofits may want two mobile strategies. One for tablets, the other for smartphones. That latter may require a more practical, utilitarian approach. If sales of Apple's iPad 3 are a good indicator (3 million sold in 3 days compared to the 80 days it took the first iPad to sell 3 million units) the word mobile, at least for nonprofits, should mean tablet.

Of course, Nielsen's research isn't the final word on emotion and mobile technology. A lot depends on what emotion is being engaged .

I'd love to talk about this more, but my 9-year old just sent a video to my phone that he says will make me LMAO. Gotta go.

Recruit More Sponsors, Corporate Partners with Inbound Marketing

Join Hubspot and me for a FREE webinar on how to recruit more sponsors and corporate partners with inbound marketing this Thursday, December 1st at 1pm EST. On this blog and in Cause Marketing for Dummies I talk a lot about how blogging, social media and SEO can help nonprofits land more sponsors and corporate partners. I call it good old-fashioned marketing. My friends at Boston's Hubspot have a better name for it: Inbound Marketing.

They define the practice as any marketing tactic that relies on earning people's attention as opposed to buying it with advertising.

I'm sure this approach is new to most development professionals who work in sponsorship, cause marketing and corporate partnerships. Their idea of prospecting is cold calling and sending out emails to potential partners.

Wouldn't you rather have qualified prospects come to you? That's what inbound marketing is all about!

How I Used Inbound Marketing

Here's how I used inbound marketing to recruit corporate partners for cause marketing programs at a Boston hospital.

Like most nonprofits, we had supporters that we could reach directly without inbound marketing. We already had their attention and recruited them for cause marketing programs. These are your best prospects. If only there were more of them!

iParty, for instance, had a long-standing relationship with the hospital. The owners, Sal & Dorrice Perisano were generous donors to the hospital before they involved their party supply business in fundraising for us. Most nonprofits have one or more existing donors that operate businesses and are open to partnerships. But they are in the bullseye for a reason: most organizations only have one or two of these perfect prospects.

After supporters, you move to the second circle, which is populated with contacts. These companies know you, and you know them, but they're not supporters. Office supply chain Staples, for instance, was a contact because they were a hospital vendor. We knew them, and they us, but they weren't supporters of the hospital - at least not yet. But the business relationship we had with them gave us access to their marketing team, which led to a cause marketing partnership. Again, no need for inbound marketing here.

The third circle is the most critical because it's the largest and has the most opportunity. But bigger also means harder because you have no relationship, no connection with these companies. These companies are so cold you can't even call them prospects! I call them suspects. Most nonprofits think they need a sledgehammer to break down the doors to these companies. Bold stroke, for sure. But what they need is a magnet that will draw these prospects in and warm them up. This is when inbound marketing is so valuable!

Faced with this same challenge in our own recruitment program, we turned to blogging, social media and SEO as a magnet to pull these prospects in.

The Blog

I started six months into my job at the hospital to educate companies - especially those located in my target area, Boston - on cause marketing and my team's work in the area. Selfish Giving was something they could find online that was informative and useful but not promotional.

Social Media

We focused on Twitter - accounts for the whole team not just for me - to engage Boston companies and share content. We also distributed our blog content to other sites, such as Care.comThe Chronicle of Philanthropy and other cause-related blogs.


Our blogging efforts - and a landing page for a webinar we created to educate partners on one of the easiest and most lucrative types of cause marketing, point-of-sale - helped us top the search engines for such keywords as "cause marketing boston" and "picking a cause for cause marketing."

The Results

Inbound marketing had a noticeable impact on our program. Not only did it help us recruit more corporate partners but it had an impact we didn't expect: it strengthened our partnerships with existing partners as they grew to respect our inbound efforts and social media expertise. They looked to us for credible, intelligent advice on how to effectively use these new platforms.

I bet your organization could benefit from learning more about inbound marketing and how it can help you recruit more corporate partners.

Thanks to Hubspot you can. On December 1st at 1pm EST, Hubspot and I are hosting a FREE webinar on how to recruit more sponsors and corporate partners with inbound marketing.

This is something you won't want to miss!