Clicking means nothing without recognition

November 18, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Most people don’t give a click about you if they don’t know your brand, according to Daniel McCallum, a Westminster, Colo.-based account manager at data analytics firm Datalogix.

“Who cares about how many clicks? It’s about action” when it comes to using online advertising to drive offline response,” said McCallum.

McCallum and Richard Becker, president of Target Analytics in Cambridge, Mass., talked about audience-centric media buying to attendees of a Blackbaud Conference for Nonprofits.

“We’re not following the click. We’re following the consumer,” said McCallum. In years past, he said, it was sufficient to simply build in online data for prospects: where do they go on the Internet, how long they stay there. “But it’s anonymous,” said McCallum. “All this information doesn’t give us a clear picture.”

The old way was simply being where you think your ideal users might be located. “Bloomingdales knows its ideal customer goes to YouTube and Facebook, so they’re buying a huge amount of ads on those sites,” said McCallum. The problem is, you don’t know sees the ads. If you buy ads on the New York Times website, your ads could be seen by the C-level executive with affinity and propensity for a major gift, or by her 16-year-old son who is only browsing for research for his biology report.

“If you were hanging your hat on that strategy, you will be horribly disappointed,” said Becker. “Clicks are hard to get and even if you get them, the likelihood of conversion is slim to none.

The goal is brand awareness: putting your organization’s name in front of prospects so that when a real opportunity to donate comes, like a fundraising email or a direct mail package, the prospect is already primed and ready to give.