By Mollye Rhea, President and Founder, For Momentum
It’s January. Out with the old. In with the new. Fresh, clean, new planner. New Year’s Resolutions. Oh, and let’s not forget the most popular content for this time of year—trends to watch and predictions for success.
Sigh. Here we go again. As I prepared to draft my own insights and predictions, I did a little Googling to see what others had to say. Ten pages deep, I still found headline after headline with trends to watch. Fitness trends. Food trends. Tech trends. Fashion trends. Consumer electronics trends. OK, you get the point.
So what do I think will be the biggest cause marketing trend in 2017? Ready? Here it is…
The messaging landscape will get more and more crowded.
Basic, right? But true, right? More importantly, what can you do about it? Without the aid of a crystal ball, here are my best suggestions for standing out in the crowd and making 2017 your best cause partnership year yet.
Shape Your Message – Integrate Storytelling
If you are reading this blog post, then chances are you are a cause or corporate social responsibility (CSR) professional. You may be working for a nonprofit or you may be working for a corporation. Either way, this applies to YOU. Of all types of marketing, the marketing of cause offers the best stories to tell. Storytelling is a top strategy in marketing, and those in the cause space have an incredible advantage. Don’t squander it! Capitalize on it! Below are some great examples of storytellers in our space. Note that the videos differ greatly in the amount of time they take to tell their stories; the first video from Charity: Water runs longer than 20 minutes but makes quick work of detailing the nonprofit’s ten-year history, accomplishments and vision of the future.
Share your Message – Leverage Technology
In 2017, the term “digital marketing” borders on redundancy. Digital accounts for an ever-growing share of marketers’ activities, channels and budgets.
Last year marked a tipping point, with marketers spending more than two-thirds (70 percent) of their total budget on digital marketing channels. According to the Salesforce 2016 State of Marketing Report, in the next two years, 97 percent of marketing leaders plan to either further increase or maintain their level of spending on digital marketing.
If you want to keep up with your audience off the screens, you might consider wearables. According to this article in Forbes, the wearable technology market is expected to surpass $3 billion in sales this year.
Here are some innovative examples of leveraging digital marketing and technology in our space:
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Of course you’ve seen the videos and GIFs (like the one above). The original ice bucket that started the challenge recently went on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Most of you have probably had meetings to discuss how you can create your own version of the Ice Bucket Challenge. It’s as hard as catching lightning in a bottle, but you’ve gotta try! YouTube, owned by Google, is the second largest search engine on the planet. Showcasing your stories on this digital channel is a 2017 imperative.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s does a great job of leveraging digital channels, like Pinterest, to further capitalize on its Thanks and Giving Campaign. The pins show how consumers are engaging with and sharing the Thanks and Giving messages.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF. This nonprofit is using what they’re calling “wearables for good” to empower kids to track their activity and help other kids around the world. When they exercise, kids earn points and unlock Kid Power sponsor funding that delivers lifesaving food packets. In addition, Target agreed to donate $10 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF each time someone bought a Kid Power Band in one of their stores or online.
One last thought: when overcrowding is predicted to be the biggest cause marketing trend of 2017, quantity is not the answer. Quality is. Yes, you have to be out there and show up in all the channels were your audiences live. But you also have to be smart. The campaigns and messages above are successful because they connect with audiences in meaningful and innovative ways. Challenge yourself and your team to create extraordinary stories and use technology in useful ways in the year ahead. Because quality is always trendy.