Monday, February 21, 2011

BIG’s Blog: What this Article Means for Nonprofit Fund Raisers – Part Two

In my last blog, I referenced the article by Juan Martinez from the Direct Marketing News – Direct Daily and told you that it was loaded with important news for nonprofit fund raisers and that I would do my best to unpack the implications.

The title of the article: Most purchases, half of transactions to be mobile by 2015: Google. David Shapiro, director of small business marketing for Google, made the statement at a Direct Marketing Association (DMA) breakfast meeting at Google’s New York offices. His actual statement was, “Two-thirds of all purchases and half of all transactions will occur on mobile devices by 2015.”

This news is astounding. And even if Mr. Shapiro is only partly correct, and let’s even say he is only 25% right, this is still very important news for fund raisers trying to reach new prospects.

Okay, a little analysis up to this point. First, why is a Google executive talking about mobile, which, of course, references mobile phones and more particularly, the mobile smart phones connected to the Internet? Google, of course, has the most used search engine on the planet, but they also own and license the Android operating system for smart phones. Android smart phones compete directly with Apple’s iPhone and other smart phones. Second, the growth of mobile and smart phones is exponential and not just in the United States.

When Mr. Shapiro refers to more and more transactions via mobile, he is really talking about three central features converging in smart phones. Those are computer-like capability, connectedness and portability.

First, as smart phones become more computer-like in their power via applications, people who own smart phones will do more of the things they used to do on their computers in the area of actual work, fun, communications and, of course, this includes search. Second, bandwidth is growing for mobile devices which allow almost all applications that run on computers to run on mobile devices including pulling down video. And third, it is not lost on anyone that it is much easier to haul around a smart phone than a laptop computer, and since mobile devices fit in your pocket or purse, they are always with you.

Mr. Shapiro, in admonishing marketers to pay attention to this trend, says, “Marketers must follow the four B’s: Be relevant, Be found, Be engaging and Be accountable.”

Isn’t that what you try to “Be” with all your communications to constituent donors and prospects? Does this mean that you need to rush out and hire a firm to get your messages on mobile? Maybe so, but let’s wait at least until we have finished analyzing all the implications for fund raisers found in this article.

Look for Part Three of this series coming soon.


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