Sunday, September 25, 2011

BIG’s Blog: What does the Ritz-Carlton’s Repositioning Campaign have to do with how you Raise Money?

So, what does a high-end hotel chain’s marketing campaign have to do with how you raise money from donors?

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. recently launched a ten million dollar campaign as reported in Direct Marketing News to spread awareness of its new brand positioning. The marketing campaign included direct mail, email, social media and banner ads plus print ads.

The “news” is that half ... $5 million ... of the total $10 million marketing budget was dedicated to digital.

“This will be the first time in our history we’ve spent more on [a campaign’s] digital [elements] than on print,” said Allison Sitch, senior corporate director of PR at Ritz-Carlton. “Now, the visuals depict the detail, the little touches of staying at our hotels. I don’t mean a rose petal on the bed. I mean the details of a moment in time during the stay with us. The visuals depict all of the moments that you will carry forward for a lifetime.”

Ritz-Carlton recognizes they are competing with other luxury hotels. What if they had spent their marketing dollars the same way they spent them in 2004 which was the last repositioning campaign?

2004 was a time before Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and a host of new digital visual technologies. So, what changed? Yes; the digital and social media expanded, but so too has the customer evolved since 2004.

Think about this for a minute. How much has digital marketing media changed since 2004? How much have your donors changed?

There is no doubt in my mind that your fund raising group’s digital work has grown since 2004. But, is digital anywhere near 50% of your spending? Is it even 10%?

To the Ritz-Carlton, this isn’t theory; they are spending 50% [$5 million] of their marketing dollars on digital elements to drive revenue for their hotel chain.

Yes. The digital technology and social media landscape has expanded and evolved since 2004, but so has your donor.


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