Wednesday, September 18, 2013

BIG’s Blog: Do you get Google?

Sorry, this blog is only for those aged 45 and older who are in Development/Advancement leadership.

Here’s what you need to know: “GOOGLE IS THE NEW MARKETING.”

There, I said it. You desperately need to read and hear that statement and believe it’s true . . . because it is.

Look, six years ago I didn’t get this. I didn’t get Google. I knew it was a successful “tech” company, but then so were Microsoft, Apple, IBM, and Oracle. I wondered why anyone would spend time on YouTube watching cat videos . . . Google owns YouTube.

I didn’t get Google.

You’d have to live under a rock not to have heard of Google . . . but what makes them special AND so important to fundraisers??
When I meet with individual Development Directors I ask them, “How big is Google?” I did this just last week at the National Catholic Development Conference in Texas. The typical responses range from $1 billion to $13 billion. Good guesses considering Google, as a company, is only 16 years old. I’ve got jeans older than that! But those guesses were way off. Last year, Google reported $53 billion in revenue.

$53 Billion in Revenue!

So, then the next question is: Where did those sales come from? That is, what is Google selling? The answer is that their primary income stream is from Search.

We all know what Search is. You go to Google and type in a query. The words in your query hit Google’s Search engine and almost instantly it gives you results.

Words are very important in Search, so important, in fact, that virtually every commercial company in America and the world spends money with Google on “key words.” For instance, if you are Dell and someone types “PC computer” into their Google query, if Dell doesn’t show up in either the paid or organic Google listing, they will soon be out of business.

But, of course, Dell wouldn’t let that happen, nor would any of the millions of companies worldwide that spend advertising dollars with Google today. 53 billion dollars worth! And, each year, Google’s revenue grows as marketing people . . . like you . . . figure out how important Google is to their business. They finally get it!
This isn't just another form of marketing . . . it is becoming THE form of marketing that drives business.

How much does your organization spend with Google?

By now you might be thinking, “Maybe we should be looking at re-allocating marketing dollars to Search.”

But how?

What does Search have to do with the methodology of fundraising you are employing today? Answer . . . little to nothing.

So, then, how can you make Search work for you?

Oh, it will work at the most elemental level in that people looking for your organization will find it easier, but you are probably already getting that level of attention organically anyway. That won’t move the fundraising needle.

Search is a part of a new set of online tools that can help you grow your base of supporters in a whole new way. Social media is another huge component. These tools, however, don’t operate by the old broadcast marketing rules of which direct mail is your key component today.

It isn’t just your organization, but virtually all nonprofit fundraising organizations’ bases of donors have aged in the last fifteen to twenty years. Why? Because you are not attracting younger supporters. Do you think that fundraisers are any different in needing the support of people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s than are commercial companies in selling their products or services to people in that same age group? Of course not!

But here is where commercial companies are different from nonprofits. Commercial companies can’t afford to ignore people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s; they need customers of all ages to make a profit. Nonprofits, by comparison, have virtually ignored younger people for the last 15 to 20 years while the Internet was changing society. Nonprofits didn’t mean to ignore younger people . . . they just did it by default through not understanding the significance of Google.

. . . but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Join us.
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