“Consumers are demanding brands be honest and stand for more than making money” – Trish Wheaton, Y&R INSPIRE

PRESS RELEASE: TORONTO — Digital Leap 2016, the seventh annual digital fundraising and marketing conference hosted by CAFAmerica.org and Stephen Thomas Ltd (ST), concluded another inspiring and informative program at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto last week.

“Digital Leap 2016 presented a great opportunity for fundraisers and marketers in the non-profit sector to dive into what the key focus areas of digital are today and going forward,” said Simren Deogun, ST’s Director of Digital Innovation.

“Digital marketing is growing and evolving so quickly, which is exciting to see, but many non-profits realize they need to increase their level of activity in digital. If they don’t, they risk losing their place in their donors’ consideration set and facing major challenges in attracting and engaging with potential new supporters,” Deogun added.

The key topics of focus at this year’s conference were once again led by content marketing and mobile fundraising, but with a new dimension of socially driven cause marketing being added into the mix.

Consumers leading the age of authenticity

Conference keynote Trish Wheaton, global managing partner for Y&R Advertising and the founder and president of New York-based Young & Rubicam Group’s INSPIRE, explained to the audience how a new vanguard of socially conscious consumers she calls Generation World is pushing brands everywhere to be part of solving the world’s social and environmental challenges.

Not-for-profit organizations that recognize this trend and are able to forge partnerships with key consumer brands are benefitting extraordinarily from this emerging trend, she said.

“The Age of Authenticity – as we call it – poses a huge opportunity for brands and not-for-profit or charity partnerships,” Wheaton said. “Brands can now leverage and scale their not-for-profit relationships in new, more meaningful ways. And not-for-profits can reach entirely new audiences with their message. Both can do well by doing good.”

20 key learnings from Digital Leap 2016:

1. Generation World is the new ageless, millennial mindset person who makes buying decisions based on their values.

2. The majority of Generation World is willing to pay more for socially conscious products that contribute to their community.

3. Socially conscious consumers expect brands to be part of the solution. They’re shopping for a better world.

4. Brands with meaningful and authentic social purpose outperform all other brands.

5. Understanding triggers in a person’s digital journey is key to not-for-profit marketers being able to intercept them and offer relevant personalized online or mobile experiences.

6. Mobile is integral to the personalization of not-for-profit marketing messages – 91% of smartphone users turn to their phone for ideas while doing a given task.

7. In Canada, mobile’s share of total digital ad spending will reach more than 48% this year.

8. The mobile phone is the most personal device in people’s lives.

9. Canadians only use between five and seven mobile apps regularly of the 20 to 30 on their phones. Thus, any fundraising app is competing for one of only two or three available slots.

10. The magic ingredient with mobile is how it connects online and offline.

11. The key to successful content marketing for not-for-profits is to let go of the need to sell or ask for a donation.

12. Simple and direct calls to action are most effective, especially with mobile fundraising.

13. Donors/consumers don’t care if system A doesn’t talk to system B. It’s noise. It just has to work.

14. Content is king, but if you have nothing to say, it doesn’t matter what media you say it on.

15. Not-for-profits have a distinct content marketing advantage because they inherently have great stories to tell.

16. Not-for-profit marketers need to think about prioritizing consumer touchpoints when pursuing digital personalization.

17. Email is still the killer app, and social is at the top of the funnel to feed most email lists.

18. More than 50% of email opens are happening on a mobile device today.

19. Engage your audience where they are; reinforce through other media; make activation easy.

20. Use traditional and new forms of media to engage, reinforce and activate.

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Lloydmedia, Inc is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and is a multi-platform media company which delivers a total audience of more than 100,000 readers across four national magazines, three industry directories, and a range of events and online marketing.

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