Colin McKellar, Director at Every Cloud Digital writes
As many of my contacts will know, I launched Every Cloud Digital around 6 months ago and I am more than happy to admit, I was scared. All of my working life I have been employed and the thought of no regular salary filled me with trepidation.
I’ve been in sales for over 20 years and have done my fair share of cold calling from newspapers and Yellow Pages (remember them!). I will never forget the feeling of despondency if you had the temerity to tell your sales manager that you had no leads only to see a huge phone book being thrown in your direction, it’s pages already well thumbed.
In our annual study alongside Seniosphère Conseil, an international specialist in strategy and marketing to the Baby Boomer generation, we spend time understanding the expectations and priorities of the 50 to 70 year old generation.
In recent years this market has become increasingly valuable to brands, due to high levels of disposable income. They are also tech-savvy; a generation raised on consumption, marketing, brands and innovation.
How can charities understand the effects of ageing and the evolving needs of the Baby Boomer generation to encourage legacy giving?
Things are getting tough!
As with everything, consumers are bombarded with charity messages. We are constantly being asked to donate money to a good cause, sponsor a friend or take part in an event. We are bombarded via social media and in the street.
It’s therefore getting harder for campaigns to cut through and make a lasting impression with their legacy communications.
Charities must cut through the clutter and engage supporters so they become longer term loyalists who will consider leaving a legacy.
Last year’s criticism of fundraising practices has led to a public backlash, where there is a consensus for tighter regulation of charity fundraising.
The golden rule for all legacy campaigns is that any engagement should inspire, create empathy and crucially a sense of trust so audiences are not pressurised into giving.
Be open and honest
Supporters want to know exactly how their gift will make a difference. Remember, Baby Boomers have time on their hands, so will spend time making a considered and informed decision about which charity to support.
Many charities have a dedicated legacy page on their website, but maybe there is a need for stronger clarification on the process of leaving a gift.
Baby Boomers will have more time than most and the inclination to investigate your brand thoroughly before making a decision.
The ALS/Motor Neurone Ice Bucket Challenge highlighted how effective social media and PR can be for charities. As with any campaign, driving talkability and sharing is key and it is the fun aspect that generates this, rather than the cause.
Charities need to think of ways to tailor campaigns to make them relevant to the Baby Boomers. Remember, this audience is digital-savvy so they will share the experience to help drive awareness.
Bring stories to life
As seen with Cancer Research’s latest campaign, bringing patients’ stories to life helps to create a personal level of engagement.
Generating empathy in the same way with legacy communications will deliver greater awareness to your brand and willingness to act. What tangible difference will their gift make to your cause in the future?
Understand your supporter base
Different people have different reasons for leaving a gift in their Will. It may be purely the closeness to the cause or knowing someone who has left a legacy.
Tapping into these deep-rooted motivations will strengthen your legacy marketing.
Where there’s a Will there’s a way
2014 figures from nfpSynergy show that 17% of the public claim to have left a gift and legacy income is currently estimated to be worth more than £2 billion a year. There is undoubtedly a correlation between building awareness through campaigns with solicitors and will-writers and engagement.
Baby Boomers are likely to have more than one visit to their solicitors to amend their Wills, so don’t forget their power of influence.
John Whittaker, head of marketing at Future Thinking
Graphics by Shutterstock
First published on www.rememberacharity.org.uk
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