Convio founder tech & consumer predictions for 2012

Let the 2012 predictions begin. Vinay Bhagat, founder and chief strategy officer of Convio shares his thoughts on technology and consumer trends for 2012 in a guest post on the Guidestar blog.

Convio is an enterprise-class, cloud-based platform that many of Donordigital’s clients use for email messaging, constituent management, peer-to-peer fundraising, and online gift processing.

Here are Vinay’s top five predictions for the nonprofit sector in 2012:

  • Online and new media channels will continue to extend their influence
  • Peer-to-peer marketing will continue to be more important
  • Donor fatigue will get more pronounced
  • Supporters want to control their experience
  • Integrated marketing practices will mature

The way I read this is that email messaging will decline as an impactful way to raise money online, and other tools and channels will grow in influence. This is sure to add new challenges to nonprofits and the agencies that work for them to experiment with new techniques and tools to reach supporters and donors.

Vinay’s comment that donating decisions will be more guided by campaigns from friends, family and co-workers is an insightful prediction, as I observe a big desire by individuals of all walks of life to raise money online for the causes that are meaningful to them.

On that last point, I would challenge all software-as-a-service providers to evaluate the features and user experience of their own “friendraising” tools, and make a commitment to improve them in the year ahead. Having recently rolled them out for several clients, there is clearly some room for improvement.

Vinay’s other theme of consumers wanting to control their user experience is certainly a central challenge to nonprofits.  There is too much one-size-fits-all publishing going on across the nonprofit world, which is holdover from direct mail. The online world calls out for us to invent ways to diversify content by all means necessary.

Please take a moment to read Vinay Bhagat’s insightful article

2 Responses to Convio founder tech & consumer predictions for 2012

  1. Michael – thanks very much for the posting. I wanted to clarify one point in your article. I am not suggesting that email marketing will decline as a vehicle to raise money, at least not in foreseeable future. Conversely, most of our clients continue to see more revenue move online, and much of that is email driven.

    I am however stating that a multi-channel approach is important and that multi-channel should now encompass newer media like social; and that groups need to be thoughtful about message cadence, content and channel mix. As more channels have been added and nonprofits are trying to rise above the fray of messages that constituents are exposed to, it is easy to over-message or fatigue constituents. I believe that organizations have an opportunity to architect different treatment strategies appropriate for different audience segments, and for some of those segments, communication frequencies may skew to lower frequencies or more or less email communications.

  2. Vinay, thanks for adding that clarification to my post. I can see how my comment distorted your original view.

    I agree that striving to create the appropriate “message cadence, content and channel mix” may be the key to future success for nonprofits, and that “multi-channel thinking” needs to anchor how nonprofits approach these evolving mediums.

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