Face to Face Marketing vs. Online Marketing

Game Events Marketing

I wanted to write a blog on a subject matter that seems to be at the front of the fundraising world, the idea of face to face marketing vs. online marketing.  I am not here to say that one is better than the other, as we all use both, or at least we should use both.  When GAME markets the Derby Duck Race we do so through Facebook, Google Adwords, Blogging etc., but we also use the power of Face to Face relationships.  As I spoke about in my last blog, GAME will be at the AFP International Conference in Chicago at the end of March, which really gives us the opportunity to meet our potential clients and make those long lasting relationships. 

I think that there are times when the message gets lost or gets miss interpreted when it is conveyed over the internet or through a social media outlet.  Having the ability to meet with your potential clients and target market face to face allows them to ask, and you to answer much anticipated questions and really mold your product or service to their needs.  However, online marketing allows you to reach thousands if not millions of people at one time with one message.  The good thing about online marketing is there are some advertising and marketing tools that allow you to pin point your target market by age, sex, occupation, interests etc.  With face to face marketing, sometimes it is hard to wean out the chatter from real leads. 

According to an article on exhibitresources.com, a recent survey of Chief Marketing Officers of Fortune 1,000 companies revealed that meetings and events provided the highest ROI of any marketing channel.  As we move more and more into the age of technology and online marketing, it is all about finding a balance and not tipping the scales one way or the other.  My target market includes non profits, a lot of which are small and may not have a huge marketing budget, so how do they market their fundraising event?  I think some of you non profits might have it easier then you think, even with a small marketing budget, as your donors list is predominately a list of warm leads.  Get out there, get to know them, find out what makes them tick, and to me the most important thing, have them spread the word for you.  Having others spread the word about your cause, your fundraising event, or your product is free face to face marketing and spreads like a virus.

I would love to hear your thoughts, your ideas, and your criticisms below.