Strategic Drivers of the Internet Economy This section is now summarized in Table 1.4. It is important, but the key issues should no longer be a surprise to most students. It is worth point out that nothing in this list says that making a profit is unimportant.
Internet Marketing Best Practices for Strategic Drivers The chapter ends with a brief case history of the nonprofit Charity:water. This site is a creature of the Internet—the rich media age, to be more specific—and it’s an excellent site to which to go live. It is also a good one, if you react in time, to subscribe to their email. Unless you donate you will not get the ultimate in personalization, but you will see their focus on charitable outcomes and their virtuoso use of rich media to make their points. The website illustrates most of what they do so well. While this is not a complete list of Internet marketing best practices, what Charity:water does is a good beginning. What this case history illustrates includes:
Content (information) is fresh, relevant, and posted without regard to the location of the contributor; they may be anywhere in the world that an Internet connection is available. It makes use of powerful web tools from video to blogging. Note that the tools are chosen for interactivity as well as the power of communication.
The online equivalent of word of mouth is used to acquire new donors, often at little or no cost to the organization. We will talk about referrals and sharing in chapters to come.
People from many walks of life, in many parts of the world, have been drawn into its orbit and remain there because of a compelling mission and consistent, meaningful communications. This site is a good example of the global reach of the Internet.
It creates a constantly expanding network of people all over the world who are reached in a cost-effective fashion. Retention is key to their efforts, but they continue their efforts to acquire new supporters.
Donors are given choice in the way in which even small contributions are used and are informed about how they benefit people who need clean water. To me, this is one of the most impressive things they do.
In spite of the number of people and their geographical distribution, it remains a highly personal endeavor in which each person is made to feel a valued contributor. This suggests the quality of their communications program.
It has a business model that encourages contributions. The donations go directly and fully to identified projects. The donor is kept informed about the progress of the specific well to which he has contributed, creating an unusual level of transparency in the organization’s operations. This blew me away when I first saw it several years ago. Others have adopted this business model including the Clinton Foundation. The ability to follow this model is entirely dependent on a charismatic leader who can raise administrative funds, which are actually the hardest of all dollars to raise. I know Charity:water takes a lot of this in kind; office space for example.
The organization continues successful fund-raising and expansion of its efforts in terms of geographical areas, suggesting a business model that is also scalable both online and offline.
As the text says, ending with this case history also emphasizes one of the main themes of the text: the importance of integrating both online and offline marketing activities into a seamless marketing operation. That is the only path to success.