Spotlight: Gayden Akhbari
This month’s TLC Spotlight is on Gayden Akhbari, Senior Account Manager in our east coast office.
Gayden joined TLC in 2012 having previously worked at a local direct response marketing agency that specializes in political fundraising. Originally from the Midwest, Gayden relocated to the DC area several years ago for her husband’s work. In Chicago Gayden worked in account management for a medical advertising agency. Now as Senior Account Manager at TLC, she manages accounts for several art museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim and Brooklyn Museum.
Let’s get to know Gayden a little better…
What clubs or sports teams did you participate in in high school and/or college? In high school I was on the tennis team as well as photo editor for the school’s newspaper and yearbook. And my freshman year at Denison, I joined the crew team and quickly learned morning practices were just too early.
Five words that best describe you: Friendly, quirky, loyal, organized and easy-going.
What’s your favorite sports team? LSU Tigers
List five websites you visit most: Facebook, Pinterest, Buzzfeed, CNN, and hard to admit—What Kate Wore.
What organizations do you support? Alzheimer’s Association and N Street Village, a woman’s shelter in Northeast D.C.
Describe your perfect Saturday. The perfect Saturdays are those in the summer where I have no plans—wake up without an alarm, enjoy a cup of coffee (maybe two or three), exercise and later BBQ!
What book is currently on your nightstand? Southern Living
Tell us – what’s on your iPod? Oldies but goodies—Crosby, Stills and Nash, Simon and Garfunkel and more recent— Steve Winwood, Justin Timberlake and top 40.
What is your favorite TV show? As of the moment, I can’t get enough of Fox’s “New Girl.”
Share one to-do that ranks high on your “bucket list”. I’d love to go on an African safari.
What’s your favorite local lunch spot? I’m lucky to live close to the office, so I often run home at lunch!
Why do you work at TLC? TLC is a great place to work. Co-workers and clients are both friendly and talented; and it is a wonderful opportunity to be able to grow professionally and help clients reach their goals through multi-channel strategies.
New Social Media Advertising Tools: Twitter Advertising & Facebook News Feed Retargeting
According to Experian Marketing’s 2013 Digital Marketer Report, 27% of internet users’ time online is spent on social networking sites. And naturally where the consumers are, the marketers go. It’s no wonder that social advertising spending is on the rise and social networks are finding news ways to allow brands to interact with these consumers. There are two trending developments in social media advertising that the TLC digital team is following closely:
1. Twitter Advertising:
Twitter recently opened up self-service advertising, allowing marketers to create campaigns through the popular platform and engage with users across the Twitter-verse. Options for advertising on Twitter include Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets, both of which can then be strategically targeted by location, demographic, interest, and device.
Promoted Accounts (which appear in the “Who to Follow” tab and are marked as “Promoted”) are ideal for growing a social fan base and enhancing an organization’s Twitter presence. Whether your organization is gearing up for a big announcement, about to launch a major campaign, or just seeking more supporters to engage with online, Promoted Accounts can help get you noticed.
Promoted Tweets (which appear the Twitter feed and are marked as “Promoted” and can be “Dismissed” by users) boost your message’s visibility—and are a great way to promote an upcoming event, special deal, new exhibition, matching gift campaign, or timely advocacy message to existing and potential followers.
Stay tuned for more insight as we begin testing this new advertising platform with TLC clients this summer!
2. Facebook News Feed Targeting:
Recognizing an opportunity to connect brands with their users, Facebook has stepped up their advertising game recently, offering products like Custom Audiences and Partner Categories. And now they’re rolling out News Feed advertising, which will put your message front and center where people spend the most of their time on Facebook.
With Facebook News Feed advertising, visitors to your organization’s website can be tracked using anonymous cookie data, and these individuals are then served ads on Facebook. Preliminary data from Facebook is showing that these retargeted news feed ads are producing click through rates 20-40x higher than the standard Facebook ads that appear on the right side of the screen. We’ve observed in numerous TLC managed campaigns that remarketing ads also typically generate higher conversion and purchase rates than other targeting methods. This is definitely a trend worth testing.
New opportunities in social advertising allow organizations to reach a relevant new audience and target existing and prospective supporters that are more likely to be loyal to their cause. Interested in how social advertising can work best for your cause? Talk to your Account Manager or a digital services representative – we’re always happy to help navigate the ever-changing world of social media!
AAM Presentation: Membership Trends & Strategies to Optimize Acquisition, Renewal & Pricing
The Morey Group, a division of The Lukens Company, presented yesterday at the American Alliance of Museum's Annual Meeting on membership trends from two of their recent reports: the 14th Annual Cultural Attraction Attendance Report and the National Market & Membership Benchmark Study. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and SFMoMA were on hand to discuss how market research has impacted their membership programs and Anthony Plamondon, VP West Coast Operations at TLC rounded out the presentation with a discussion on lifetime value, another important tool museums should use to inform their membership strategies.
Get the presentation below and don't hesitate to contact Anthony with any questions!
Outside the Walled-Garden: How Facebook Apps Make Use of Personal Information
Kristopher Morris, Digital Account Manager at TLC, recently had an article published in the Direct Marketing Association of Washington’s Marketing AdVents. The topic is how to use Facebook apps to create a community to support your cause - a big question for many nonprofits these days! Read the article below and access the complete issue of DMAW’s Marketing AdVents here.
Since the inception of Facebook, users have shared a treasure trove of personal information with others with remarkable ease; and likewise, marketers have been trying to obtain and leverage that information to reach select audiences. But it wasn’t until the Obama campaign pioneered its use as an electioneering tool in 2008 that the social media platform started to catch the attention of the political landscape.
The struggle at the time was how to utilize Facebook’s data, since there was no way to access it directly. How do you convert “likes” into something useful; and more importantly, can they translate into votes and/or money? Because of this, the online giant has often been referred to as a “walled-garden” by ad execs because you can’t get Facebook’s lush data out from behind its well-fortified walls
In 2010 we began to see small doors evolve so that advertisers could market brands more effectively, and by the end of 2012 there was a clear avenue for leveraging the data. We are still not able to pull data directly, but the ability to leverage Facebook is now an invaluable tool for developing your online community, driving engagement, and cultivating votes.
During the 2012 election cycle, President Obama’s campaign staff made great use of so-called “targeted sharing” to message likely voters and direct peer engagement to expand the campaign’s efforts. By developing a Facebook App, they were able to serve online video to supporters. After viewing the video, the App asked them to share the video with four friends… Using their relationships to drive home the message and turning viewers into campaign surrogates.
To facilitate, the App provided them a list of their friends so they could easily share the video. The trick behind the App is that these friends weren’t randomly generated. They were specifically selected women in targeted swing states, so that supporters would be more likely to influence a targeted-demographic that Obama’s campaign needed to win. While holding great potential to direct marketers, these Apps often draw privacy concerns.
Did the campaign possess information about you or your friends; and what can they do with that information?
Due to the continuing nature of the walled-garden, the campaign never possessed exact information. They simply leveraged access with Facebook. Facebook ran the App that was developed and in turn makes money through advertising to promote the App. Facebook will provide the campaign with performance and demographic metrics for the App, but won’t give them your name, address, etc.
To safeguard your personal information, any Apps that require such information must first obtain your approval to leverage it. This is why all Apps initially pop-up a request to allow access to certain types of information. This confirmation is required for the App to access your personal information and therefore function properly to drive engagement.
In this sense, a marketer develops an App, which Facebook runs, to leverage its own data for the marketer, to drive engagement, so the marketer can spur data collection. Unless the goal is purely persuasion, all Apps and ads should drive engagement outside of Facebook.
Asking people to sign a petition, join a campaign, or vote are each great tools for pulling information from within the walled-garden into your own database for further direct marketing efforts. While you won’t have access to Facebook’s data, you can leverage it to drive efforts that allow you to build an online community around your campaign; whether it’s political, commercial, or nonprofit.
TLC Presentations from AMMC
The Lukens Company gave two presentations at last week's American Museum Membership Conference in Atlanta - thank you to everyone who attended our sessions! It was a great conference and, as always, we enjoyed the time we spent learning alongside our partners in the museum world. If you missed one of our sessions or need a recap, you can find both presentations below or feel free to contact Anthony Plamondon with questions.
Digital Strategies: They're Not Just for Marketing Anymore
Opportunities for Engagement and Revenue in the Digital Age
Where Did That Gift Come From?
The Lukens Company presented at the 2013 Nonprofit Technology Conference in Minneapolis last week to share our latest and greatest data development - how to attribute gifts in a multi-channel campaign. We accomplished this with a recent campaign we conducted with the Art Institute of Chicago with great success. Learn more in the presentation here, and feel free to contact us if you have specific questions.
Spring conference season is here! Over the next six weeks,The Lukens Company will attend and present at the conferences listed below. Let us know if you plan to attend so that we can connect and say "hello!"
April 11 – 13
Presenting: Where Did That Gift Come From? Attributing Online Gifts in a Multi-Channel Campaign
Saturday, April 13, 1:30 – 3:00pm
April 22 – 25
Presenting: Opportunities for Engagement and Revenue in the Digital Age
Wednesday, April 24, 1:15 – 2:00pm
Digital Advertising: It’s Not Just for Marketing Anymore
Wednesday, April 24, 3:15 – 4:00pm
May 19 – 23
Presenting: Membership Trends & Strategies to Optimize Acquisition, Renewal & Pricing
Sunday, May 19, 2:00 – 3:15pm
Spotlight: Ashley O'Brien
This month’s TLC Spotlight is on Ashley O’Brien, Production Manager in our east coast office.
Ashley is one of six Production Managers on staff responsible for making sure our direct mail pieces are mailed impeccably and on time. She bids out campaigns for nonprofit clients like 9/11 Memorial & Museum, The Barnes Foundation, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ashley has been in the direct marketing arena for over 15 years. A Tennessee girl at heart, Ashley received her BA in Marketing Management at The University of Memphis and her MBA from Middle Tennessee State University. She moved to the DC area when her husband’s job with the Department of Justice relocated them.
Let’s get to know Ashley a little better, shall we?
What clubs or sports teams did you participate in in high school and/or college? I was involved in student government in high school and I was in Alpha Gamma Delta sorority in college.
Five words that best describe you: Five words that best describe me are organized, laid back, friendly, loyal, and quirky.
What’s your favorite sports team? The Nashville Predators!!! (Yes, Nashville, TN has an NHL team!)
List five websites you visit most: Facebook, Google, MSN, Pinterest, and Groupon
What organizations do you support? My absolute favorite organization is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. This is a wonderful hospital whose mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases through research and treatment. And no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do an internship with ALSAC (their fund-raising arm) when I was in college.
Describe your perfect Saturday. My perfect Saturday would consist of sleeping late, my husband and I getting a Starbucks and then taking the dogs to the dog park, going to lunch at Los Tios in Delray, going home to take a nap, going to a Nashville Predators game, and then going out for some fun with friends!
What book is currently on your nightstand? The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Tell us, what’s on your iPod? There is a wide variety of music on my iPod: Beastie Boys, Def Leppard, Green Day, Johnny Cash, Luke Bryan, and Kenny Chesney just to name a few.
What is your favorite TV show? My favorite new TV show is The Americans.
Share one to-do that ranks high on your “bucket list”. I would love to travel to New Zealand and Australia at some point.
What’s your favorite local lunch spot? My favorite lunch spot is Los Tios in Delray.
Why do you work at TLC? I love working at TLC because we have a great group of clients and I enjoy contributing to their success. I also love my co-workers…they are a great group of people to spend 40 plus hours a week with!
Facebook Custom Audiences
TLC’s Digital Services department recently held a “Brown Bag” lunch session for account teams about Facebook’s latest advertising tool – Custom Audiences. Facebook launched “Custom Audience” advertising in September and TLC just wrapped up its first digital advertising campaign utilizing the new targeting technology. The results were impressive and we look forward to implementing this into future campaigns, including a number of others that are launching this month! Here’s the scoop:
What is Facebook Custom Audiences?
- Custom audiences allows advertisers to target their offline constituents on Facebook. Basically a list of email addresses or phone numbers from the organization’s database is matched against contact information available on Facebook, and then Facebook serves ads to those individuals.
- We can also overlay additional targeting such as geographical location, gender and age to further target your message.
Example: Seattle Art Museum (SAM) pulled a list of their housefile contacts, lapsed members and ticket buyers for TLC to target ads for tickets to the exhibition Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris. We further targeted Facebook users in the Seattle area over the age of 35.
How does it work?
- All that’s needed is a file of email addresses or phone numbers. Through the brilliance of modern technology, Facebook never receives the actual list of contact information – the data is hashed and uploaded to our Facebook advertising “power editor” where it is matched against Facebook users.
- Once a Facebook user in the organization’s custom audience clicks an ad, users are directed to a Facebook short form – very similar to our digital advertising forms, which are built to capture the most important information up front to ensure a smoother transaction and better results.
- For maximum impact, we recommend timing Facebook ads in conjunction with the organization’s larger multi-channel strategy.
Example: SAM’s Facebook advertising campaign was focused on selling tickets to the Elles exhibit, so we timed the campaign around a ticket based email conversion series to a group that included the same constituents in our custom audience.
What can organizations expect?
- We’ve found that custom audiences has about a 60-70% match rate, meaning that of the list pulled from an organization’s database, Facebook matches profiles for 60-70% of those contacts.
- While traditional Facebook advertising campaigns are usually favored for their impressions reach as opposed to ad interaction, especially when compared to Google search & display campaigns, we’re finding that the Facebook custom audiences improves performance significantly.
Example: SAM’s Facebook custom audience campaign had a purchase rate of 7 percentage points higher than the next best performing track!
The bottom line is that Facebook custom audiences appears to be a bit of a game-changer in Facebook advertising. Rest assured that TLC’s digital services team will incorporate the strategies we’re learning into your next multi-channel campaign, but feel free to reach out to your account team if you’re interested in learning more.
New USPS Savings Opportunity
The USPS recently announced a new “Earned Value Reply Mail” promotion that will run this spring, offering nonprofits and businesses a $.02 per piece savings on reply envelopes mailed between April 1 – June 30, 2013.
Here’s how it works:
1. Any time now until March 31, register your organization’s Mailer ID (MID) – that’s the permit number that can be found on your reply mail piece. Your TLC account manager would be happy to take care of this for you, just let him/her know you’re interested!
2. Any reply envelopes with Intelligent Mail Barcodes that are mailed using your organization’s Mailer ID between April 1 – June 30, 2013 will receive a $.02 credit. The credit can be redeemed for postage credit on future mailings of First-Class Mail Presort and Automation letters and cards and Standard Mail letters.
Timing of this promotion is perfect for those end of fiscal year responses that will roll in later this spring, so make sure to register for the promotion before March 31. And if you have any questions or want further clarification, feel free to contact your TLC account manager or Angela Struebing, VP, Client Services.
- Spotlight: Gayden Akhbari
- New Social Media Advertising Tools: Twitter Advertising & Facebook News Feed Retargeting
- AAM Presentation: Membership Trends & Strategies to Optimize Acquisition, Renewal & Pricing
- Outside the Walled-Garden: How Facebook Apps Make Use of Personal Information
- TLC Presentations from AMMC
- Where Did That Gift Come From?
- Spring Conferences
- Spotlight: Ashley O'Brien
- Facebook Custom Audiences
- New USPS Savings Opportunity