Last month I used my professional development budget to attend the Business of Software conference in Boston. It was AMAZING, but that’s not what this post is about. One of my favorite talks of the conference, given by Constant Contact CEO, Gail Goodman, was titled The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Death. If you’re not familiar with Constant Contact, they help small businesses engage their customers. We know them as an email marketing tool, but they do a lot more.
One thing Gail talked about was the challenge Constant Contact faced of reaching their customers and proving to small businesses that email marketing was necessary and valuable. Not only did they have to build bridges to their customers, they had to educate them.
Then it hit me that as we move beyond our core markets at Daxko, we are dealing with the exact same thing. We decided to test the idea of becoming a resource and educating our market and we decided to start locally. Last week, we hosted our first Nonprofit Member Engagement Lunch and Learn and invited nonprofits from around the area. We were hoping for 10 attendees, you know to make it look respectable. We got 30! Including many of the top organizations in Birmingham.
At the event we discussed various strategies for delivering amazing experiences that we’ve seen work. We used examples from some of our favorite companies like Zappos, Target, and Southwest, and also provided them with insights that we’ve learned first hand through our work with hundreds of other nonprofits. We didn’t pitch them, that wasn’t the point. Our goal was to educate them, create awareness, and get them thinking about engagement. It worked. Nearly everyone there was asking us to dig deeper into the various topics we touched on and most of the group took us up on our offer to tour the Engagement Center where the Engage with Impact Drivers magic happens.
All in all, we had a great time. We got to meet with some old friends, make some new friends, and share some great insights. I also believe that over time we’ll learn that it opened the door to new customers. In fact it went so well that we’ve decided to make it an ongoing event and we’ll soon be launching the Nonprofit Lunch and Learn Series!