A GOOGLE Birthday Surprise

Recently, I celebrated my birthday. I am one of those that still gets excited about birthdays, even if there is no party, no cake with candles to blow out – I just feel special and appreciative to have had be around for another year.

This past year my friends and family posted “Happy Birthday” messages all over my Facebook wall, my Mom and in laws called to sing to me, I received several special birthday coupons in the mail for discounted dinners, and even got an automated birthday message with someone singing “Happy Birthday” from a local spa for which I was a customer (that one got my attention!). But the most memorable birthday message was the most unexpected one of all.

I have to admit. I am a Google Doodle fan, but NEVER in my wildest dreams expected to see a birthday doodle when I logged into Google on my birthday. My first reaction was, “Hmmm. I wonder what famous person has the same birthday as me.” When I moused over the doodle to find out, that’s when my jaw dropped. This is what I saw:

Happy Birthday Sheri

Now don’t get me wrong, I love birthday wishes. It’s just when the leading search engine company wishes me happy birthday too, I was shocked… floored… speechless (and that rarely happens).

Most people are no longer surprised by Google infiltrating our lives. Have you ever Google Earthed your home address? But the intimacy of recognizing MY birthday is taking data they had on file and presented it in a way that certainly got my attention. It was personal and spoke to me.

Understanding your contacts and clients and being able to communicate with them in language of which they identify and appreciate will make your marketing efforts more efficient and effective.

I’m not suggesting that you recognize everyone’s birthday for which you have come in contact, but communicating on a level for which the recipient feels it was written specifically for them will yield much higher results. But how do you get that level of granularity as a small organization?

Begin by centralizing your contact information. Many organizations use their email service to collect all of their members, clients, prospects and vendors, but this is not effective. Email services are not designed to house notes, individual two-way email communications, calendar reminders, documents, invoices, etc. And contrary to belief or practice, Excel spreadsheets are not the answer either. A solid CRM (customer relationship management) system is designed to integrate all of your information so that you are not having to duplicate information across multiple platforms.

The good news is that with the prevalence of secure cloud-based services, many affordable platforms are out there that are customizable and expandable but not beyond a small organization’s budget. Imagine what you could do to market your business if you could see patterns in buying habits, donation levels and time of highest giving, registration patterns, community engagements and more.

If you have a small business or non-profit and would like assistance with your marketing integration or CRM implementation, please send us an email so we can set up an initial consultation. Let us give you a hand.