The best of non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes

Small things can also make a better world

Small things can also make a better world

Osocio is a website about visual communication. But so now and then we will publish background articles about social advertising related subjects.
Sacha Declomesnil from the Canadian fundraising blog La fontaine de pierres asked several worldwide social marketing specialists to explain what will be the three major 2008 trends in the social marketing area. I’m not a specialist at all but I have ideas how 2008 will look like.
Below my submission, the original version in French together with those from Paolo Ferrara, Antoine Vaccarro, Kivi Leroux Miller, Kevin Lee and Frédéric Bardeau can be read here.

The major trend in social marketing and advertising for this year will be small things and initiatives. The internet makes our world bigger but, maybe as a response on globalisation, we are searching for look-a-likes in ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’. That is one of the reasons why social networks became so big last two years. Now that we all found our spot on the net it is time to work. (Read on)


Act local

The major trend for this year will be the resurrection of local markets for many products and ideas. In this era of information overload we want to have more control and knowledge about the things and thoughts around us. It already can be seen in the retail business. Today, supermarkets are selling more products from it’s own region. Ngo’s will do the same. Awareness and fundraising will be more personal and differentiated.

Social network fundraising

Fundraising will no longer be done solely by the organisations themselves. Facebook shows us the power of the people. The Facebook Cause applications for instance can be used by every member and it is possible to choose your own do-gooder goals. But the most powerful thing of these applications is the possibility to spread the word among your friends.
Even more beautiful is the widget technique used by Here you can define your own cause whatever it is. These widgets can be made in a three step procedure and are ready for publishing on your own site or sites from your friends.
The basic idea of all this is to become a fundraiser yourself instead of donating money to your favourite cause.


Micro-blogging like Twitter is a free social networking service that allows users to send “updates” (or “tweets”; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service, instant messaging, or a third-party application such as Twitterrific.
Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends.
Twitter can be used for all kind of things. In my Twitter community someone used it as a fundraising tool to collect money for the 100 dollar laptop initiative.
It can also be used as a brainstorm platform, spontaneously, simple and quick.
Many organizations have embraced the technology and put it to use in life or death situations such as the October 2007 California wildfires.
Prominent Twitter users include US presidential candidate Barack Obama.
What isn’t good and need more effort in 2008
What I notice almost every day doing research for Osocio is the absence of a communication strategy at many doing-good organisations. I always do a website check after seeing a marvellous advertising campaign. In many cases such a campaign doesn’t have a follow-up on a website or other media channels.
The buzz word: crossmedia. Use all media available to make your goals known to the world.

Thanks to KA for editing

Founder of Osocio. It all started with collecting election posters in 1973. And that's never stopped. Read more.
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