The blood donor recruitment industry has experienced a lot of change over the last 12 months. Mergers and acquisitions, extreme weather and horrific events, a decrease in connect rate and an increase in donor channel preference - it's been a turbulent year with many highs and lows for us all. But we made it.
It's time now to look forward to a new year and what better way to kick off 2018 than to make a few predictions (and maybe even a few wild guesses) about what to expect in the next year. Our InceptSaves team has added their ideas below.
What are your predictions for the blood donor recruitment industry in 2018?
Donor Channel Preferences & Message Relevancy
Rise of mobile usage and decline of donors answering the phone. Blood centers need to be prepared to include alternate channels in their recruitment mix and not just pushing out Facebook messages. Channels need to be used very intentionally and directed at each donor with messages that will resonate. 2-way text, chat, custom audience Facebook messaging, and even direct mail need to be a part of every recruitment strategy.
We are competing with extremely busy lifestyles and schedules and many donors simply no longer answer their phone. We need to be relevant and use methodologies that engage our donors instead of just calling more or calling more frequently!
- Billie Johnson, VP of Client Results
Industry Consolidation & Donor Experience
Consolidation will continue and create challenges for blood centers attempting to deliver a meaningful, locally-motivated donation experience while reducing cost to stay competitive.
Donors will continue to value their time more and more and the centers that are the most capable of improving convenience and the donor experience will continue to increase donor frequency and generating the right product mix to supply hospitals.
- Sam Falletta, CEO
Adoption of Cutting-Edge Technology
My first prediction is that the leading blood banks within the industry become heavy adopters of more cutting-edge marketing/customer engagement capabilities being used in other industries, enabling true recruitment by channel of donor preference and effectiveness.
My second prediction is that the socially conscious generation will continue to evolve/engage in social channels and continue to rally around meaningful causes. GoFundMe and other crowdsourcing are great platforms to rally around causes in fundraising so the time seems right to have a centralized source for expressing and recruiting for blood.
- Chuck Baddley, Chief Analytics Officer
Product Specific Recruitment
I predict that blood usage will continue to decline based on more streamlined surgical procedures, and the need for blood products will be more specific to blood type and product than overall collections.
- Allison Legg, Senior Account Executive
A Change to Donation Experience
I predict a more streamlined process and the time of donation. Centers really need to focus on the process and getting donors out of the center quickly (and safely of course), but time still remains our largest competition and centers in the forefront will work to reduce the donation time as we ask more donors to consider automation.
- Heidi Dougherty, Director of Client Results
Becoming More Channel Agnostic
Problems with call blocking and calls showing up on caller ID as SPAM will get much worse. As we attempt to find solutions to this problem, stressing the importance of online scheduling with the donors will be crucial. Interacting with the donors through email and direct mail will become more important.