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Havas Media replaces Vizeum as World Vision shifts media focus to digital

Havas Media Melbourne has won the the $7m World Vision media account from incumbent Vizeum after a review sparked by a major shift towards digital by the aid organisation, Mumbrella can reveal.

World Vision’s new CMO Teresa Sperti said moving the media account to Havas would allow the NGO to do more in the digital space

The loss is the latest blow to Vizuem which three weeks ago lost the Pernod Ricard account to Blue 449 and is currently defending its hold on the BMW business in Melbourne.

The decision by one of Australia’s biggest charity advertisers marks a major shift for the NGO under the leadership of CEO Claire Rogers, former head of digital at ANZ Bank, who was appointed to the role just nine months ago.

In May, Rogers appointed former Officeworks CRM and digital leader Teresa Sperti as the aid organisation’s first ever CMO, charging her with moving World Vision into a more digitally driven space.

Speaking with Mumbrella, Sperti said the decision to appoint Havas Media to the account was the beginning of a shift to a more digitally focused approach to attracting new supporters and creating stronger engagement with Australians who already supported World Vision.

The new approach will also give the organisation the chance to tap into emerging fundraising channels such as peer-to-peer fundraising.

“Our marketing approach and media has been leveraging traditional channels such as TV and direct mail,” Sperti told Mumbrella.

“We are now going to focus on digital from an acquisition approach. I am very, very new to the role but we needed to get things in place. We were looking for an agency who were digital natives first and foremost, but were also big through the line. We wanted to be more adaptive and flexible, testing and learning.”

Sperti said the agency move was also aimed at helping to accelerate World Vision’s growth into new markets, in particular attracting younger supporters and shifting the way it uses its celebrity brand ambassadors such as Hugh Jackman and Melissa Doyle.

“We have a number of brand ambassadors that we work with and will continue to work with them, but we are looking at how we can use them in a more engaging way,” she said.

“Digital is an opportunity to provide a window to the field in a way that TV ads and direct mail have not been able to. So we are trialling live broadcasting from the field.

“Words and TV can only tell the story so much and digital provides an opportunity to bring that to life.”

While the the digital industry is under scrutiny for the level of transparency it is providing advertisers, Sperti said one of the key reasons for making a significant shift into digital was the ability to give donors a clearer sense of where their money was going.

“Donors expect more transparency,” she said.

“We are also seeing that the donation channels are changing and clients are using things such as peer-to-peer fundraising. Obvioulsy the market is changing and we need to change with it. We are looking to diversify our product portfolio and tap into new donor behaviour and digital enables us to do that.”

Sperti said moving more funding to digital marketing would also give World Vision the ability to stand out in a crowded market where there are an estimated 50,000 not-for-profit organisations working in Australia.

“The market is obviously very, very crowded and we do a lot of brilliant work in the field, but the initial donation is only the start and the supporter experience is crucial and to do that we need asn ongoing dialogue.”

Sperti said her time with Officeworks would also help shift World Vision’s approach to the market, saying her experience with a brand that had 30,000 products meant marketing needed to get the “right message to the right customer at the right time”.

“We need to make sure that we understand their motivations. Donating is a very personal thing.”

As well as the move of the media account from Vizeum to Havas Media, Sperti said she was also looking to formalise the project-based relationship World Vision has with The Royals into something more permanent, noting that creative needed to work across the broad range of channels and devices which people were using.

“Creatively we need to reach the right donor with the right message,” she said.

Child sponsorship remains central to the charity’s relief efforts and World Vision will remain committed to major events such as the 40-Hour Famine.

“A lot of Australians grew up with the 40-Hour Famine as their first taste of alturism,” she said.

While World Vision’s media budget is $7m, the NGO invests about 10% of its total expenditure on fundraising efforts.

In 2016 World Vision invested $40m in fundraising, down from $60m the previous year with $38.3m spend on direct public fundraising and 81.4% of its funds going to international aid.

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