What we learned in 2022

2022 is coming to an end. Whether you are ready or not, the countdown to 2023 is on. It’s a time of year when many of us reflect back on the past and also anticipate the year ahead.

At Masterworks, we have been reflecting on what changed, what was good, what was hard, and what we hope to see more of in the coming year. We asked a couple of our senior leaders what their biggest takeaways and ah-ha moments were this year. Here is what they said…

What was your biggest professional takeaway from 2022? 

I’ve been working my way through the classic texts of marketing and advertising. I recently read Being Direct by Lester Wunderman, the father of direct marketing. I was surprised at how many principles focused on experience.

Take, for instance, principle 8: “Build the ‘brand experience.’ Customers have to know and feel your brand as an experience that satisfies their individual needs. Their experience with your products and your brand must become a total and ongoing immersion in satisfaction.”

Brand experience is difficult to measure. For that reason, I think many direct marketers ignore this principle, focusing their marketing dollars only on things that have a demonstrable return on investment. Brand experience is a long-term investment; it may be some time before the results of that investment — or lack of investment — are really felt. 

What did you learn this year?

That the community we get to engage in every day — our co-workers, our partners, and our clients — are the truly an amazing community to be a part of. As we come out of years of COVID drama and see in our future a difficult fundraising landscape, there is still so much hope, joy, and love. I love what I do, and I love the end result of all the work, but the journey with other fundraising professionals is such a part of the beauty of direct response too.

What was your biggest ah-ha moment of the year?

My biggest ah-ha moment of the year was being reminded that caring for yourself is caring for those you love most. Take time to rest. Take time to do the things you love and things that fill you up. For me, those things are exercise, reading, writing, and music. In 2022, I’ve made a concentrated effort to have each of those things be a part of my every day.

Something I learned (or relearned) this year was how important it is to ask for help. Most people want to help, but they just won’t know if you need it unless you ask.

What do you want to remember going into 2023?

Going into 2023, I want to constantly remember that organizations need to be as remarkable as possible in order to stay relevant to their donors. Otherwise, they’ll get completely lost among all the nonprofits out there.

I also want to always keep in mind the power of digital for acquiring new donors. For many of our clients, we are now seeing just as many new donors acquired through digital as through direct mail! That is incredible.

We love learning and growing and would love to do that alongside you in 2023. You can contact us here.