Effective Marketing Communications on a Shoestring

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Most nonprofit organizations have extremely limited marketing communication budgets, but that doesn’t mean they can’t create and execute effective marketing plans. This webinar is designed to help …

Most nonprofit organizations have extremely limited marketing communication budgets, but that doesn’t mean they can’t create and execute effective marketing plans. This webinar is designed to help both leadership and marketing/communications staff think about:
Who is the target audience?
What are your goals?
What are the most effective (and cost effective) ways to reach your target audiences?
How will you know what’s working?

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  • 1. Effective Marketing Communications on a Shoestring Michele Levy Special Thanks To Our Sponsors
  • 2. Helping ordinary people raise extraordinary amounts for nonprofits is all we do, and we love it. A Proud Sponsor of NonprofitWebinars.com
  • 3. Today’s Speaker Michele Levy Brand Strategy Consultant, Brand Strategy Consulting Hosting: Assisting with chat questions:Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership April Hunt, Nonprofit Webinars
  • 4. Welcome!Webinar goals• To share some ideas and approaches that have worked for other nonprofit (and startup) organizations• To equip and inspire you to tackle your marketing challenges in a manageable, sustainable way• For participants to walk away with at least one concept or tool they can implement within their organizations
  • 5. A shifting roleThe old way: The new way:Director of Director of MarketingCommunications, Communications,focused on focused on buildingpublications and the brand across allpublic relations touchpoints, utilizing a broad, integrated mix of tools, tactics and channels
  • 6. The agenda• Who is the target audience (or, as is more likely, audiences)?• What are your goals (build awareness? generate leads? strengthen relationships?)• What are some effective (and cost effective) ways to reach those audience segments?• How will you know what’s working?
  • 7. A caveat Assuming that you have already built a strong foundation…that you have clear, consistent messaging to apply across the communications tools we’ll be discussing.
  • 8. Who’s your target audience?
  • 9. Make a mental picture• Start by making a list of all the types of people who are important to you (for instance, funders, partners, served population).• Include both those you communicate with/interact with now, as well as those you’d like to.
  • 10. Make some hard choicesThe list was the easy part…then you must prioritize it!Ultimately, all of your marketing decisionmakers (including your board) must agree on your audiences, and how you have prioritized them.
  • 11. And one other question Where are they?
  • 12. How do you get smart on your audience?• Ask and observe – Phone interviews/focus groups with a combination of long-term and newer members, volunteers, clients, etc. – Online surveys with members, clients (survey monkey, etc) – Conversations with partners, the press, other external stakeholders – “Watch” their behavior across your touchpoints (in person, online, written communications) – Keep it up!• And remember… – They can’t ALL be your most important audiences. – A relevant brand is NOT the same as trying to be all things to all people (and “following the funding” is one of the surest ways to muddle your brand) – In the words of Dorothy…
  • 13. Let’s get detailed… Audience Description Audience key concerns Desired perceptions/behaviors Our messages to them • Highly driven, well- • Developing their • To understand the role • ALL rounded individuals ability to think more and value of DMCC • We are a valuable resource. • The ideal student broadly within the context of the • We offer the unique opportunityStudents to see real works of art in your “customer” is a • Having an impact on College own backyard. visitor, and is not their community • To see DMCC as a • We can help bring new necessarily an art • Developing “real valued resource across perspectives to your studies, and major…but they are world” experiences a variety of dimensions to your hectic life. willing to explore • Getting it all done (and to utilize it • We are accessible across a new things and new • Occasionally taking a regularly) variety of channels (don’t be ways of thinking break from getting it • To act as ambassadors intimidated!) all done! for DMCC within their • We are “safe haven”, extremely own spheres of supportive of experimentation. influence • We support experimentation and risk-taking. • FACULTY AND LEADERSHIPFaculty and • Passionate, • Finding opportunities • To understand the role • Our collections, programs andstaff dedicated to expose their and value of DMCC staff can help enrich the individuals engaged students to real works within the context of academic experience, and help in the broader of art and new ways of the College create better students. college community thinking • To have greater • We share your high intellectual • Not limited to the art • Keeping their teaching investment in DMCC standards and can be a valuable department relevant/fresh and what it offers partner in helping to differentiate • Occasionally taking a • To see DMCC as a the Wellesley College break themselves valued resource and experience. collaborator
  • 14. What are your goals?
  • 15. It starts with your strategic plan• As an organization, what do you hope to accomplish over the next 12 – 18 months?• What about over the next 5 years?
  • 16. For example…• From the strategic plan: Over the long term, we wish to redefine ourselves as an institution of national scope and relevance• Two key strategic goals directly relate to branding and marketing: – Strengthen our leadership position in the historic, genealogical and cultural sector – Increase the influence and loyalty of our target audiences and to expand the number of members, users and donors
  • 17. Sample brand/marketing goals • Build awareness, familiarity and support within key target audience segments • Expand reach and communications impact across new geographies and new target audience segments • Support strategic plan in general, admissions and fundraising goals specifically It’s critical that you have agreement on your brand/marketing goals
  • 18. People can make communications planning soundcomplicated, daunting and something only a marcomperson with years of experience can do.WRONG. Anyone can do this…
  • 19. Typically, three (integrated)strategy buckets• Build awareness and familiarity (who are you and why do you matter)• Generate leads (I might want to engage with you)• Strengthen relationships (I really want to engage with you)
  • 20. Very simpleAUDIENCE Who do you want to reach? What do you want to say to them?MESSAGE Be sure to make it about them! What communication tool(s) willTOOL most effectively reach them?TIMING When this will happen? Who is going to make sure thisASSIGNMENT communication step happens?METRICS How will you know it worked? The key = pick a few things, do them well, measure, adapt
  • 21. A bit more complex• Brand blueprint (elevator pitch, message matrix, proof points, brand attributes, etc.)• Target audience (who your audience segments are, their needs and expectations)• Competitive landscape (a brief overview of alternative options available to your served populations and supporters)• Communications goals (what you want your activities to accomplish)• Communications strategies (the high level ways you plan to accomplish your goals)• Communications tactics (specific activities you will engage in, with timing)• Measurement and evaluation (how you plan to track results)• Budget• Editorial calendar• Communications calendar
  • 22. Case studyDavis Museum and Cultural Center (Wellesley College) • First…who are we marketing to? • Second…how do we leverage our re-opening? • Third…how do we prioritize our marketing resources?
  • 23. DMCC: Communications strategies Leverage the opening Continue to build the (and related activities) relationship with thosePHASE I to re-engage with who re-engage as a current stakeholders result of opening activities Leverage exhibits and Continue to build thePHASE II re-installation to begin relationships… to engage with new: New stakeholders from current audiences, as well as new audiences June - September October - December Spring semesterOngoing Brand awareness activities (buzz)
  • 24. DMCC: Marketing communications tactics Leverage opening celebration (and related Continue to build the relationship with those activities) to re-engage with current who re-engage as a result of opening activitiesPHASE I stakeholders Print collateral eNewsletter (3x/year, all) NOTE: throughout, makeTACTICS Invitations to opening with targeted phone follow up eBlasts (as relevant, all) Guide to the Reinstallation Events every effort to track results in Flyers/posters Museum printed piece (replaces order to have a better Friends of Art brochure Calendar of Events, ready to mail understanding of what’s E-collateral October) Evite working, and what’s not (and e-flyers to adjust tactics as Signage (decisions to be made) necessary). Each tactic will Kiosk Banner/windows support a different tracking Sandwich boards mechanism: Plasma Screen • Track press success with Media Paid media (see page 18) press clips Press Releases • Track print advertising and Calendar Listings arts calendar via data E-communications Newsletters, as appropriate collection with on-site events Other form. Personal attendance at meetings • Track events listing via click Letter writing campaign to targeted groups First – Year Orientation Aug 27 through to web site (make June - September October - December sure event is listed on site!)Ongoing Brand awareness activities (buzz)
  • 25. It really can be as simple as a singlespreadsheet
  • 26. Let’s get more specific
  • 27. Awareness building tactics• Advertising• Public relations• Networking• Search engine optimization (SEO)• Social media
  • 28. Advertising• You are least likely to utilize this tactic – It’s expensive – It can generate a lot of “waste”• Unless you can do it with some significant impact, and/or in a highly targeted way, your marketing resources are better spent someplace else – “Three times is the charm” – Keep it simple – White space is good, too much copy is bad – Make it professional – Aim for the bullseye
  • 29. Public relations• Includes media relations, events, speaking engagements, publication• Similar to networking in that it’s very much about building relationships AND having something worthwhile to share• Think about how you can “package” information as news, education, etc.• Treat the media and other public relations contacts as one of your audience segments…know who they are, what they want, what they tend to write about, etc.• Make it easy for people to use your information (and use you, in the case of speaking engagements!)
  • 30. Public relations• Important to differentiate between calendar listings and feature articles• And NEVER just mass mail releases• Photos/images help• Keep it electronic
  • 31. Most important… M3 = Merchandise your media mentions!
  • 32. A good press release…• Is short (one page)• Has a short, compelling headline• Starts with the most important info (editors cut from the bottom)• 1st paragraph = the most important information• 2nd paragraph = more details, sometimes a quote• 3rd paragraph = “About us”
  • 33. Good old-fashioned networking • Want to raise awareness? – Get out there. – Get your board out there. – And make sure you’re communicating consistently. • What is your current networking strategy?A great resource for networking tips:TABLE TALK by Diane Danielson (founder of Downtown Women’s Club)
  • 34. Try this with your own team• Who are the top 5 people you should know?• What are the top 5 organizations you should be involved in?• How can you get to know those people?• How can you get involved with those organizations?• Then go do it (and be accountable to each other)
  • 35. Put it in writing
  • 36. To tweet or not to tweet…• Ahhhh….social media.• Everyone wants to do it. Your board is chomping at the bit. It’s the silver bullet, right?
  • 37. Well…• Let’s go back to your audiences• Are they using social media? Are they likely to start using social media?• If they are using social media, how? – Twitter…140 characters, gather followers, follow others – Facebook…more robust, images, fans – Linked In…business focused, good networking tool – Blogging…sharing your expertise – What else?
  • 38. Remember…• To get the most out of any social media channels, you have to really commit to those channels• It takes time…so make sure it’s actually going to help you achieve your goals!• And make sure your audiences are actually there.
  • 39. Lead generation tactics• Direct mail• Email (lead gen and relationship management)
  • 40. Direct mail• Three key success factors – The offer – The list – The creative• Your list or a purchased list• What are you offering? What’s your call to action?• Make it “disruptive” – Colored envelope – Oversized postcard – What else?
  • 41. Email• Choose your campaign management software carefully• Maintain a good “cadence”…don’t over or under communicate• Keep your list clean• Keep it short, relevant and consistent with the personality of your organization• Maintain an editorial calendar and jot down ideas as they come to you• Establish a standard structure with sections that are consistent each time (for instance: “meet the staff”; “client profile”; “general info”)• Make it opt in/opt out
  • 42. Additional relationshipmanagement tactics• Advisory boards (at all levels)• Events• Loyalty and other “member” programs• More networking• You’d be amazed how far a little simple human contact will get you.
  • 43. The basic marketing tool kit• Web site• Business cards• Note cards• Leave behind brochure (#10 brochure)• Limited stationery + electronic templates• Constant Contact template• Postcards• Posters
  • 44. If you do nothing else…• …have a plan to keep your website updated• Convene all “owners” of the web site…all those on staff and/or board who will contribute content and multimedia• A two step process – Review your organizational calendar, match web updates to relevant events/activities – Identify the down times and brainstorm other, non- event, updates – Don’t forget to plan to update your photos!
  • 45. A few other comments• Make sure it’s professional• Know the norms and best practices for your peer group• Layers of information (not all on the home page)• Know who’s going there, and what they want• Invest the time/money to establish a basic SEO program
  • 46. Sample: Editorial calendar
  • 47. Layer your social media plan on top• Take another look at that calendar• Where are the opportunities to use social media to drive your audiences to events on that calendar, to your web site to learn more, etc?*• Make sure that everyone in your org responsible for social media is working together!• For both web and social media planning…strive for 75% planned, 25% opportunistic*Assuming you’ve already settled on the most appropriate social media channels
  • 48. How do you know it’s working?
  • 49. Integrate here, as well…• Establish clear, agreed-upon success metrics up front (tangible and intangible)• Tie the metrics to strategic goals• Think broadly and creatively – Visitor traffic – Brand tracking studies – Referral volume – Inbound inquiries – Hits to Web site – Email open rates – Etc.• Set reasonable timeframes, based on communications volume and timing
  • 50. Sample board report formatGoals (consistent across each board report)• Build awareness and familiarity across key audiences, especially locally• Effectively manage the brand across an increasingly complex set of marketing channels• Build a more effective system of internal communications (communications calendar)• Integrate and streamline for more efficiency, greater impact and cost-effectiveness• Develop and manage a set of metrics for marketing communications and internal clientsProgress against goals (since last report)• Progress against Goal #1 (brief summary)• Progress against Goal #2 (brief summary)• Etc.List of media mentions (links if possible, include all since last report)Topics to be discussed at board meeting (list)
  • 51. In conclusion• There are no silver bullets• It really does help to write it down• Choose a couple of things, do them well, measure and continue, adapt and/or add• Roll up your sleeves• Use your whole team• Think “simple, professional and effective.”
  • 52. Find the listings for our current season of webinars and register at NonprofitWebinars.com Chris Dumas Chris@NonprofitWebinars.com 707-812-1234 Special Thanks To Our Sponsors