Creating a marketing communications plan

Founder Creative Solutions & Innovations
Jun. 19, 2013

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Creating a marketing communications plan

  1. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Creating a Strategic Marketing Communications Plan Deborah Spector NPO Connect Marketing Communications Expert 21 May 2013
  2. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Creating a Strategic Marketing Communications Plan Goals for today’s session:  Understand the role of marketing communications  Role of Research  Review the elements of a marketing communications plan  Create a strategic marketing communications plan
  3. What is Strategic Marketing Communications? Strategic marketing communications is your lense to focus on the people you serve, the individuals you seek to influence and the donors you cultivate. Through integrated marketing communications you can create powerful, focused & targeted appeals for mission impact, to build your brand and for fundraising. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  4. Why Do Nonprofits Communicate? Nonprofits communicate for three main reasons: 1. Fundraising 2. Programs 3. Advocacy Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  5. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 What is a Marketing Communications Plan? A well thought-out marketing communications plan supports your mission and the objectives laid out in your strategic plan. It allows you to focus your marketing and communications, making sure that all activities work together to support the big picture. The strategy is very important because you are building the components of your organization brand, identity, and everything in between. A strategic marketing communications plan gives you the focus to know where you’re going, what you need to say & what channels you need to positively interact with your audiences.
  6. 7 Characteristics of a Good Strategic Marketing Communications Plan 1. It is participative 2. It is dynamic 3. It is flexible 4. It is audience-driven 5. It combines the best of PR and Marketing 6. It contains a mix of strategy and tactics 7. It is doable Hollister, Trubow & Associates Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  7. Start with your Vision & Mission Vision: Our ultimate goal is to rid our community of hunger Mission: Our mission is to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering our community  Vision: Our vision is healthy people in a healthy world Mission: To promote health & quality of life by preventing disease and disability Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Think of the words “visionary” and “missionary.” A visionary imagines possible futures, whereas a missionary does the work to achieve the desired future.
  8. Research Tools  Brainstorming sessions  SWOT Analysis  Audience Discovery Interviews  Focus groups Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  9. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Why Do Research? – Sets foundation for all communications – Provides audience insights – Uncovers opportunities, threats, etc. – Analyzes direction, position, messages
  10. Message Framework – Foundation Elements Positioning Connects your nonprofit with those with whom you want to engage & conveys what your organization does better than others. Example: We bridge diverse cultures & generations by creating opportunities for immigrants to succeed. We partner with other organizations to leverage resources to positively impact our community. We have earned recognition for our successful efforts. Tagline – Key words or phrase to capture what makes your organization special. Conveys this with passion & commitment. Example: Touching lives. Creating opportunities. Investing in our children’s future Empowering nonprofits to do good Elevator Speech – The new elevator speech uses the social media strategies to listen, prepare and engage. It enables you to listen & learn from the persons with whom you speak to see if there is any interest in your issue. Then you can segue into your Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  11. Message Framework – Elements That Change w/Goals Audiences – what interests which target audiences relative to your communications tactic. Benefits and Attributes – Key messages about what your organization offers. Example: Our free job training program provides a pathway to employment. Key messages or talking points – succinctly elaborate on your positioning statement & provide necessary proof required to validation. Responds to most common questions asked by your current & prospective network. Example – The immigration system is broken & needs to be fixed. Proof Points – The massive backlog in visa applications is a clear sign that the system is not working . Example – Legal immigrants are forced to spend years separated from their families . Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  12. Elements of Marketing Communications Plan Goals & Objectives Identify & Profile Audiences Develop Messages & Identify Messengers Messages & Credible Messengers Develop Strategies Select Communication Channels Implement the Plan Build in Evaluation Points Measure Success Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  13. Organizational & Communication Goal Organizational Goal Communication Goal Improve community health by reducing exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment •Build awareness about orgs work •Increase understanding of the relationship between health & environment •Motivate area residents to advocate Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Broad Goal – All communication efforts need to be rooted in a vision for change. What is the big ambitious goal your organization has for change?
  14. Objectives – Concrete Steps to Reach Your Goal Objectives Must be Smart: Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-bound Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  15. Attributes of Goals vs. Objectives Differences in Scope - Goals are broader while objectives are narrow & set for certain task. Specificity - Goals are general while objectives are specific. Tangibility – Goals may be intangible while objectives ought to be tangible Differences in time frame – Goals have a longer time-frame; objectives are precise targets set for a short time Measurement – Goals may or may not be measured; objectives are always measured. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  16. Target Audience Advertising specialist Tom Duncan defines target audience as "a group that has significant potential to respond positively to a brand message." The key here is the word message.; Effective marketing communications, or messages, each target a particular kind of reader or viewer. These individuals make up the message's target audience. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  17. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Identify Your Target Audiences Clients Faith Community Former Clients Educators Advocates Health Care Providers Board members Business Owners Volunteers Targeted Media Donors Bloggers Foundations Twitter Influencers Local elected officials Partner Organizations Community leaders Sponsors Colleagues @ other chapter Former donors/sponsors
  18. Audience Segmentation Audience: ________________________ 1. Describe what you know about this audience’s knowledge, attitudes & behaviors related to your issues. 2. What are the barriers to this audience fully supporting or participating in reaching your goal? 3. What are the characteristics of this audience? How do they spend their time? What is gender, ethnicity, income level. What or who could motivate change or action? 4. How does this audience participate in the social media platforms that you use?Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  19. Messages Messages that resonate with passion and commitment are key for your nonprofit to raise above the noise. Messages:  Show importance, urgency or magnitude of the issue.  Put a “face” on an issue.  Show the relevance of the issue.  Must be tied to specific audience values, beliefs or interests.  Reflect an understanding of what would motivate your target audience.  Be memorable. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  20. Message Worksheet Audience________________________ 1. What are the barriers & benefits to your audience thinking, feeling, or acting on your issue? 2. What change in attitude do you want to motivate in your audience to meet your goal? 3. What change in behavior are you trying to achieve? 4. Based on what you know above, what are the three most compelling sentences you could use to motivate this audience? *These are your messages! Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
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  22. Strategy Strategy is an idea, a conceptualization of how a goal can be achieved. Examples of communications strategies:  Develop Key Messages  Prioritize Key Audiences  Identify Ways to Reach Audiences  Conduct Ongoing Blogger Outreach  Develop Best Practices for Social Media  Define & convey our brand & brand value to target audience  Expand marketing reach to engage more people in each target audience Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  23. Strategy & Action Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Communications Awareness Comprehension Conviction Commitment Mass 40% 10% 5% 5% Direct 40% 50% 20% 10% Small Group 10% 20% 35% 15% Person to Person 10% 20% 40% 70% •Awareness brings your nonprofit to the attention of an audience •Comprehension develops an understanding of an organization •Conviction matches individual interests to institutional offerings •Commitment assists in the decision process Adapted from Barton-Gillet Company
  24. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Channels Communication Channels carry the message to the target audiences.
  25. Integrate The Mix
  26. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Comm Channel Provide Info & dialog Fundraising News & Link Promote Research Provide Resources Promote Events Website      Blog    On-line Newsletter      Email Facebook YouTube Podcast Twitter Webinars Conference Face to Face Meetings SEO Press Releases PSA Conference Call
  27. POST Method – Blending New & Traditional Media Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Post Method is simple yet profound in that it provides a user-friendly system for using traditional and emerging communications channels. Although developed as a for-profit system, it is easily adaptable to nonprofits. The acronym refers to the four- step approach: P is for People. Don’t start a strategy until you know the capabilities of your target audience and know their social behavior. O is objectives. What are you trying to accomplish? Decide on your objectives before you decide on a technology. State your objectives in SMART terms. S is Strategy. How do you want the relationship to change with your target audience? How do new and traditional media support your objectives with your audience? T is Technology. What are the appropriate tools and tactics to address your target audience? What do you have the capacity to implement?
  28. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 People: Evaluate social media activities of your community. Objectives: Identify the goals & accomplishments you want to achieve Strategy: Plan how your organization’s relationships with community will change Technology: Decide which traditional & social media tools are most applicable based on P,O, & S.
  29. Roles & Responsibility  Everyone is a communicator.  Who does what?  How do you involve volunteers?  How do you train?  Who has final sign-off on initiatives?  Is there a protocol for sign-off? Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  30. Work Plan  How do you roll out the implementation?  Create and manage a steady stream of activities.  Ensure coordination in timing and impact.  Build in evaluations before the end of the year.  Be clear on who does what & by when. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  31. Budget  Staff costs  Materials development  Website implementation and maintenance  Software & hardware  Consulting  Technology systems Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  32. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031 Reality Check  Do you have enough resources?  Are you finding ways to include key staff, volunteers, and leadership?  Do you have buy-in from your chapter? What about national?  Can you measure your success?
  33. Measure Success  Measure Impact  Use anecdotal as well as quantifiable measurements  Benchmark prior to starting  Identify mix of outputs & outcomes. Outputs are a measure of your efforts. Outcomes are the changes that occur. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  34. When Your Plan is Complete When your plan is complete you will have:  Seamless communications  Accountability to the bottom line  A strategic process that meets identified objectives  An awareness plan focused on increasing revenue streams, programs &/or advocacy Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  35. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  36. Thank You! Interested in a recording of today’s session? Please contact – NPO Connect  Email:  Twitter: @npo_connect Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031
  37. Creative Solutions & Innovations | | 404.325.7031

Editor's Notes

  1. Nonprofits communicate for three main reasons:
  2. I would go so far as to say that an integrated marketing communications plan is a matter of survival.
  3. Link to in the spotlight article
  4. Positioning is the big differentiating idea you strive to own in the minds of your target audience.
  5. Add talking points benefits, etc. from LBDA
  6. Example – Mission – Save the Children; Objective – pass legislation this year to ensure every child in the state has access to quality healthcare; communication objective – create advocacy white papers by start of session; meet with x# of state reps during session; add new information about initiatives to the website every month.Save the environment – objective – increase the # of households recycling in our community by 5% this year; communication objective – launch social media campaign in partnership with state agencies by start of fiscal year;
  7. The terms target market and target audience are interrelated, but they are not interchangeable. An organization’s target market may also be its target audience for various marketing communications, but this is not always the case. Knowing the difference can help decision-makers strengthen their organization's overall marketing strategy and develop more effective marketing communications.
  8. “Getting to know your supporters, volunteers, clients and other participants in your mission is easy, if you build that listening and learning into your everyday work.” Be curious, formalize that curiosity with research such as surveys, focus groups, brainstorming sessions with board, staff, clients
  9. I suggest you hold meetings with key staff and board members to discuss. Post the questions on large sheets of paper and have someone note down everything said. You will want to have a separate sheet for each key audience.I suggest that you start with your top 3 or 4 primary audiences.
  10. Ready to get started? Are there any questions?