Creating a Strategic Marketing Communications Plan explores the role of marketing communications in your organization, describes research tools, reviews the elements of a marketing communications plan and shows you how to create a strategic marketing communications plan.
I would go so far as to say that an integrated marketing communications plan is a matter of survival.
Link to in the spotlight article
Positioning is the big differentiating idea you strive to own in the minds of your target audience.
Add talking points benefits, etc. from LBDA
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;
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.
“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
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.
Ready to get started? Are there any questions?
Creating a marketing communications plan
Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031Creating a Strategic Marketing CommunicationsPlanDeborah SpectorNPO Connect Marketing Communications Expert21 May 2013
Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031Creating a Strategic MarketingCommunications PlanGoals for today’s session: Understand the role of marketingcommunications Role of Research Review the elements of a marketingcommunications plan Create a strategic marketingcommunications plan
What is Strategic MarketingCommunications?Strategic marketing communications is yourlense to focus on the people you serve, theindividuals you seek to influence and thedonors you cultivate.Through integrated marketing communicationsyou can create powerful, focused & targetedappeals for mission impact, to build yourbrand and for fundraising.Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Why Do Nonprofits Communicate?Nonprofits communicate for three mainreasons:1. Fundraising2. Programs3. AdvocacyCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031What is a Marketing CommunicationsPlan?A well thought-out marketing communications plansupports your mission and the objectives laid out inyour strategic plan. It allows you to focus yourmarketing and communications, making sure that allactivities work together to support the big picture. Thestrategy is very important because you are buildingthe components of your organization brand, identity,and everything in between.A strategic marketing communications plan gives youthe focus to know where you’re going, what you needto say & what channels you need to positively interactwith your audiences.
7 Characteristics of a Good Strategic MarketingCommunications Plan1. It is participative2. It is dynamic3. It is flexible4. It is audience-driven5. It combines the best of PR and Marketing6. It contains a mix of strategy and tactics7. It is doableHollister, Trubow & AssociatesCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Start with your Vision & MissionVision: Our ultimate goal is to rid our community ofhungerMission: Our mission is to fight hunger by engaging,educating and empowering our communityVision: Our vision is healthy people in a healthy worldMission: To promote health & quality of life bypreventing disease and disabilityCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031Think of the words “visionary” and “missionary.” A visionaryimagines possible futures, whereas a missionary does thework to achieve the desired future.
Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031Why Do Research?– Sets foundation for all communications– Provides audience insights– Uncovers opportunities, threats, etc.– Analyzes direction, position, messages
Message Framework – Foundation ElementsPositioning Connects your nonprofit with those with whom youwant to engage & conveys what your organization does betterthan others.Example: We bridge diverse cultures & generations by creatingopportunities for immigrants to succeed. We partner with otherorganizations to leverage resources to positively impact ourcommunity. We have earned recognition for our successfulefforts.Tagline – Key words or phrase to capture what makes yourorganization special. Conveys this with passion & commitment.Example: Touching lives. Creating opportunities.Investing in our children’s futureEmpowering nonprofits to do goodElevator Speech – The new elevator speech uses the socialmedia strategies to listen, prepare and engage. It enables you tolisten & learn from the persons with whom you speak to see ifthere is any interest in your issue. Then you can segue into yourCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Message Framework –Elements That Change w/GoalsAudiences – what interests which target audiences relative to yourcommunications tactic.Benefits and Attributes – Key messages about what yourorganization offers.Example: Our free job training program provides a pathway toemployment.Key messages or talking points – succinctly elaborate on yourpositioning statement & provide necessary proof required tovalidation. Responds to most common questions asked by yourcurrent & prospective network.Example – The immigration system is broken & needs to be fixed.Proof Points – The massive backlog in visa applications is a clearsign that the system is not working .Example – Legal immigrants are forced to spend years separatedfrom their families .Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Elements of Marketing CommunicationsPlanGoals & ObjectivesIdentify & Profile AudiencesDevelop Messages & Identify MessengersMessages & Credible MessengersDevelop StrategiesSelect Communication ChannelsImplement the PlanBuild in Evaluation PointsMeasure SuccessCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Organizational & Communication GoalOrganizational Goal Communication GoalImprove community healthby reducing exposure totoxic chemicals in theenvironment•Build awareness aboutorgs work•Increase understanding ofthe relationship betweenhealth & environment•Motivate area residents toadvocateCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031Broad Goal – All communication efforts need to berooted in a vision for change. What is the bigambitious goal your organization has for change?
Objectives – Concrete Steps to Reach YourGoalObjectives Must be Smart:SpecificMeasurableAttainableRealisticTime-boundCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Attributes of Goals vs. ObjectivesDifferences in Scope - Goals are broader whileobjectives are narrow & set for certain task.Specificity - Goals are general while objectivesare specific.Tangibility – Goals may be intangible whileobjectives ought to be tangibleDifferences in time frame – Goals have a longertime-frame; objectives are precise targets setfor a short timeMeasurement – Goals may or may not bemeasured; objectives are always measured.Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Target AudienceAdvertising specialist Tom Duncandefines target audience as "a group thathas significant potential to respondpositively to a brand message." The keyhere is the word message.; Effectivemarketing communications, ormessages, each target a particular kindof reader or viewer. These individualsmake up the messages targetaudience. Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031Identify Your TargetAudiencesClients Faith CommunityFormer Clients EducatorsAdvocates Health Care ProvidersBoard members Business OwnersVolunteers Targeted MediaDonors BloggersFoundations Twitter InfluencersLocal elected officials Partner OrganizationsCommunity leaders SponsorsColleagues @ other chapter Formerdonors/sponsors
Audience SegmentationAudience: ________________________1. Describe what you know about this audience’sknowledge, attitudes & behaviors related to yourissues.2. What are the barriers to this audience fullysupporting or participating in reaching your goal?3. What are the characteristics of this audience? Howdo they spend their time? What is gender, ethnicity,income level. What or who could motivate change oraction?4. How does this audience participate in the socialmedia platforms that you use?Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
MessagesMessages that resonate with passion and commitmentare 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 orinterests. Reflect an understanding of what would motivateyour target audience. Be memorable.Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Message WorksheetAudience________________________1. What are the barriers & benefits to your audiencethinking, feeling, or acting on your issue?2. What change in attitude do you want to motivate inyour 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 threemost compelling sentences you could use tomotivate this audience? *These are your messages!Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
StrategyStrategy is an idea, a conceptualization of how a goalcan 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 targetaudience Expand marketing reach to engage more people ineach target audienceCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Strategy & ActionCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031Communications Awareness Comprehension Conviction CommitmentMass 40% 10% 5% 5%Direct 40% 50% 20% 10%SmallGroup10% 20% 35% 15%Person toPerson10% 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 processAdapted from Barton-Gillet Company
Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031ChannelsCommunicationChannels carry themessage to the targetaudiences.
POST Method – Blending New & TraditionalMediaCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031Post Method is simple yet profound in that it provides a user-friendly system forusing traditional and emerging communications channels. Although developed as afor-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 yourtarget audience and know their social behavior.O is objectives. What are you trying to accomplish? Decide on yourobjectives before you decide on a technology. State your objectives inSMART terms.S is Strategy. How do you want the relationship to change with your targetaudience? How do new and traditional media support your objectives withyour audience?T is Technology. What are the appropriate tools and tactics to address yourtarget audience? What do you have the capacity to implement?
Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031People: Evaluate social media activities of your community.Objectives: Identify the goals & accomplishments you want to achieveStrategy: Plan how your organization’s relationships with community will changeTechnology: Decide which traditional & social media tools are most applicable based on P,O, & S.
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| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Work Plan How do you roll out the implementation? Create and manage a steady stream ofactivities. Ensure coordination in timing andimpact. Build in evaluations before the end ofthe year. Be clear on who does what & by when.Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
Creative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031Reality Check Do you have enough resources? Are you finding ways to include keystaff, volunteers, and leadership? Do you have buy-in from your chapter?What about national? Can you measure your success?
Measure Success Measure Impact Use anecdotal as well as quantifiablemeasurements 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| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031
When Your Plan is CompleteWhen your plan is complete you will have: Seamless communications Accountability to the bottom line A strategic process that meets identifiedobjectives An awareness plan focused onincreasing revenue streams, programs&/or advocacyCreative Solutions & Innovations| www.creative-si.com | 404.325.7031