Messaging is critical in any marketing campaign. The wrong message to the wrong audience and all you your effort is a miss. No organization has only one audience. Even if your organization has the most homogeneous target audience, say retired male teachers, it might be at different levels of engagement with the organization: some have never heard of it; some have just been exposed to your services; others are members; and you might even have a volunteer force that helps you fulfill your mission. Since budgets are always tight, the temptation is to create materials (brochures, mailers, email blasts, visuals) that communicate to the entire target audience. Unfortunately that seldom works. What to do then?
Identify your stakeholders. Every marketing campaign my company puts together involves a strategic session where we identify the target audience(s) and their level of engagement or commitment. Know who they are, their motivations, and the best way to communicate with them.
Create a progression flow. From potential member to committed core, there are logical entry points or milestones for every business, ministry, or church. Identify them and decide what it would take to move someone from the outside in. This exercise will help you decide the next level of engagement and what kind of information or type of an “ask” is reasonable to make of people who are in that group. The bigger the “ask” of your organization, the more levels of engagements you should have. If you work for the Peace Corps and your ultimate ask is for someone to give you his or hers best years, that’s a big ask. People will not sign up for two years in Africa because of your cool YouTube video. They might want more information because of the video, however, but that engagement process will take a lot of more effort, and therefore, more intentional communication.
Develop a communication strategy for each group or phase. Each of your identified target groups should have its own specific communication track. With the continued migration of communication from paper into the digital domain, that is becoming more and more a reality. As a matter of fact, some of your target groups might not respond to letters, print brochures, or direct mail.
What else would you add to this list?