Give your Quest a great Marketing strategy

After a tough 2020, the Corona virus has been monopolising the headlines for the last 10 months and (unfortunately) will do for a few more of them.
Other positive and worthy causes such as the fight for the survival of our planet, education for the needy and many more well-worth causes have been relegated to the low end of the news visibility spectrum. How can foundations, association and not-for-profit groups come back to the surface to attract attention, volunteering and funding?

As a veteran in marketing and business development, I think there is much to take advantage of the change of behaviours created by the Corona times such as the booming of video social media and the ever-more-connected audiences. I believe there is a prime spot, right now, all around the world, ready to build on the foundation created by the last months of work-at-home, social-media intensive and video-mania marketing trends.

If you are connected to Not-for-Profit associations or foundations, the following key points might be of interest to you:
Goal #1: Focus on ambassadors
Some call them influencers, some call them followers…. For humanitarian or environmental (my favourite) causes, my recommendation is to focus on ambassadors. To the contrary of what this might sound like, those are not (just) celebrities but, first and foremost, they are the everyday people that will be support your mission as their reason for living, they are the ones that will help amplify what you are trying to drive around the world, the ones that will change the way they live to help make the planet a better place. Ambassadors are better than followers… they are your pillar, they sustain you during storms and will be speak on your behalf in their communities.
Goal #2: Be visual, be authentic
This is not new, gaining followers has always been a great way to drive attention to causes and, with the 2020 video marketing revolution, the tools like Vimeo, YouTube (of course) and Instagram TV are now prime for short, recurring episodes to drive loyalty for your quest and amplify the information. The development of new products from companies like Black Magic Design, GoPro, Insta360… have brought portable/efficient content creation equipment to be used in any location of the planet for a lower cost. This added with the roll out of 5G networks, connectivity with solid bandwidth for instant broadcasting allows for more “live” and impactful possibilities, faster upload and overall, a better way to feed content into your networks.
Goal #3: Create valuable content
I realise that I could have said “Create impactful content” but I think one has to be cautious about what is being published.
This is where the marketing content from traditional B2B or B2C differs dramatically: a not-for-profit organisation is not there to see the next product, and the next (and next…) but instead to have a sustained, long-term support, very similar to the one you would create for launching a brand. The secret is that the brand carries the cause and
the cause is the brand.
When it comes to creating support for causes, truth and genuine emotional content creation is key. It must be focused on the right message, at the right time rather than propaganda or rough/tough content that could damage the image of an already difficult mission at hand.
Compassion, togetherness and authenticity are the focus for such content to rally large audiences to a quest.
Goal #4: Broadcasting strategy
I use the word “broadcasting” has not just about video programming but anything that is being published on print, social media, during events, speeches, TV and video programming.
This is a complex task and it might be very much looking like a “ NASA mission to Mars”.
Like always, marketing is many times about repetition of the message to ensure that people get it and won’t forget it. When working on a cause, this is a little different as the message won’t change for a while. As a consequence, there is a fine line between boring your audience and keeping them interested.
This requires a consistent and well-thought strategy to engineer the message; looking at multiple angles, evaluating several facets about how to communicate, in different regions of the world, a consistent message and image. The pre-requisite is to have a solid set of marketing experience combined with multi-cultural and international understanding about how communication works around the world.
Social media and internet broadcasting is (almost) global yet, different areas the world are sensitive to different ways to “pass on” a signal, message or need for support, funding or seeking volunteers.
How to go about it?
Marketing strategy is never forever: it is more like a sourdough bread starter, it needs constant attention, adaptation, evaluation and corrective actions.
The key success factor is to surround yourself with the right talent and expertise as you won’t get many shots in making your cause known to the world.
With so much going on around the world, each mission is important and deserves attention, yet we know that audiences have only this much they can handle at the same time (regardless about how much we all think we can contend with).
Here is a short checklist for you to consider:

  1. Hire the support of a marketing expert that is interested in your cause (always better to have an additional ambassador) and make sure he/she has the right understanding about the sense of urgency that you are trying to convey
  2. Launch your campaigns only with a well-thought plan (ideally a rolling 12 months one) to ensure that you can take advantage of preparing material everywhere you go. Consider making b-rolls everywhere you are, so they can be used at all times
  3. Have a great IT and Creative brains teaming up with the marketing lead to always have high-quality digital content, well indexed and ready to roll at all times
  4. Never lose sight that the world can be your ambassador. Aim high and aim global.

Making the world a better place should be everyone’s focus. Many have just no idea about where to start or what to do… that’s where not-for-profit groups come in…helping the world finding what to focus on next… and making it happen!

I hope those short suggestions and “get started” key points will be useful to you. If you are or know someone that is at the head of a Not-for-Profit organisation, association or foundation that needs support, advice or just someone to bounce ideas (or challenges) at, put that person in touch with me. I’ll be happy to listen, guide and maybe even become an ambassador.

About the writer: Flavio Stiffan is a business development and marketing strategy freelance consultant with focus on creating market expansion game plans, many times focused on the creation and relationship with ecosystems.
He has supported several International and global clients in developing a stronger brand strategy.
In October 2020, Flavio has inaugurated the Creative Lab with focus in providing companies and individuals with innovative approaches to marketing and video marketing strategies.
On January 1
st 2021, he started an initiative “Marketing 4 Better Life” to help not-for-profit associations and foundations to access quality marketing strategy management at affordable rates. Flavio’s motto “Taking your Ideas beyond” is consistent with what he has created for his own business: put your mind to it, find ways to make it happen.

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