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marketing objectives Archives - Syneka Marketing

Collaboration – exploring the role of intermediaries in the marketing mix

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities | One Comment

The role of intermediaries and distribution channels seems is often neglected when considering the marketing mix, yet these channels can assist in achieving marketing objectives, including reach into target markets and value adding of client based solutions.

Collaboration and the fostering of partnerships applies equally to business, not-for-profit organisations and government. Collaboration, however, will not work effectively when it is poorly defined. When this occurs collaboration can quickly become in effect a client/supplier relationship or a partnership in name only, with the terms being one-sided.

The latter is surprisingly common in the not-for-profit sector, causing sector wide advocacy to become splintered, limiting reach and effectiveness. As a result, the not-for-profit sector lacks the industry wide voices that exist for businesses, whereby fierce business competitors will work together through associations to advocate on common issues, delivering a unified voice to government and other stakeholders.

All partners need to have a shared understanding of how each participant will deliver mutual value, meaning there should be alignment between the respective marketing plans. Ensure that each partner understands the desired outcomes, as well as timeframes and the resources that will be provided to work towards these results.

Collaboration can fail at all levels. The recent referendum in the UK, with the majority of voters indicating a desire to leave the European Union, is an example of where the perceived value of the collaboration did not meet expectations, despite economic evidence to the contrary.
Be clear on the purpose of the collaboration and what you aim to achieve. Make sure all partners understand that they need to invest resources into making collaboration work and that they have a genuine understanding of the need for shared success.

Ultimately the aim is to grow the pie, rather than fight over crumbs. Any collaboration that spends time fighting over what they currently have, rather than working towards what they should be achieving, is not going to deliver clear value.

Alex delivering marketing and social media essentials at Third Sector Expo 2013

Social Media Essentials at the 2013 Third Sector Expo

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources | 2 Comments

The Third Sector Expo is an annual conference and exhibition dedicated to the not-for-profit sector.

Syneka Marketing has received regular coverage in Third Sector Magazine, providing editorial content over the past year. We were invited to speak at the 2013 Third Sector Expo.

Alex speaking at the 2013 Third Sector Exhibition and Conference

Alex speaking at the 2013 Third Sector Exhibition and Conference

I discussed social media and marketing, outlining how an organisation needs to use the right tools to reach its target markets. Social media is a marketing activity, and should be linked to the actions identified in a marketing plan.

Every not-for-profit organisation needs a marketing plan to support its organisational or corporate strategies. A corporate plan will often identify what an organisation wants to achieve and a marketing plan looks at how to achieve these outcomes.

Marketing plans need to consider the tools that are available to achieve these goals, including communication methods such as social media. Following this approach means you will be able to communicate your key messages through an online community using social media tools.

Websites and social media are only effective if they are regularly updated. This ensures that visitors are aware of your organisation’s activities. In addition, the frequency of updates is one of the metrics Google uses for search engine rankings.

Fortunately social media can be integrated with a website, ensuring consistent messages that can be published once and replicated through tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Integration saves time by ensuring consistency, while also providing a base level of engagement. Using this approach provides the ability to foster online communities, by encouraging committee, staff, volunteers and members to interact with the discussion.

Social media should be treated like other forms of media and covered by a communications policy. The policy should outline acceptable use of social media and identify the spokespeople who provide official comments on your organisation’s social media accounts. Guidelines should be clearly published, including on the About page on Facebook, and visible within Twitter and other social media tools.

There are several social media tools, each of which are designed for different purposes. Facebook is good for building online communities and for promoting events. Twitter is great for quick announcements, and can be linked with Facebook to provide an integrated approach. Pinterest is effective through its use of photographs, and Youtube can host video content that can promote an organisation.

Social media is increasingly prevalent across all demographics. For example, over half of Australia’s population has a Facebook account. People aged 55 plus are now the fastest growing segment of new accounts. While social media has extensive reach, email still has almost universal coverage and should be included as an online form of communication. The ability to share email content should be incorporated within newsletters to encourage recipients to forward messages through social media.

The 2013 Third Sector Expo

The 2013 Third Sector Expo

Policies should distinguish between negativity and offensiveness. Offensive comments, that denigrate, or are inflammatory should be immediately removed. Negative comments, however should be managed by seeking to engage the person that wrote the content. Try and engage the person outside of social media to prevent other comments. In particular, it is best to try and resolve the complaint in person or via the phone to remove the anonymity that social media provides. Resolving a complaint outside of social media will often lead to better outcomes and enable you to demonstrate the steps you undertook to reach a resolution.

Social media can deliver positive outcomes for an organisation, if it is linked to marketing objectives.

For example, if your goal is to raise donations, ensure that messages target prospective donors and that you encourage the sharing of content to reach their extended networks. If you are aiming to raise awareness, then promote stories that creative a narrative, outlining how your organisation achieves positive social or environmental outcomes.

Audio equipment was kindly provided by ConnectingUp. A version of the presentation with audio and slides is available through Youtube:

Or view the slides delivered to the 2013 Third Sector Expo

Thank you to the many participants who attended our presentation and for the discussion on Twitter.  A transcript of the Twitter conversation is available via Storify.

Promoting your Club or Organisation – Presentation to members of Eastern Recreation and Leisure Services

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources | One Comment

Eastern Recreation and Leisure Services (ERLS) is a not-for-profit organisation that operates within the Cities of Knox, Maroondah, Whitehorse, Monash, Manningham and Boroondara.  ERLS works with sport and recreational groups to deliver activities for people with a disability through support in providing inclusive sporting programs.

This evening I was invited as the keynote speaker for the ERLS Community Education Briefing where I discussed marketing for sporting and accessibility groups.

Like any not-for-profit organisation there is a need to develop an effective marketing plan to determine key objectives.  This approach enables an organisation to determine its goals and identify strategies to reach prospective members, volunteers and other stakeholders.

The presentation discussed how organisations need a consistent theme and to clearly identify who it is they want to reach and the actions they want someone to undertake.  For example, while the key messages of an organisation would remain consistent, the approach taken to encourage volunteers would be different to facilitating donations.

The second half of the presentation covered the Internet and social media, given that this is an area that is increasingly being explored by not-for-profit organisations.  It is imperative that websites and social media are seen as marketing tools and not simply as IT exercises.

A website and social media presence needs to be considered alongside the other marketing tools that are used by an organisation, such as newsletters, brochures and information sessions. An online presence needs to complement the offline marketing materials and share consistent messages, themes and branding.

An effective website and social media presence can enhance the ability of a not-for-profit organisation to achieve its marketing objectives, but only if it complements other marketing tools.

View Presentation – Promoting Your Organisation

Hume Moreland Volunteer Coordinators Network

Using Social Media for Recruiting Volunteers – Hume-Moreland Volunteer Coordinators’ Network

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, Presentations, Resources | 5 Comments
Hume Moreland Volunteer Coordinators Network

Hume Moreland Volunteer Coordinators Network

The Hume-Moreland Volunteer Coordinators’ Network is a bi-monthly forum specifically designed for volunteer coordinators and managers for organisations within the Cities of Hume and Moreland. The forum covers a range of topics that are relevant to not-for-profit organisations, including associations that are entirely operated by volunteers.

I was invited by Hume City Council to be the keynote speaker for today’s session, where I discussed the use of social media for recruiting volunteers and promoting organisations. While the usage of social media is increasing, the outcomes are not always consistent within the context of an overall marketing strategy.

The discussion highlighted the importance of utilising social media to complement existing marketing activities. This approach ensures that an organisation is achieving its marketing objectives and is able to measure the impact of social media.

The forum was designed to be interactive and there was a lot of discussion on several of the social media tools, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Computers were provided to each participant, enabling attendees to see live examples of branded Facebook pages, Twitter profiles and LinkedIn.

Like any form of media, there is always the potential of adverse publicity through social media. Organisations should have a Media and Communications Policy that covers interaction with media, including the designation of an official spokesperson. Social media should also be covered by this policy and an official spokesperson should be authorized to access the organisation’s social media services.

While board, staff and volunteers should be encouraged to use social media to promote the organisation, only the spokesperson should have authority over official accounts. Formal announcements should be made through the official social media accounts to ensure credibility.

The spokesperson should also be utilized if negative comments occur on social media. This helps prevent escalating situations and helps board members, volunteers and staff avoid negative situations. While some organisations take the approach of restricting access to social media, a more effective approach is often achieved by ensuring members utilize social media in a positive manner.

For example, social media can be effective in recruiting volunteers. Sharing content via social media is the online equivalent of word-of-mouth recommendations and this can be an effective tool in promoting volunteer experiences. Research undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that 35% of people become volunteers because they were asked, while 29% knew someone involved. Organisations are able to reach prospective volunteers through social media by utilizing the experiences and networks of their existing volunteer base.

It is imperative that organisation’s take part in the discussion that occurs within social media, rather than simply trying to ignore this dialogue. Social media can be effective in promoting your organisation’s and objectives if it complements existing marketing activities, such as newsletters, websites, leaflets and media releases.

The Hume-Moreland Volunteer Coordinators’ Network is a valuable forum for not-for-profit organisations. I will be delivering a similar presentation to not-for-profit organisations in Warrnambool next month.

Introducing Kevin Cahalane – Membership Strategies with Social Media

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities | 5 Comments
Kevin Cahalane

Kevin Cahalane

Kevin is a membership recruitment specialist who will be sharing his expertise with Syneka Marketing and our clients. Kevin has worked with some of Australia’s top Associations, Clubs and other non-profit Organisations including CPA Australia, Financial Planning Association of Australia, Kindergarten Parents Victoria, Deakin University and Zoo’s Victoria.

Kevin will be sharing his insights through blog posts at Syneka Snippets.

Kevin’s first Syneka Snippets Blog Post is a recent interview with Alex on using social media effectively in not-for-profit organisations:

Kevin Cahalane
You are heavily involved in developing social media for not-for-profit organisations … what are some of the key requirements for a nfp to develop a social media strategy?

Alex Makin

A not-for-profit organisation, like any organisation, needs to know what they are seeking to achieve from social media. Social media is a communications tool to achieve your marketing objectives. Your messages and brand need to be consistent across all forms of marketing.

Kevin Cahalane
Put up a Facebook page … and you’re on your way, right?

Alex Makin

While it may sound this simple, there is to more to social media than simply putting up a Facebook Page or creating a Twitter account.

Firstly, social media, like a website, is only effective if it regularly updated. The best way to achieve this is to integrate social media with your website. Updated website content should be posted automatically to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email subscribers and other social media tools.

This approach ensures that you have consistent communication across your online marketing tools. Your goal should be to ensure that someone who connects with your organisation is able to receive the same content, regardless of whether they visit your website, Like your Facebook page, or follow you on Twitter.

Also, do not neglect email subscribers, email is still a very effective form of sharing content and should be utilised along with social media to ensure that you engage with your community.

Kevin Cahalane
What are some of the issues and pitfalls they face?

Alex Makin

You need to make sure that your social media presence is continually updated and maintained. An empty Facebook page or a lack of Tweets will deter people from connecting with your organisation.

Your website should be continually updated, add regular articles, such as content from your newsletters and media releases to demonstrate that you are an active organisation. The branding and identity of your organisation needs to be consistent across all forms of marketing including social media and your website.

Social media and the Internet is essentially a marketing and community engagement and exercise. If you do not engage your online community then you will not be effective in harnessing social media.

This does not need to be time consuming. If you integrate social media with your website then you only need to write content once and it will be replicated automatically through Facebook, Twitter and other tools.

Consider the information you currently develop, such as brochures, newsletters and factsheets and use this information for your website and social media.

Kevin Cahalane
If an organisation does not currently have a social media strategy, what are their first 2 – 3 steps?

Alex Makin

  1. Make sure your brand and messages are consistent across all your marketing materials. You should be able to easily add and maintain your own website. If you cannot do this, then it is time to consider a redesign with a content management system. This will enable you to maintain and add content to your website, as easily as typing a document on a letterhead.
  2. Create a Facebook page, Twitter profile and other social media tools. Make sure you know who is authorised to speak on behalf of your organisation.
  3. Integrate social media with your website and engage your online community. Make sure you regularly add content and promote your social media presence in your newsletter, website and other forms of marketing.
Kevin Cahalane
What do you find are some of the biggest obstacles to successful social media implementation?

Alex Makin

Organisations need to remember that social media is a marketing activity and its use needs to be effectively planned and developed.

An ad-hoc approach with irregular updates is not going to be effective.

Integration is the key to social media success so that you write content once and replicate it across your networks. This saves time and ensures ongoing engagement with your online community.

Kevin Cahalane
Any other advice for those starting out or those who have some social media (eg a Facebook page) plans in place, but are struggling?

Alex Makin

Remember that social media is widely utilised across all demographics. Facebook and Twitter are no longer just used by younger people. In fact, the fastest growing Facebook demographic are people over 55 years old.

Also, do not neglect LinkedIn as it can be a very useful tool to strengthen and build connections between your organisation and other like minded organisations.

If you are struggling then it is time to consider what goals you have for social media and develop a strategy to work towards these outcomes. Social media should complement your marketing activities.