Today’s guest post is written by Reina Munsch, Senior Director of Marketing at the American Pharmacists Association.
There are many ways to market your association beyond traditional media. And the options keep growing. One could take an approach that uses all of them to make sure your company’s message is everywhere and claim you are taking a cutting-edge approach.
However a more efficient strategy would be to do a little more intelligence gathering to find out more about whom your audience really is and where they get their information.
Where do you begin?
Start with your database and define your market segments.
User your database to pull information such as gender, age, geographic location, member renewal dates, time of purchases, meeting attendance etc. Then gather data from external sources through white papers and published research. You can obtain a lot of lifestyle information for virtually nothing. For example, there are a number of reports that provide breakdowns of demographics including usage of smart phones, Facebook, LinkedIn, direct mail, print advertising and television ads. The following research companies provide downloadable reports, Sherpa, Forrester, Gallup Polls, and Nielsen. Many of the vendors you work with develop white papers and webinars. If you still need to find out more about your target audience do an online survey. This is a very inexpensive way to gather more data that you can append back to your database. Now you have this data you need to organize it in a way that is understandable and can be referenced when developing your campaign and content strategy.
Build a profile for each of your market segments.
To create a profile you really need to be able to define the person as male or female, age range, how they use social media as well as media, how they use technology, geographic location and lifestyle to help you segment your market and develop an effective profile. Here is a basic profile example:
Jane is a 45 year old association executive and has been a member of her professional association for 10 years. She joined so she can keep up with the latest develops in her field.
She attends the annual meeting at least bi-annually and seeks out relevant webinars. She purchases publications and white papers occasionally. She likes to network via the association’s social media platform. Finally she reads the monthly e-newsletter to make sure is up on all latest news in her profession.
She begins her morning at the office by catching up on the latest headlines, Facebook and e-newsletters she subscribes too.
Now one of your member segments is complete.
Develop your content strategy around your channels
To develop your content strategy first start with knowing the rules of the marketing vehicles you are using like word limitations, content that needs to be included, placement of images and headlines etc. Second, match the types of marketing vehicles to your member’s profile. For example, if Jane reads her e-newsletter every morning so this is perfect to develop content that you would like her to act on quickly and have the content on your web site for more details.
Next, personalize the salutation and the messages you are sending them. Be sure to develop benefit statements for why it is important to the member. Don’t create a benefit statement for the association. Last, be sure to test content, analyze and incorporate your results into the next campaign.
These steps will help you develop a successful and more efficient strategy.
Reina is Senior Director of Marketing at the American Pharmacists Association. She focuses on building successful marketing programs to energize marketing performance for associations and non-profit programs by increasing ratings, driving publication revenue and driving meeting attendance. You can contact her directly at Reina_munsch (at ) yahoo.com.