Creating your Marketing Strategy
Ok...so, you’re ready to get started, now where to start. Here are some considerations:
- Identify Your Team. Who will be a part of your launch team? If not you, then who on your team will be leading the charge? Who will be responsible for each element of your launch plan? Will you need design resources?
- Set SMART Goals. Make sure you have set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals.
- Identify Your Target Audience. Who are you trying to reach? Think about each user and what is important to them. Once you’ve identified this group or set of groups and their specific needs, crafting your messaging will be much easier.
- Craft a Budget. Think about all of your associated costs. Will you be integrating any giveaways or prizes? If so, have you determined what they will be? Have you considered design costs, print costs, etc.?
- Determine Your Marketing Mix. What specific initiatives will you be launching and when? What resources will you need to craft and build each one?
- Develop a Timeline. Have you laid out a timeline and communication schedule that details the who, what, where, and most importantly, when? This will help you stay on track and hold people accountable.
- Launch Your Plan.
- Analyze The Results and Keep Going. How are you going to measure your campaign’s successes? What reporting metrics can help you do that? Just because your launch is done, doesn’t mean your marketing efforts should be. Take a look at results. What does the data show? What are your students saying about the platform? Have you created a sufficient amount of OrgSync buzz?
Identify Your Team
Identifying your team is an important first step to any marketing initiative. This will help you identify what resources you have and where you might need some extra support. Don’t panic! You don’t need to go out and hire a whole new marketing staff or employ a professional ad agency. Rather, utilize some of your in-house talent.
Here are some common responsibilities that you might see on a marketing launch team. Many of these roles can be taken on by the same person. Ultimately, your overall support needs depend on the size of your launch campaign. Don’t take all of this on yourself. Create a strong team and identify point people for each area so you have someone who is accountable and responsible. Think about any student talent you might be able to draw from. Do you know of any student designers or copywriters? Can you get help from your campus marketing department, IT department, or student workers?
- Overall strategic planning
- Content development
- Copy editing
- Email deployment
- Website updates
- Social media
- In-person promotion
- Data analysis
Set SMART Goals
What is the purpose of goal settings? What are you trying to achieve? Goals ensure we have a clear target that we can measure success, or sometimes failure, against. They will help you concisely identify what you’d like to achieve, how you plan to achieve it, and when you’ll evaluate your success. You can have one or multiple goals, but either way, when you’re setting your goals, make sure they are SMART. No, we are not calling your goals dumb. We just mean make sure you set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals. Like many of your projects, you must consider each of these areas carefully.
In your case, goals will focus around engaging your student body, student leaders, administrators, alumni, or other more targeted populations to engage with OrgSync. Employing these techniques is especially important because it is aimed at increasing adoption on your campus. Here are some questions to consider:
If you’ve already gone through your five P’s, this part should be easy. Who is your target audience? What is your value proposition? Where are you focusing your marketing efforts?
Can you track your goals? Google Analytics can help you gain a baseline understanding of traffic and platform usage.
Make sure your goals are attainable. Can you get 100% of campus onboard in a single launch, or is it going to take more time? It is ok to not have 100% onboard right out of the gate. Think about what might be a more attainable goal based on your available resources.
Be realistic! Make sure you can achieve your goals given your available resources.
Make sure you set deadlines. Ideally, each element of your launch plan would have an attainable and realistic deadline.
Here are a couple of examples to help you get started:
|SMART Goal||Is it effective?|
|Launch OrgSync on campus.||This is an ineffective SMART goal. It is neither specific, measurable, nor timely. While launching OrgSync is a piece of an effective goal, this would be better optimized with more details around what, when, how success will be measured.|
|Sign up 100% of OrgSync University students.||This is also an ineffective SMART goal. While this goals is more specific and measurable, it is neither realistic nor timely. 100% of students might be a little ambitious for your initial launch, and based on the wording of this goal, we don’t yet know when you plan to have this completed by.|
|Sign up 25% of OrgSync University student organization members in the next 6 months.||This is a more effective SMART goal. This goal sets a realistic expectation, sets a clear timeline, and is specific in both success metric and target audience. This goal could be improved upon by providing a specific end date instead of a more open ended date of “the next 6 months.”|
|Sign up 25% of OrgSync University student organization members by January 1.||This is a very effective SMART goal. It is highly targeted by both audience date.|
Check out HubSpot's marketing SMART goals resources and templates for more information.
Identify Your Target Audience
Determining your target audience is a critical step in organizing an effective launch plan. Each audience may require a slightly different message based on their unique needs or pain points. Bringing multiple groups on board at the onset also ensures you have more lasting buy-in.
Here are a list of some of the target audiences you might consider in your OrgSync launch. Think about the most efficient ways to communicate with each of them.
Tip: Make sure you have representatives from each of your target audiences present during your initial on-site visit with your Campus Consultant. They are here to help you deliver as much value as possible and they can help you articulate the importance of OrgSync to each of these groups.
After you’ve identified your target audience, start brainstorming ways that OrgSync can help them. Here is a grid to help you get started. This is a great exercise to run through with your Campus Consultant during their onsite visit.
Create a Budget
You don’t need a big, overwhelming budget to have an effective launch. We have seen campuses spend very little and we’ve seen campuses spend thousands of dollars. It’s all based on the resources you already have in place and the realistic goals you hope to achieve. But, remember - it will take some time to get everyone on campus onboard, so this should be treated as an investment not a quick fix. As you build your budget try to think of all of the possible costs: design, print, rental, advertising, event, etc. Assuming you already have a set amount budgeted, here are a few tips to help you get started allocating funds:
- Make sure you are clear on your budget. Try to be as precise with your estimates as you can. Expenses are usually greater than anticipated, so be liberal with your projections.
- Take a look at your marketing wish list and catalog each associated cost (printing costs, manpower/time, promo costs, etc.) Your initial brainstorm for the launch may be a bit aggressive based on your budget, but this is a good opportunity to take a step back and determine what is really important to your campus.
- Keep a close eye on your results and make adjustments as needed. If one area of your budget is generating more awareness and OrgSync sign-ups than another more highly funded area, you might consider re-allocating resources. Additionally, if you overspend in one area take another look at your budget and see where you can reallocate funds to stay on budget.
Determine Your Marketing Mix
You (and your students) could be exposed to as many as 5,000 ad messages a day. And, keeping in mind that you’re battling nearly 5,000 other advertisements in a day, research has also shown that you need to see an ad 3+ times before it sticks. So, naturally, breaking through the clutter is especially important. This is where your marketing mix comes into play.
Your marketing mix is a unique blend of tactics designed to influence your target audience and promote OrgSync on your campus. The five P’s are a big part of your marketing mix decision and each will help guide your planning process. Some tactics to consider as you build out your launch plan are: web, email, social, print, promotional events, and PR. These are not the end-all-be-all of marketing tactics, though. We encourage you to think about creative initiatives that would work well for your campus. These could be new initiatives or they could be initiatives you’ve already implemented in the past. Think about how you can retool them to fit your new purpose.
Your website is the face of your campaign, so make sure your website is up-to-date with quality content and resources before you launch. You don’t want to launch and then realize students can’t find information on what you are offering.
Email marketing is a huge part of getting information out to your student body and a great way to generate buzz and awareness. However, students receive so many emails each day, so you have to find a way to break through all of the clutter. Email is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, but be careful - don’t rely too heavily on it. While it is an important tool, it’s not your only one! If you over email your students, you risk them tuning out, or worse - opting out. Here are a few OrgSync email templates that can help you get started.
Social media allows you to reach out to students where they are, on platforms they use every day. But, it is important to have a very intentional plan in place to get the most out of your social media efforts.
Flyers, postcards, and posters can be an effective tool to generate awareness on your campus. They can be eye-catching, buzz worthy, and a tangible reason for students to stop and take action.
Get out there! Never underestimate the power of face-to-face interactions. This type of tactic is important for two reasons: (1) it creates a personal connection with your audience; and (2) face-to-face interactions help form a stronger bond between your audience and the platform. So, when you are in situations where you’re doing in person promotions (events, presentations, etc.) take full advantage. Bring literature to show the platform benefits, educate users on how to sign-on and get involved, advocate for the platform’s variety of uses, and demonstrate how easy it is to use.
Public Relations is a great opportunity to get your message out to a larger audience all at once. PR will help you build credibility because it is coming from a different source, and it’s a great way to promote the benefits of OrgSync to your greater campus community.
Develop a Timeline
As you move forward, building out a launch plan and communication schedule based on a specific timeline is key. We have crafted a sample launch plan for you to work off of. Feel free to make it your own and revised it based on your launch goals and timelines.
Soft Launch 0-3 months
Soft launches help eliminate risk and plan for your larget, more global launch. This is also a great time to gather OrgSync champions and test your overall marketing strategy on a smaller group of users. Based on the results of your soft launch, you can make any adjustments necessary for a more successful, widespread launch. You can also begin previewing or teasing OrgSync to your larget campus community at this time. Some things to consider for your soft launch include:
- Test your messaging during this phase to see what works and what resonates with your target audience.
- Gather feedback so you can work out any kinks in your system early.
- Readjust your overall strategy based on your results.
Launch 3-6 months
Now that you have built a strong base of OrgSync champions you can begin more fully launching OrgSync. During the launch you'll implement your pre-planned marketing mix: emails, flyers, posters, postcards, PR, videos, training sessions, contests, etc.
Post-Launch 3-6 months after initial launch date
During the entire launch process, you will be able to closely monitor results so you can make any adjustments in real-time. 3-6 months in you can also begin gauging whether or not your campaign is having an impact through thing like built-in OrgSync reporting and surveying (both formal and informal).
Launch Your Plan
You’ve done all of the planning, you’ve tested your messaging, you’ve mapped out your budget - now you’re ready to take action and launch OrgSync. Keep in mind, you don’t have to launch to everyone at once. Rather, your launch timeline will depend on your community size and overall needs. Customize your launch plan based on who you want to reach and when you want to reach them. If you’d prefer, you can launch in stages or groups based on target audience.
Check out this sample launch template that you can use to get started. It will help you schedule out your communications and map out your editorial content.
Analyze the Results
After you launch OrgSync to your campus or organization, it is important to measure success. While ongoing monitoring is essential, you should also manage progress and garner feedback when possible. This helps you keep on top of your audience’s needs.
End with the Beginning in Mind. As your campaign draws to an end, think about what you’ve learned that you can implement into future campaigns. Review your overall summary and campaign statistics. Did you achieve your targets? If you did not, what adjustments can you make moving forward or in future launches?
Reporting. Reporting. Reporting. If you are looking for more funding next year or need more support from your supervisor, detailed reporting will help you show the effectiveness of your campaigns and how well OrgSync is working. Please note, reporting analysis should be done all throughout your launch, not just at the end. If you keep a close eye on your statistics in real-time, you can make on-the-fly changes as needed. With that in mind, what do your individual campaign results show? How could you improve? Are your email subject lines strong enough? What about your calls-to-action?
Survey. To help gauge whether your launch has been successful, and whether your audience understands your overall messaging, post-launch surveys can be very effective. These can be short, single question surveys, or longer, more in-depth analysis. In-person surveying and online surveying can garner very different results, so clearly map out how you’ll want to distribute your survey. Keep length in mind, and try to keep the total survey time less than five minutes. Here are a couple of survey question ideas to help get you started.
Keep in mind - just because your official OrgSync launch date has passed doesn’t mean you should stop marketing it to your users. Continuously remind users of the benefits of using the platform, especially if you are frequently cycling new users into and out of the platform every year. As you start thinking about where to go from here, look back at your campaign results and survey feedback. What worked? What didn’t? What can you do better or tweak for future campaigns?Marketing Best Practices