Market engagement strategies involve the use of different approaches across various communication platforms to engage people and create meaningful interactions over time. This guide brings together areas covered by the How to Guides – ‘How to evaluate market segments’ and ‘How to create a compelling Value Proposition.’ It will help you design communications to engage existing clients and attract new clients.
The most successful use of market strategies ensures that you're engaging with your clients during each stage of their lifecycle: from when they first begin to use your services, to keeping them involved in your organisation and finally in converting them to become your advocates.
Bonds can be built through many different channels — whether that means engaging with clients face-to-face or on social media, channelling them to your website and personalising content, or developing other communications relevant to their needs.
Understand Communications Pathways
Your key client market segments will have preferred communication channels. These may be direct and/or indirect.
Your clients may prefer direct verbal and/or visual communication. Direct contact enables clients to express their thoughts and feelings and provide you with feedback immediatelyrequire of time and resources to manage.
This includes phone, mail, email etc. These communication methods more efficient than face-to-face processes, they may require prior approval processes to ensure messages are accurate and consistent.
Deciding who your clients are and how you are most likely to acquire new clients is a valuable step in determining the best communication methods. Communication also needs to occur with clients family, friends and service providers. The NDIS calls these groups ‘intermediaries’.
Develop consistent, clear communications
Messaging to clients, intermediaries and stakeholders must be consistent.
- Explain your value in service terms (e.g. our service creates independence)
- Link it to tangible outcomes for the client (e.g. being able to catch a bus/use assistive devices)
- Always use the most relevant channel for your chosen market (e.g. SMS may be most appropriate for some clients, and perhaps emails for some intermediaries).
Consider outside help
You may not have experience in using some possible marketing tactics such as digital campaigns or public relations. These may give you the immediate help you need to ensure your messages are consistent and reach your target audience. They may also enable you to nurture your image and establish your brand.
Ultimately you want to create meaningful content to humanise your brand to encourage long term engagement with your clients and their families. You may need a blend of tactics to achieve the reach to your primary segments (clients and secondary markets).
Decide whether your budget could support the services of a public relations or communication partner on an as-needs basis. If you go down this path, you should prepare a brief to explain what you need.
The Marketing for Good NFP guide from the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) has some good references on pages 6/7 and 10
The concepts of market engagement and relevance-based communications are well set out by the global group – Marketo