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Welcome to the National Challenge Institute e-learning lesson on Spreading the Word. Once you have fine-tuned your program’s message for each target audience, you must develop marketing tools to effectively spread the word. In this lesson, you will learn business-savvy strategies for marketing and advertising your program, including the use of tools such as word of mouth, presentations, mailings, media, and Web 2.0 applications. You will explore the purpose and value of each marketing tool, and explore how you can leverage the use of different tools to reach and maintain relationships with different audiences. At the end of this lesson, you will be able to: Explain the purpose and value of using business-driven marketing tools, List common tools for successfully marketing and advertising, and Match marketing tools to specific target audiences.

Spreading the word does not mean breaking the bank.

As a recruiter, you are cast in the role of a communicator, projecting messages about the ChalleNGe program and attracting the interest of target audiences. It is your job to make sure these communications are organized, goal-driven, and strategic.

Marketing may, at first, seem intimidating because the concept could bring with it the implication of expenses beyond the means of most programs. However, marketing does not have to entail buying million-dollar advertisements during the Super Bowl. Some of the most effective methods of spreading the word are also the cheapest.

Implement business-driven marketing tools to maximize resources.

Making the decision to implement business-driven marketing practices begins with composing a marketing plan. Marketing plans are a key element of any communications effort.  A plan will help you make decisions about how to use your resources most effectively, both in time and money.  In the process of writing a marketing plan, you should:

  • Determine your program’s goals for the marketing campaign.
  • Note your program’s strengths and what sets you apart from other youth-serving organizations.
  • Describe your situation in the “marketing environment.” This includes social, economic, and other factors which will affect your ability to achieve goals.
  • Describe the target market or markets – the people to whom you will be directing communications.
  • Create a budget, a schedule, and a plan for monitoring progress and measuring effectiveness.

Conduct research to learn about the needs and wants of your audiences.

As you develop your marketing plan, it is important to conduct market research in order to learn about the needs and wants of your target markets and about their attitudes and behavioral patterns. You will be able to use that information to tailor messages aimed at each of those audiences and implement the appropriate marketing tools to reach them. For each of the marketing tools covered in this lesson (word of mouth, presentations, mailings, media, and Web 2.0 applications), you will explore:

  • Its purpose and value
  • What target markets it would be most effective at reaching, and
  • How it is best implemented and developed