I have chosen the Third Sector or Not-For-Profit Sector for my review of how companies or brands use Inbound Marketing to achieve their business objectives. This is primarily because businesses in the Not-For-Profit Sector tend to have limited access to big marketing budgets and therefore need to rely on cost effective and impactful methods to achieve their goals.
I have looked at a range of businesses from well-known causes such as “The Heart Foundation” and “St Johns Ambulance” through to newer causes such as “Australian Hearts” and “Defib for life”. The full list of websites I have considered can be found in the Reference List, however I have chosen to evaluate “The Heart Foundation” and “Australian Hearts” as two causes with similar objectives but very different marketing investment spend and Inbound Marketing methods.
Evaluation of approach to Inbound Marketing
For both “The Heart Foundation” and “Australian Hearts”, their websites act as the central hub for information about their mission and how to get involved. They both rely heavily on Google and SEM to attract traffic to their sites.
“The Heart Foundation” is a diversified organisation, however their primary mission is to combat Australia’s biggest killer, namely deaths due to cardiovascular problems. As heart disease is a complicated and broad cause, it is not easy to be completely single-minded in their mission and hence their landing page has many tabs to click into, depending on consumer’s needs/interest areas. To generate interest and awareness, they are currently running a consumer campaign encouraging consumers to become more active, which lessons your risk of heart attack – “My Marathon – Run a marathon in 4 hours, 4 days or 4 weeks” – (Heart Foundation, 2019). The purpose of this campaign would be to build awareness around their primary purpose, i.e. combatting heart disease. From what I can observe, I would say that “The Heart Foundation” has an active Inbound Marketing approach and rely on blogging, promotional campaigns and value-added offerings like eBooks to engage with consumers.
“Australian Hearts” is far more single-minded in their mission, namely they aim to “make Australian work and community spaces safer by educating Australians on the importance of life-saving Defibs in responding to Sudden Cardiac Arrest and by passing legislation that mandates Defibs in workplaces, public spaces, community spaces and sports facilities” (Australian Hearts, 2019). Because their mission is single-minded, their landing page can be very directive, and it opens on a call-to-action to sign their petition to mandate Defibs in workplaces.
From what I can observe, I would say that “Australian Hearts” has a less active Inbound Marketing approach and rely on social media (primarily Facebook) posts and promotional campaigns to engage with consumers. There is scope to vary their content more, which is currently heavily focused on sharing survival stories or successes where Defibs have been installed and start to offer more value-added content to consumers as well, like for example “How-to” videos, interesting infographics, events, relevant news and targeted emails on how people can easily get involved to make a difference.
“The Heart Foundation” – Strengths and weaknesses of the Inbound Marketing approach used
– Business Goals: I think that a challenge for “The Heart Foundation” is that because their mission is so broad, you need multiple approaches/methods to achieve your business goal and you need to ladder activities to build towards success. I assume that their current campaign – “My Marathon – Run a marathon in 4 hours, 4 days or 4 weeks” – is one of many activities that aim to achieve their business goal and therefore I think a strength of their landing page is that you are immediately invited to get involved and join their mission.
– Target (Buyer) Persona: It is evident from their landing page that the “Heart Foundation” has segmented their audience into different Target (Buyer) Persona. On their landing page there are multiple tabs that cater for different Persona, namely: “Your Heart”, “After my heart attack”, “Healthy Eating”, “Active living”, “Research”, “Support us” and “For professionals”. This approach means that consumers’ different needs / pain points can be address quickly. You may be a heart attack survivor, fearful of getting a heart attack and wanting to learn how to prevent it, a volunteer hoping to help out or a medical professional for example and all these different groups are targeted.
– Value offering: After interacting with “The Heart Foundation” website, a few days later I was retargeted with a value offering on social media (Facebook) – a free eBook with healthy eating tips and recipes (which can help improve my heart health). This is a great Inbound Marketing strategy to engage me and encourage me to sign up to their newsletter (capturing basic data about me) and thereby fostering the opportunity to connect with me again on email down the track.
– Blogging: “The Heart Foundation” is actively blogging and targeted new consumers as well as keeping current consumers engaged. Their blogs are easily accessible on their website, visually engaging, contains links to relevant external resources, and regularly updated. They are also actively pushing these blogs on social media and targeting new users in an effort to attract them to their cause. “The Heart Foundation” also has plenty of original content and useful free tools that you can use (i.e. to assess your heart’s health etc.).
– SEO: “The Heart Foundation” does not rank high on Google’s organic search which is a real downfall and would suggest that their website is not optimized effectively. See below for suggestions to improve.
“Australian Hearts” – Strengths and weaknesses of the Inbound Marketing approach used
– Business Goals: As mentioned previously, a strength for “Australian Hearts” website is that they are single-minded on their landing page and contain a prominent call-to-action that is directly related to achieving their business goal.
– Target (Buyer) Persona: There is little evidence to me that would suggest that “Australian Hearts” have segmented their audience into different Target (Buyer) Persona. By not segmenting by different Persona, the website can appear lacking in relevant content and not meeting or solving all consumers’ needs or problems. This is an opportunity that can be addressed, see suggestions below.
– Blogging: The “Australian Hearts” website contains very few blogs. This is an opportunity that can be addressed, see suggestions below. However, they are very active on social media (Facebook in particular) and are regularly sharing survivor stories, engaging videos on how to restart a heart, relevant information and news updates. All this content helps to attract new consumers and keep current consumers engaged and connected.
Which organisation was best at Inbound Marketing and why?
“The Heart Foundation” has a more effective Inbound Marketing strategy and are more active in achieving their business objective of saving lives from cardiovascular problems. After initially interacting with their website, I have been retargeted multiple times with various value offerings (eBooks, infographics, hints and tips) and I have also been encouraged to participate in their current campaign. Their interactions with me have been varied (info, value-added offerings, blogs, videos) and on multiple channels (social, email etc.).
By contrast, there has been more of a ‘push’/’one-way-communication-approach’ approach by “Australian Hearts” in that whilst I have interacted with their content on a few platforms (website and social media), there has been very little retargeting and no value-added offerings. Mostly I have just seen their Facebook posts with updates on new Defib placements and amazing survivor stories but I would have enjoyed being invited to events, simple explanations of how I can get involved with the cause or informative content that would help answer some of my questions / interests around the topic.
Give examples of how each organisation could improve its Inbound Marketing
THE HEART FOUNDATION:
– SEO: When you search various terms related to “The Heart Foundation’s” mission, for example ‘cardiac arrest’ or ‘sudden cardiac arrest’, “The Heart Foundation” ranks lowly on Google’s organic search. Surprisingly overseas companies (UK and USA) rank above the Australian “The Heart Foundation”, which means that their website will miss out on attracting consumers who are actively seeking information or content. I would suggest that “The Heart Foundation” optimizes their site by sharpening their title tags, header tags and alt tags for images, create content with targeted keywords related to their mission, and better structure their URLs to describe content on their pages and post to relate to key search terms. They already have great blogs that are regularly updated, so the basic building blocks are there and just need optimisation.
– Community Connecting: I notice on “The Heart Foundation” Facebook page that there is not a great deal of interacting between members. Given the emotive cause (saving lives from cardiac arrests), I think there is a great opportunity for “The Heart Foundation” to encourage members to interact with each other, share stories, support each other and band together to achieve change. This would create an even more engaged audience as not only are consumers connected to the brand (“The Heart Foundation”) but also to each other, thereby increasing the opportunity to become passionate ambassadors.
– Target (Buyer) Persona: As a starting point, I would suggest that Australian Hearts segment their potential audience into different Target (Buyer) Persona to ensure they effectively achieve their business goal. As an example, you could have the following 3 cohorts:
o Survivors (and friends/families of survivors) of sudden cardiac arrest who have been saved by Defibs. Their need might be to want to help others be saved too. Their Engagement Cycle (Attracting, Converting, Closing and Delighting) them needs to be tailored to their specific needs/pain points. Emotive content would resonate deeply with this cohort.
o Family/friends of people who have lost someone to sudden cardiac arrest because that person did not have access to a defib. Their need will also be the same as the above / first group (awareness and access to defibs to help save lives), but the way to engage and motivate them will be very different to the first group. Emotive content would also resonate with this group; however, a filter of sensitivity needs to be applied.
o Generally interested public. This cohort will also ultimately have the same end need as the above two groups, however the way to engage them will be significantly different as they do not have an emotionally vested interest as the above two groups. This will be the most challenging cohort to engage, however, they cannot be ignored as they will be the largest cohort and are therefore essential to “Australian Hearts” achieving their goals. This cohort will need plenty of informative and value-added content to become engaged.
– Blogging: An area where “Australian Hearts” can optimize their “Attract Engagement” tactics is by curating more content and improving their blogging. I found an example on a similar website (http://www.takeheartaustralia.org/blog/) who have an extensive blogging history. This company has not been active in the last 2 years, however, during 2017 they set a great example of relevant updates, varied content, easily searchable, ways to get involved (CTAs), visually engaging content and multiple external links to other useful resources.