Inbound Marketing Analysis


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 


–  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 ( 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.

Apple’s extended marketing mix

PRODUCT: Image portrays a visual journey of the evolution of the iPhone over time, from the very first iPhone to the latest iPhone X, comparing design, size and look & feel. The original model, released in 2007, was a technological break-through for its time and it is evident from the image above that subsequent models have maintained a consistent design as well as look & feel over time. This consistency is a key component of Apple’s strategy to win in the marketplace – by having easily recognizable products, Apple makes it easier for consumers to find and buy their products. The stylish minimalist look strikes a pleasing balance between professionalism and creativity, making it ideal in both a business and personal capacity (Stevens, Harry and Bhushan, Kul (2017).

PROMOTION: Apple’s advertising and promotion has remained consistent and distinctive over time, as demonstrated by the two print advertisements above for MacBook, 20 years apart. Even though the font has been modernized and the headline updated, the insight and tonality remain consistent and true to Apple’s brand positioning of easy to use, aesthetically beautiful products (Apple news room (2019).

PRICE: Image shows the iconic logo for the Apple iTunes store – another perfect example of Apple’s perceived-value-based pricing model– proving that perceived value (meeting a consumer need) is better than free! (Tech Stunt (2019).

PLACE: Apple’s iconic retail store located in Fifth Avenue in New York City is an example of a company owned retail store. This particular store has been voted as one of the most beautiful retail stores in the world a few years ago (Interior Design Shop (2014). 

PEOPLE: Apple invests heavily into its employees, called ‘specialists’ to ensure they help create a magical and enjoyable experience for shoppers instore and helping to improve their lives. The strategy has been refined over time and broken down to the acronym ‘A-P-P-L-E’ for ‘Approach-Probe-Present-Listen-End’ (Gallo, Carmine (2012).

PROCESS: Just like its promotional activities, Apple’s packaging process is emotive (a premium, pleasurable experience) and distinctive (elegant, well recognized, premium and minimalistic packaging) (Ruggeri, Alessandra (2017).

PHYSICAL EVIDENCE: After dramatically redesigning and simplifying the Apple logo in 1977, only minor tweaks have been made since then to modernize and update this classic logo (Hagan, Tom (2018). The easily recognizable mnemonic is memorable, versatile, meaningful and distinct – all the hallmarks of a strong logo.

Apple’s effective leverage and adaptation of Product (iPhone) within its extended Marketing Mix

The launch of the first iPhone in 2007 (Goldman, David (2011), revolutionized the way in which people connected, both with each other as well as their environment. The reason for the iPhone’s immediate cult status, as well as its ongoing sales success, is very simple: it is designed with the consumer at heart and its purpose is to solve problems that consumers were having, or in some cases solving problems that consumers didn’t even know they were having – and therefore making their lives easier.  Arguably Simon Sinek (2009) explains this concept the best with his “The Golden Circle” principle, which demonstrates that Apple’s core competency is not just in creative marketing strategies, but in delighting consumers with innovative, inspirational and revolutionary products that makes their lives better (solving consumer problems).

In 2007, when Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone (Jobs, Steve (2007), he introduced it as “combining three products—a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod® with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps—into one small and lightweight handheld device.” In fact, the iPhone provided much more, to name a few:

  • A built-in, megapixel, high-definition camera that disrupted the traditional camera and photo printing markets by solving consumers’ needs for immediately accessible photos that they can alter and share digitally and not have to print.
  • A QWERTY soft keyboard with predictive and corrective text, which allows consumers to quickly and easily type emails and text messages, making it easier for them to connect and communicate.
  • Google’s groundbreaking maps service which not only allowed you to find a specific location anywhere on the world, but it also could show you exactly where you are currently and used voice to give directions – thereby solving consumer’s navigation problems in a way that printed map books could never compete with.

Then on the 10th of July 2008, Apple adapted its Product offering and further cemented the iPhone as a revolutionary connection device, with the launch of the App Store (Helmrich, Loren and Waldron, Alex (2018). The introduction of these Apps further advanced Apple’s consumer offering by turning the iPhone into a torch, a gaming device, a health monitor and so much more. A flurry of new Apps were launched on a daily basis, allowing consumers to use their iPhones in new ways to solve problems they were having on a daily basis like standing in bank queues (online banking apps), having to print and carry airline tickets (electronic ticketing apps), making photos more beautiful and sharing them instantly (Instagram) etc.

In addition to Apps, Apple also constantly updates its iPhone software, sharpening and adapting it’s product offering and making it more relevant and useful for consumers.

Philip Kotler (2017) famously stated that “within five years, if you’re in the same business you are in now, you’re going to be out of business.” This view perfectly captures the fact that consumer needs, the environment, technology and competitors are constantly evolving, and successful companies evolve and innovate within these changing dynamics. From its start back in 1976, Apple has demonstrated that its ability to evolve its product offering to not only meet consumer’s needs, but also anticipate and create future needs, has been fundamental to its ability to retain the top spot as Forbes’ most valuable brand for almost a decade. (Forbes Magazine, 2018). One thing is for certain – in less than 5 years from now, the tiny mobile phone that we all carry in our pockets is going to disrupt, replace and create new industries in ways we cannot even imagine today!

Reference List

  • Forbes Magazine (2018). “The World’s Most Valuable Brands”.


Available at: [Accessed 14 March 2019].

  • Goldman, David (2011). “Apple’s financial empire”. CNN Business.


Available: [Accessed 15 March 2019].

  • Jobs, Steve (2007). “Apple Reinvents the Phone with iPhone.” Apple Press Release, 9 January 2007, San Francisco.
  • Kotler, Philip (2017). “My Adventures in Marketing: The Autobiography of Philip Kotler”. Idea Bite Press.
  • Sinek, Simon (2009). “Start with why. How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”. Penguin Books Ltd
  • Image 1: Sinek, Simon (2009). “Start with why. How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”. Penguin Books Ltd