How will you reach your supporters? [12 of 15]

How? Letterpress[This is part twelve of our 1, 2, 3 Marketing Tree Step-by-Step series, written by our fabulous intern, Vicki. If you’re new to the series, you can catch up on previous posts. If you haven’t already gotten a 1, 2, 3 Marketing Tree, now is a great time to either buy the awesome poster-size version or download the free version, so you can follow along. You can find the free version in Claxon’s DIY tools a la carte menu or in the Marketing 101 Toolkit. You can buy the super spiffy poster here.]

Last week, we started our discussion of “How” with some tips for developing your message. Now, it is time to talk about how to deliver that message to your supporters.

The next branch of the 1, 2, 3, Marketing Tree says:

List the top three ways (e. g. flyers, events, Facebook) you will reach your ideal supporters over the next year. Assign who will be in charge of making each one happen and by when. You can keep track of the assignments and tasks on our handy-dandy Mechanism Manager.

If you’ve made it this far through the series, I’m guessing you are a methodical planner anyway. I don’t need to explain to you that each marketing task needs a point person and a timeline lest is fade into the dark, back corner of the storage closet of good intentions. So, I’m just going to focus on that first sentence.

The two key points you will want to consider for marketing mechanisms are

  1. You need to limit the number of channels and
  2. You need to focus on reaching your ideal supporters.

Three mechanisms is a good rule of thumb. Maybe you can get away with two. Maybe you need, and have the resources to support, four. The key is to enforce limits so you aren’t over extended. It would be better to do a superb job on a single platform than to be vaguely present on a dozen.

If you, like me, are delighted at last Sunday’s return of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, you may enjoy this article on how he “won the internet.” How did he do it? By focusing on just YouTube and Twitter.

Though limited in its use of social media, Last Week Tonight further provides a quality of content within the social media outlets it engages. In so doing, it challenges the perception that total social media saturation is the best digital strategy.

It also doesn’t hurt that he is brilliant, funny, and covers important topics.

Putting the focus on your supporters rather than mechanisms themselves is a helpful way to narrow the number down. Think about them and how they are most likely to engage in accordance with your goals. It doesn’t matter how popular a social media platform is if your supporters aren’t there and engaging in the way you want. For example, I have social media accounts, but event invites never make it onto my calendar from there. If you want me to come to your event, send me an email. If you have researched your supporters, you should know how to reach them. Use the best mechanism for each target persona, use it well, and then be done.


Chirp, the school for birds founded by Claxon’s mascot, Roxie, is marketing for new students using three target personas. (Check out previous posts for the full back-story.) Each persona can be reached in a different way.

Ruth, the Rockin’ Robin:

Ruth frequents Mrs. Timberlake’s bird feeder to stay abreast of the latest gossip. Roxy has agreed to take on the task of networking there. She loves telling other birds about Chirp so this is a great task for her. Roxie’s plan is to visit the bird feeder at least three times a week and she has created a designed experiment to determine the time of day when the other birds are most likely to engage with her.

Charlie, the Copycat Catbird:

Charlie prefers to be short and to the point and so has started using Twitter. He would appreciate practical tips he can use in his day-to-day life. In order to highlight how cool words can be, Chirp will begin a Word of the Day series on Twitter, noting a useful word and explaining its definition. Myrtle the duck will be leading this effort. She has agreed to post 5 times a week. To ease her task of thinking up words to post, she will be asking her fellow Chirp teachers to suggest words she can use.

Olivia, the Observant Owl:

Olivia plans to attend the annual parliament meeting of owls. Albert the owl will be attending this year to represent Chirp and extol to fabulous learning opportunities at the school. He expects to be able to recruit many of his fellow owls.

Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?