In business and in marketing, the buzzwords change as often as the world does. It can be hard to keep up. One element, however, that will never lose value – is strategy.
In the second instalment of the UK-South Africa Tech Hub Launch League Hub Leaders Forum; we honed in on strategic communications where the conversation kicked off with a presentation by Jennifer Geib, named “Focusing on Impact: strategic marketing to better reach funding partners.”
The Launch League Hub Leaders Forum is a short programme established by the UK-South Africa Tech Hub and Viridian to bring together CEO’s of key South African entrepreneurship and skills hubs to have open and honest conversations about their successes and challenges for achieving sustainability.
Jennifer Geib describes herself as a communications designer who, after working in international development for many years, decided to pursue her passion for design and storytelling. Today, she helps nonprofit organisations to effectively communicate their impact. Her presentation during the Hub Leaders Forum not only focused on how hub leaders and other organisations can market to their target audience; but how to market strategically to potential funders.
“I tried really hard to come up with some ground-breaking, earth-shattering nuggets that I could drop on you; but the reality is that marketing has some very basic principles,” said Jennifer. Those principles make up her ethos. They are: do great work, get noticed, increase engagement, and build trust.
“When we get noticed, that’s when we can show our organisation’s values,” she continued, emphasising that getting noticed is often side-lined when organisations prioritise principles to practise.
During the forum, Jennifer offered a ‘map’ for how to lead an organisation to showcase more of the great work it is doing by strengthening your marketing efforts. This framework includes the following elements:
“Content is still king,” Jennifer highlighted, reiterating a marketing mantra that has gained traction over the last few years. “That’s how we tell our story.” Creating content can actually be relatively easy if hubs leverage and re-purpose many of the assets that they already have or activities they are already running.
Ultimately, Jennifer highlighted that a strong marketing strategy is guided by the following: keep your purpose in mind, know your audience, keep storytelling central, and keep it simple.
Fans of Instagram have become familiar with the saying, “Take a photo or it didn’t happen!” Putting her own twist on this, Jennifer offered this gem: “If an impact is made and never shared, did it really happen?”
This is the strength of her ethos: that sharing your impact with funders keeps them aware of your great work – but it also keeps the lines of communication open, and that is how you build trust.
A special thank you to Jennifer Geib for sharing such rich insights and pointers with our hub leaders. Visit her website here: https://www.jennifergeib.com/
To read more about the first instalment of the Hub Leaders Forum, read this article.