Some of our favorite clients to work with are people who often forget they need marketing or branding. The folks who are so immersed in the day-to-day that anything beyond their “a-ha!” moments just doesn’t hit their radar.

Let’s say you’re a group of grant-funded researchers. You have a specific goal to develop solutions and disseminate information for the common good, whether that be public health, education, or global warming. When the time comes, you’ll need to coordinate outreach to get your findings to the relevant audience so they can be helped. However, simple outreach is not enough—outreach through a branded marketing campaign is how you make sure your offerings are cohesive, memorable, and effectual, and that they get into the right hands.

What is outreach?
Outreach is providing information to people, particularly to those who may not have access to the information at hand, or those who need it most. It is often the end result of a component of any number of efforts to help change community behaviors to alert audiences to information they need to know.

Ok, now what’s marketing?
Marketing, as defined by the American Marketing Association, is a set of processes that provides a product, service, or information to a target audience that finds it valuable. Many people think of marketing as the purview of for-profit efforts — but this is not the case. Think of marketing as the rich, handsome, successful cousin of outreach. Glamorous, hard to ignore, exceptionally compelling. In our work, we apply marketing processes strategically to perform outreach on a large scale. And they can be particularly valuable.

What does this mean for you?
It means you need to embrace the tenets of marketing. Which also means you should brand your outreach efforts. Giving your research results and your message a solid brand is one of the most effective strategies you can do to get your message to the people who need it. 

A brand is your personality, and it distinguishes you from all other noise. It reinforces your expertise because it makes you more visible and memorable. When people see your billboards or social posts, they’ll go “Ah, they’re the women’s health people” or “Yeah, they’re the team that promotes college access.”

Your brand is your values and your mission. It’s how you connect with people. It’s the bedrock of your outreach, and without one, you’re more or less aimless.

A case study
One of our favorite examples of this is a team of researchers and scientists who came to us with the need to develop outreach products focused on preventing the release of aquatic invasive species available in trade. (Translation: Don’t toss your aquarium plants and pets into the local waterway.) To quote the client, “We have lots of good content but no expertise in design, and we’re struggling to generate a catchy tagline.”

Spoiler alert: We’re really good at catchy taglines.

We helped the team develop RIPPLE, an easy-to-remember acronym for “Reduce Invasive Pet & Plant Escapes.” We developed solid non-technical language that would be easy to consume by the folks who needed to hear the message, and we gave them a functional logo and a suite of materials with a polished, cohesive look and feel. In short, we gave the experts expertly-crafted materials to build a brand that people would recognize. Outreach becomes so much easier when you have proper tools at your disposal. Now, RIPPLE is a recognized brand for the target market and it’s sure easier to say and remember than the technical alternatives.

Is this you?
When the reason you jump out of bed in the morning is to, say, study the causes and effects of topsoil erosion, it’s safe to say you probably know what you’re talking about. (That’d be a subject-matter expert in marketing-speak.) Running tests, understanding data, and developing methods are your wheelhouse, and it’s fairly certain you’ve found a way to change the world for the better if you can just get enough people to listen and modify their behaviors.

But marketing and outreach might seem like gripping spaghetti. Or seem like a nuisance. It’s a thing you know you’ve got to do, but you’re not precisely inclined toward. That’s where we, a marketing and branding agency, have your back.

We’re your mouthpiece, your megaphone, and a whole bunch of other apt metaphors. We build a strong brand around your work that reflects your ideals, personality, and purpose. We craft you a strategic marketing campaign that gets your know-how and hard work in front of the people who need it most. We help you become a brand with a message that people recognize.

And as a result, we all live to see a brighter tomorrow.