Marketing Edge Consulting

Insightful thinking, innovative solutions, passionate service, extraordinary value

Nonprofit and Public Sector

Science Museum
Secondary Market Viability Research

As a medium sized Northeastern city initiated development of a state-of-the-art, 160,000 square foot science center, their initial projections assumed that renting the facility for corporate, social, and fundraising events could generate a small, but important amount of incremental revenue. The museum developers wanted a sharper understanding of the magnitude of this secondary revenue source before designing the museum. Our research helped quantify the market potential and identified design features that are important to event planners, many of which were incorporated into the museum’s architecture.  The museum is scheduled to open in late 2008.

State Department of Commerce
Best Practices Research / Marketing Organization

The State of Vermont has a highly defined brand image, but various state agencies used the brand in different ways, thereby undermining the power of the brand. We conducted best practices research among economic development and tourism officials in a number of other states to understand how they managed their brands. The research and recommendations that we provided ultimately led to passage of legislation calling for a consolidation of marketing efforts under a single Chief Marketing Officer, and other public sector innovations.

National Faith-Based Home Repair Ministry
Marketing Makeover

For 40 years, this Tennessee-based nonprofit had recruited volunteers to repair sub-standard housing in Central Appalachia exclusively through word-of-mouth.  Recruiting had leveled off at about 15,000 volunteers a year for several consecutive years.  We were engaged to build their first-ever marketing function.  Strategic recommendations included formalizing an “Ambassador” program, sharpening their messaging, and developing marketing materials that reflected the organization’s high quality work, including partnering to totally overhaul their outdated, static web site (new web site: www.BuildANewYou.org).  In the midst of the 2008 to 2010 economic crisis, volunteerism and fundraising are up, and more homes in Central Appalachia are “safer, warmer, drier.”  After our follow-up engagement, the CEO said “we are so thankful that God brought you to us.”

Social Services Organization
Strategic Planning, Re-Branding and Marketing

Like many nonprofits, our client had a structural operating deficit that was drawing down their reserves.  They were also burdened by cumbersome governance and management structures.  The strategic planning process that we facilitated identified paths for overcoming all of these challenges, and included a centerpiece recommendation calling for the organization to become a leader in promoting a new model of civic engagement.  We have been retained to help implement the strategic plan’s governance and marketing recommendations, and to guide the organization on the road to this new approach to civic engagement.  Slowly, the organization is regaining its strength, public perception is becoming more favorable, and the staff and board are more optimistic about the future than they have been in a long time.

Small Northeastern City
Branding and Marketing Planning

In the late 1990’s the city of Hartford, the state of Connecticut, and a major developer launched a $770 million mixed use project with the potential to transform Hartford, then the second poorest city in the country.  We were hired in 2001 to create a brand and marketing plan that would ensure public support for the project up through and beyond completion and that would attract investment and development.  The brand we created (“New England’s Rising Star”) perfectly captured the sense of anticipation and pride that residents felt in their changing city.  The marketing plan we created established the brand, which was quickly adopted, embraced, and extended, and is still in use today.  Since 2005, more than 1,000 new units of luxury housing have been built or being planned for downtown Hartford.

Social Services Organization
Strategic Planning, Re-Branding and Marketing

A 90-year old faith-based social services agency had lost its way.  Its key stakeholders and benefactors had lost confidence, the number of clients served was down, and the staff was disgruntled.  We created a strategic plan that the entire board and staff rallied around.  Because the plan was executable, the agency was able to implement most of the program, governance, and operational recommendations on their own.  We did participate in the follow-up for one of the recommendations: the development of a new brand.  The new upbeat brand that we created gave the staff and the community at large permission to believe that things had changed at the agency.  Indeed, several years later, the agency is stronger than it has been in years, and has assumed a leadership role within the community.

Children’s Museum
Re-Branding and Marketing

Research respondents said this community icon was “tired.”  Moreover, a new, $160 million state-of-the-art Science Center was being built 4 miles away.  The marketing solution was to focus on pre-school and elementary school students, and concede middle school visitors.  A new brand signaled that change in focus.  The ingenious rocket icon suggested that young children would advance their knowledge at the museum.  Just as important, the rocket suggested that the museum was poised to move ahead, and leave its “tired” recent past behind.  Since the brand introduction, the museum has attracted a prominent new Executive Director, strong board chair, and interest from the town in partnering to relocate the museum to a better site and facility.

 

Sampling of nonprofit client testimonials:

 

“This is absolutely terrific!!  Extremely well done!!  The plan is incredibly engaging and motivating and it reflects who we have been, are and what we can be.  Just great!!”

– Board President

 

“Thanks again for such a wonderful job you did over the last few months.  You certainly displayed a great deal of flexibility as the scenario changed from week to week.  Very professionally done!  It was a great pleasure working with you.  You have my deepest appreciation.”

– Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

 

“I want to thank you for your leadership throughout this project, but especially last night.  I thought you handled the conversation with grace and graciousness and made everyone feel a part of the process.  I can’t imagine working with a better team.  I am deeply grateful to you and expect to be included in any promotional materials you prepare for your firm.  I’m your biggest fan.”

– Executive Director

 

“Thank you for everything!  I do hope we can work together again.  It’s been a pleasure.  I think I will always remember when we were high fiving after the Board presentation.  What a feeling that day was in all regards.  Your work is going to help change the lives of deaf children and their families.”

– Marketing Director

 

“Bruce Putterman is a great moderator!”

– Program Director

 

 

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Written by Bruce Putterman

November 17, 2010 at 9:56 AM

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