Sometimes we can learn valuable marketing lessons when we least expect it. One such example was at an event I recently attended that was hosted by a non-profit youth organization based in the US. It was attended by all the participates of their summer programs in Israel, including staff, campers, donors, associates and family members.

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Photo Credit: NCSY

As an attendee, I found it quite impressive to witness participants from their nineteen different programs with over 2000 high school teens. Although I knew the organization was running many different programs, it was inspiring to see all the people they serve gathered together in one place. On one hand, the sheer magnitude of what they are doing to help teens is simply amazing and inspiring. On the other hand, I was also impressed by how well this organization implemented some critical marketing practices that as a professional who interacts with many businesses and non-profit organizations, are often overlooked. So I thought I’d share some of my observations in the hopes they may provide inspiration to others trying to promote their businesses or organizations.

  1. Offer a Great and Memorable Experience

This event was simply fun. Everyone who attended left saying what a great experience it was. In a world with countless distractions vying for people’s attention, you need to make yourself really stand out and create positive associations with brand among your audience. Offering someone a memorable experience, be it an event, video, website funnel etc.., does just that. The more positive and unique the experience, the longer the impact will last, improving your long-term ROI.

  1. Promote Yourself

Even among people already familiar with your brand, you should always be promoting your organization. I’m referring to professional engagements here, and in no way am I suggesting you hand out business cards at your daughter’s piano recital.

At the event I attended, campers and staff were given branded t-shirts and towels. Also, branded signs were on display all over the venue, and they even hung a banner with a huge logo on the main stage, front and center.

Let people know who you are and don’t be shy about promoting your brand! Come up with a tag line and use it – everywhere – so that people associate you with it. In this case it was “best summer ever”. This was written on the t-shirts and mentioned several times throughout the show. This tag line helps to reinforce a feeling that people will associate with your event, relating to tip number one above.

  1. Know your Audience

The audience included a mixture of teens from diverse backgrounds. The program did a great job relating to these differences and making everyone feel included. All the of the videos they played were engaging and age-appropriate for all the kids at the event, and in no way catered to one group more so than another. Most businesses are marketing to several different audiences, so make sure that you either address them each separately or engage them with messages that can be equally appreciate by the collective group.

The whole program was a fun concert mixed with a lot of videos. The coordinators must have spent a lot of time creating these videos. Besides the fact that they were phenomenal, they also were the right medium for the target audience. Make sure that whatever medium you are using to promote yourself, is relevant to the audience that you are targeting.  For example, if your audience is 65+, Snapchat should not be part of the mix.

When analysing your marketing strategy, keep these tips in mind, and above all put your end-user first.