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Your Digital Marketing Plan: What to Expect During Discovery

Kicking off a strategic digital marketing plan

Discovery is best suited for nonprofits looking for a long-term digital marketing plan, defining (or redefining) themselves, or focusing growth in a new, unfamiliar area. A Discovery process serves to answer the high-level “How should we market ourselves?” with a strategic, actionable communications plan. Every Discovery is unique to an organization’s strategic goals, internal staffing, budget/resources and available data.


What is Discovery?

Discovery is an in-depth research process examining your audiences, messaging, platform opportunities, budgets, timeframes, conversion paths, and key success metrics.

Deliverable components can include any combination of the following:

  • Persona Development – A deep look into your target audiences from existing data, team interviews, and mini-focus groups. Who they are, where they are, how they communicate, and how to speak to them on a personal, emotional level.
  • Messaging Framework – Your overarching messaging that encompasses how you talk to your target personas about your organization as a whole and your specific initiatives.
  • Content Strategy – How to best create or repurpose content across relevant digital channels.
  • Systems Diagnosis – A look under the hood to understand all how your internal marketing/communication tools (CRM, CMS, email platform, etc.) can best work together.
  • Advertising Strategy – Recommendations on media platforms, creative execution, and flight pacing according to your budget and strategic goals
  • Lead Capture Audit – Specific user experience optimizations to make on key pages and page types to grow your community.
  • Lead Nurturing Strategy – Segmentation strategies based on intake points, persona profiles, and overall marketing goals

In other words—who, what, where, when, why and how.


An in-depth audience analysis examining any combination of your current databases, prospective audience models, social media audiences, email lists. If you don’t have assets, we can work backwards—by defining your ideal audience segment and then developing targeting strategies accordingly. Your ideal audience is someone who will move past engagement into conversion.

This comes to life with personas—a profile of your ideal audiences.


Your key messaging points by persona. This is the substance of your overall content strategy—what you should be talking about and how you should be talking about it in a way that most resonates with your supporters. We find this by looking at your persona target’s content habits—what types of content they are most likely to read, engage with, and share.

This comes to life with a content strategy—a communications plan that highlights your key messaging points.


Your best media platforms. Once we know your target persona profiles and your messaging points, we naturally find the best platforms for you to get your messaging out. Maybe social media is all you need. Maybe you could benefit from a sponsored content campaign. Maybe one big digital takeover ad will fit the bill. We’ll evaluate your budgets to develop a robust media plan complete with benchmarks to gauge performance and pivot points for maximum return on investment (ROI).

This comes to life with a media plan – a breakdown of organic and paid media to reach your target audience with the most effective messaging.


Your content and promotional calendar. We will prioritize strategies gearing for launch, nurturing, final conversions, and key timeframes for your organization (year-end, flagship fundraising, or other identified opportunities).

This comes to life with a content/campaigns calendar—a 12-month schedule for posting, themes, key campaigns, and ideas.


Your conversion funnel. Every digital action is along a conversion path to turn leads into supporters, customers, donors, applicants, or activists. We take a data-driven approach and compare your organization’s potential opportunities and challenges against industry standards. We also examine how your current communications flow can be optimized or implemented with lead-capture tools like lightboxes, slide-ins, or landing pages.

This comes to life with conversion benchmarks—your target metrics from initial acquisition through final conversion.


(And how much?) Your plan of action combining platforms, audience targeting, messaging, and follow-up communications. As a bonus, we also take a look at your systems to make sure things will play well together once things are up and running.

The final deliverable for your Discovery is an actionable digital marketing plan that can easily be handed off internally, to another partner, or a Media Cause account team to be executed with confidence.

How does this help me?

This helps you move from a mentality of caution and doubt into a mentality of action and testing. Essentially, you are now free from bureaucracy and approvals and ready to confidently move forward with a digital marketing plan rooted in data.

What is my ROI?

Our favorite question. We’ve tapped new markets, converted leads through to applications at a mind-boggling 50%, and help best-in-class organizations rebrand themselves and their products (more on our work here).

Your worst case scenario is NOT doing a Discovery and wasting money on flawed targeting, ineffective messaging, and ill-suited platforms. We treat your budgets like our own. We don’t want to see you waste it.

Ready to take action?

Get in touch.


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