Empowered to make lasting, positive change for an organization close to their own hearts, MBA candidates Kirsten Fuller Kaufmann, Gaile Sinn, Tammy-Jo Dupree, and Julie Urbas worked with the Minneapolis Professional Chapter of National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) to develop an integrated marketing strategy. The goal of this project was to increase membership by first defining the true target market, and then implementing a plan to reach, engage with, and acquire the audience as new members.
Recently, we had the opportunity to visit with the group about their capstone experience. Here’s what they had to say!
Q: How has your project made a positive impact on the organization?
A: Based on our research, there is a huge opportunity for professional women and MBA graduate to join the NAWMBA MSP Professional Chapter. We researched female graduate students in Minnesota. In 2016, 15,123 women completed their graduate degree at a Minnesota institution shown in Figure 4.
We developed a marketing tag line, “Connect – Empower – Lead,” and this will act as a beacon if NAWMBA implements our social media ideas. We recommend the tone for the NAWMBA MSP Professional Chapter to be professional, inclusive, fun and social. We want the members to feel this organization is a place all women professionals can come together to network, grow and have fun. We included a social and fun aspect of NAWMBA so that women can comfortably come together and network with other professional women, but allow them to have a good time. This feeling and tone will be expressed through our recommended marketing strategy and events. Handout materials, social media and event invites will include the tagline, “Connect, Empower, Lead”. This tagline expresses the vision and mission of NAWMBA, to allow women to network, empower themselves and become future leaders.
In addition, we carried the tagline over to events for 2018. The quarterly themed events we developed include:
- February: Connect – Annual Career Expo
- May: Empower – Annual Panel
- August: Socialize – Annual Rooftop Social
- November: Lead – Annual Leadership Event
Q: What is the biggest lesson you and your team learned from this capstone project?
A: As consultants, we learned that although we created an effective strategy, ultimately execution will be in the hands of the client. We learned to let go and not take it personal if they do not.
Q: Describe your initial scope of work, and how that may have evolved after starting the project.
A: To create a marketing strategy to grow membership from current 12-15 members to 50 by the end of the year. As a former board member I (Kirsten) was part of the strategic planning last year and this past January to build a home base, create new events and drive ideas for increasing engagement. Once we did the research on how other nonprofits increased their organization we identified those successful initiatives and implemented into our overall strategy. We began by reviewing the vision and mission of NAMWBA MSP Professional Chapter. We met with the Board of Directors and agreed on scope of consulting service.
Q: Tell us about new skills you have developed, or skills that you have been able to refine from this project.
A: I (Kirsten) learned from my IMC cohort how to integrate marketing concepts into our project. Looking at our end goals through the eyes of our target audience really helped keep our membership strategy moving forward. In addition, I was able to put to practice the research skills I learned from several classes in order to required to understand the data, and it was fun utilizing these skills to better aid in the pressing points of how many women are in the prospective pool of membership candidates.
Q: Explain how the organization will benefit long-term from the work you’ve done.
A: As with any nonprofit, it takes dedicated volunteers to make anything happen! One should not shy away from the stark reality of what it will take to grow an organization, or pretend the organization is bigger than it is. The work to increase membership must be done and this is a monumental challenge which deserves all-hands-on-deck! We have provided a thoughtful, well-defined strategy that we hope the Board of Directors and general members will openly engage and work together to genuinely build NAWMBA – MSP Professional Chapter.
Q: What is the vision and mission for NAWMBA?
A: The organization’s vision is: “The chapter will bring together women professionals seeking to network with other professionals and organizations committed to the development of women’s roles in business. Additionally, the chapter will offer opportunities for professional development to its members and the local community of MBAs.”
It’s mission is: “ To propel women into leadership positions and enhance diversity of the global workforce through professional development, educational events, collaboration, and community service in the Minneapolis – St. Paul geographic region.”
We are all honored to have helped create an integrated marketing strategy for this amazing organization!
NAWMBA National has created powerful tools to engage their membership community and at a reasonable cost of $75 per year. Learn more about how you can connect, empower, and lead with NAWMBA today!