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Defining Mission-Driven Marketing

We get it. Marketing and communications jargon can be pretty dang confusing. Add in mission-driven and impact language and it’s enough to make your head spin. Have no fear, the Like Minds team is here to clear the air surrounding some of the common terms you may (or may not) have heard from strategic communications professionals, particularly those working or volunteering for mission-driven organizations*.

Still have questions? Drop us a line and we’ll be more than happy to serve as your friendly marketing/communications translation team!

*For the purposes of this blog, we use the terms mission-driven organization, social enterprise, and nonprofit organization interchangeably. There are important structural differences between them, but all are characterized by a commitment to social good.


A/B Testing

Also known as split testing, marketers utilize A/B testing to find out what types of campaigns, content or imagery perform best with their audiences. While the audience stays the same, one element - like the copy or the visual (image/graphic/video) - changes slightly in order to test which performs better. For instance, Like Minds Communications is looking to increase its mission-driven client base. We might want to run a Facebook ad promoting our services with four different combinations of copy and visuals.

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All ads will target the same audience, which we predetermined as a team. The results will indicate which ad generates more inquiries from potential clients and will allow us to pinpoint which variable impacts performance the most. This enables us to optimize our future communications by tailoring our ads to our audience, ensuring that our (limited!) advertising dollars are used most effectively.

Learn how to implement your own A/B tests within your marketing campaigns from HubSpot.



At the center of all successful strategic communications for nonprofits, branding is, according to Entrepreneur, the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. Branding professionals or agencies ultimately specialize in creating your business’ brand image through key messaging, logo creation, imagery (including colors, fonts, etc.) and often, the accompanying marketing materials. For social enterprises and mission-driven organizations operating in crowded markets, branding is crucial to establishing credibility and instilling trust among key stakeholders, including but not limited to potential donors, grant makers and volunteers. We’re lucky to have partnered with some of the best branding minds in the business, like Tippit & Moo and LIMB, to serve our clients.



Social impact marketing campaigns can take on all kinds of forms, last any period of time and aim for various goals, but they all share one thing in common: they are all organized initiatives with a strategy at the forefront and specific end results in mind. For instance, a nonprofit launches a campaign in order to raise a large number of dollars in a short period of time. The organization determines that to do so, it must establish multiple touchpoints with its target audience across various media. This campaign can manifest in one or more forms, like email marketing, social media, media relations, community involvement, print advertising or digital marketing. The campaign could last 24 hours to several years depending on the nonprofit’s budget, growth plan and goals. Those goals could relate to sales, fundraising, volunteerism or registrations. In short, a campaign is a marketing initiative guided by strategy, bound by time and measured by effectiveness towards achieving stated goals.


Digital Marketing

Marketing for nonprofits extends from print to radio to TV to digital. While digital marketing refers to any marketing efforts that take place online, including but not limited to social media marketing, email marketing, website development and web/mobile apps, marketers are typically referring to something more specific when they talk “digital.” Digital marketing typically refers to SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing) and PPC (pay-per-click advertising) and the larger strategies that involve these related initiatives. Just as conventional businesses must be concerned with where they rank in organic Google search results (SEO) and how they manage paid links and ads (SEM and PPC), so too must mission-driven organizations optimize their websites and digital ad placements in order to be found easily and quickly by interested parties. SEO, SEM and PPC all drive traffic toward mission-driven organizations.

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While it’s easy to get trapped in how many “likes” your business page or a single post received, at Like Minds, we’re more concerned with engagement. On social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more, engagement refers to the number of people who are interacting with (or engaging with) your content. Fans and followers can engage with your content by reacting to it (go ahead and hit that “like” button), sharing it, commenting on it and more! P.S. Go ahead and give our Facebook page a “like” and follow us on Instagram!

Overwhelmed yet? We hope not! Be sure to check back next week as we walk you through the next few letters in our mission-driven marketing alphabet.