As a growing, active (but small), non-profit membership association, Santa Gertrudis Breeders International (SGBI) had the unique dichotomy of needing and wanting professional media management and marketing services, but did not have the resources in time, skill and money to do what they needed inhouse. Beginning in 2015, SGBI began looking for a company to outsource all their marketing, promotion and media management needs to, and they had a pretty long list of requirements.
The media company needed to understand SGBI members, their industry and target audience. The company needed to be responsive to their periodic needs and available to react to unforeseen opportunities as they arose. The company needed to have a variety of creative skills, including graphic design, feature writing, copy writing, copy editing, photography and illustration. The company also needed strategy and management skills, including ad campaign strategy development, media buy negotiation, social media management and financial management to safeguard the available resources. Last, SGBI desired a company that had experience in working with volunteer boards and committees. This package is not readily available with traditional marketing agencies at an affordable price.
With our background in non-profit marketing for membership associations and our experience in the agriculture industry, BluePrint was an ideal fit for SGBI and their needs. Many of our team members have worked directly for associations, and our company client base has been membership associations from the onset. We understand what it means to work for and produce results for a volunteer board, as well as the challenges that this presents. Our creative team includes graphic designers, layout designers, writers, journalists and photographers. Our strategy team includes media managers, project managers, media buyers, controllers and marketing strategy specialists.
The BluePrint business model is a true virtual office, and every team member works from their own home office in locations across the United States. This enables us to keep our overhead low and prices reasonable. Our team members are skilled in their particular field, and many have advanced degrees and years of experience before coming to work for BluePrint, which allows us to keep our professional skill level high. It was with complete confidence that we were able to answer “yes” every time SGBI asked “Can you do this?”
Our goal is to become partners with our clients and, as such, we regularly attend their board meetings, annual meetings, conventions and other periodic events. We get to know our clients’ leadership so that we have an intimate understanding of their goals, objectives, motivations and skills. Once we have a handle on that, we get to work building a strategic plan, given their budget and goals.
Each year since 2015, BluePrint has created an advertising, marketing and promotion strategy to be executed according to schedule and to deliver results via content marketing, inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Our deliverables are reported back to the client in an annual progress report.
As per the approved marketing strategy, we negotiate media buys for print and digital advertising, create marketing and promotional materials on schedule and on demand, and execute an annual public relations plan that includes regular press releases as well as feature articles that are picked up by popular press.
We manage the SGBI social media campaign and maintain their website. We create content that is on brand and communicates a consistent message to be utilized in their marketing materials and in all their media, and distributed to members.
Growth in the association over the past decade has been phenomenal. Membership has grown considerably as has association net worth and financial stability. Interest in the cattle (the actual product) has increased substantially and, according to former SGBI Executive Director John Ford, that growth can be partially attributed to BluePrint’s marketing and promotion strategies on behalf of SGBI.