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Boy Scouts of America looks to drive marketing innovation

posted Aug 30, 2008, 9:07 AM by Boy Scout Troop 856   [ updated Aug 30, 2008, 9:22 AM by Boy Scout Troop 856 ]

In an effort to drive innovation, build a stronger brand and create additional impact, The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) recently merged its marketing functions. Stephen Medlicott has been named its marketing group director, a new position within the organization.

For more than 30 years, marketing functions had been scattered through­out the BSA's national office, with each group handling the marketing for the projects they worked on, said Brandi Mantz, head of digital marketing at The Boy Scouts.

“We are focusing on branding ourselves more,” she said.

In 2006, the BSA initiated a five-year National Strategic Plan intended to increase membership opportunities, ensure financial security and recruit more volunteers. In 2007, it experienced a 6% increase in total fundraising.

Mantz said new projects are coming that will benefit from the centralized marketing structure, including “new digital ways to reach members and professionals.”

This fall, the BSA plans to launch its first social networking site where volun­teers and Scouts can sign up to receive information about the program. The goal is for the site “to be more of a forum where Scout leaders can learn from other Scout leaders,” Mantz said.

The BSA “wants to reach out directly to the volunteers who run our program and to be able to get to them the easiest way that we can,” she continued. In 2007, Boy Scout volunteers numbered almost 1.2 million and the organiza­tion reached more than 2.8 million youth with its tradi­tional program of citizenship, mental and physical fitness, and character development.

The organization will also launch a Web portal to better reach the professionals who run its 300-plus local coun­cils around the country and work with local volunteers. The Web portal will offer on-demand printing of forms, marketing materials and other printed materials as well as serve as a way for the central office to communicate with these individuals. “We are trying to be more paperless, efficient and environmentally friendly,” Mantz said of the initiative.

The BSA is also preparing for its 100th anniversary in 2010, which carries the tagline: “Celebrating the adventure, con­tinuing the journey.” All future marketing efforts will be built around this theme, Mantz said.