“To A Hunger-Free America”: Know how this person helps drive this organization towards success! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]
Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
We hope you are all having a lovely week.
Let’s start the day with a dose of motivation from our “Marketing Marvels.” Each Monday, we feature these independent-minded industry professionals and highlight their experiences, contributions, and insights.
Today, we’ll talk about the woman whose marketing skills help a leading organization provide a brighter future for individuals in need.
Read on to learn more about this person’s journey, contributions, and passion for marketing.
Hunger affects people from all walks of life.
In the U.S. alone, around 34 million people experience hunger, with more than 9 million of them being children. In fact, in 2021, 53 million people sought assistance from food banks and community programs to ensure they had enough food to sustain themselves.
One of the organizations that lead the fight against hunger across the country?
Photo from Harvesters
Since its humble beginnings in 1979, the organization has taken pioneering steps to improve food security, combat food waste, educate the public about the root causes of hunger, and actively support the enactment of laws that safeguard people in need.
Today, Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, with 200 food banks, 60,000 food pantries, and over 2 million volunteers monthly.
All of these accomplishments would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of the organization’s leaders, who work together to fulfill the charity’s mission of eradicating hunger.
One of them has been instrumental in Feeding America’s successful programs, missions, and campaigns.
That person is Jennifer Polk.
Photo from Twitter
As the Chief Marketing and Digital Experience Officer at Feeding America, Polk oversees the organization’s public engagement strategies and inspires individuals to help end hunger.
Most of her responsibilities involve brand strategy, marketing planning and execution, audience engagement, and raising awareness about the hunger crisis in America.
Additionally, she and her team are responsible for promoting and enhancing the Feeding America brand and developing content marketing strategies to connect with vital stakeholders and target audiences effectively.
Before joining the organization in 2022, Polk served in different leadership positions at Gartner. Her roles there included Managing Vice President for Product Marketing Teams, Chief of Research and Vice President of Marketing and Communications Group, and Research Director for Marketers.
Her other work experiences include working as the Commercial Relationship Manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Social Marketing Director at Sears Holdings Corporation, and Vice President of Digital Marketing at Edelman Digital.
In 2018, she received the Emerging Saluki Leadership Award (ESLA) from the Southern Illinois University (SIU) College of Business and Analytics. This award honors SIU graduates for their outstanding achievements in business, academia, government, and non-profit organizations and for service to their community.
How did Polk apply her extensive experience and expertise in marketing to transform Feeding America’s brand and propel its mission forward?
- Through partnerships and collaborations.
Feeding America collaborates with brands and organizations to amplify their marketing strategies. Businesses align their products or services with Feeding America’s mission and donate a portion of their sales or engage in joint promotional campaigns.
Through these marketing initiatives, other businesses help promote Feeding America’s cause and reach more people.
For instance: In December 2022, Feeding America partnered with Nextdoor, an application that connects neighbors based on location.
Nextdoor launched its first “Neighborhood Give Back” program to motivate people to help end hunger and give back to their communities. As part of their collaboration, Feeding America leveraged Nextdoor’s “Sell for Good” feature in the app and encouraged people to participate in the charity’s endeavors.
The campaign garnered 113 million views from neighbors on the application and in the media. The program also drove a 4.5% increase in “For Sale and Free” posts on Nextdoor, indicating that charitable-focused messaging drove engagement among app users.
According to Polk:
“As we enter the holiday season, the rising cost of food continues to impact communities and our neighbors’ ability to make ends meet, much less celebrate holidays that often revolve around food. It’s incredible to work with Nextdoor this holiday season, partnering with communities in the mission to end hunger by providing another way neighbors can support neighbors during a time of increased need.”
To date, Feeding America has partnered with several businesses, such as Crocs, NBC, El Pollo Loco, Campbell’s, and T-Mobile.
- Through awareness campaigns.
One of Feeding America’s missions is to educate people about the issue of hunger in the U.S. So, many of its campaigns utilize traditional and digital marketing strategies to reach wider audiences.
In fact, the Disney/ABC Television Group, Patch, and Taste of Home are Feeding America’s current media partners. These companies allow the organization to reach more people and amplify its message of fighting hunger.
In October 2020, the organization had its first campaign with Spotify to get as many potential donors as possible during the holiday season. Through podcast advertisements, Feeding America was able to reach listeners and raise awareness about its mission.
The campaign with Spotify drove over 16% increase in user association with Feeding America and its mission of combating domestic hunger. The organization also recorded an 11% increase in user intent to provide support in the near future and an 8% boost in users attributing Feeding America to helping families who suffer from hunger.
- Through storytelling.
According to Polk:
“When we talk about how Feeding America seeks to change perceptions and build empathy, we use storytelling. I can give you statistics, but it will mean more if I can give you a story.”
Feeding America recognizes the power of sharing the narratives and stories of individuals and communities affected by hunger. Through these stories and experiences, the organization humanizes the issue of hunger, which is often stigmatized or disregarded.
Moreover, storytelling inspires empathy and motivates people to support the cause. This then helps increase audience engagement and enables the organization to highlight the impact of its programs.
Feeding America is committed to achieving a hunger-free nation by shedding light on the issue of hunger and implementing long-term solutions. The organization aims to create a brighter future where children have enough nutritious meals to grow and stay healthy.
As for Polk, she has a strong passion for initiatives that support marginalized communities, especially ones that focus on women’s rights, addressing hunger, combating social injustices, and tackling economic and racial inequalities.
With her marketing prowess and relentless dedication to helping people in need, she has played a crucial role in Feeding America’s milestones. Her leadership skills help more communities and bring the organization closer to achieving food security in America.
We hope you learned a thing or two from today’s feature!
Whether you’re embarking on a new business venture or planning to start a campaign to advocate for a cause, feel free to apply Feeding America and Jennifer Polk’s marketing strategies!
Tune in to next week’s “Marketing Marvels!”
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Mondays: Marketing Marvels”
Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.
… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.
The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.
What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?
At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.
Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.
However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.
We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.
Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Monday’s “Marketing Marvels!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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