Disrupting Marketing and Communications for Cause-Based Nonprofits, Like Our Lives Depend on It


Dwayne Flinchum, President, ScientificBrandsTM

We are in the midst of an historic age of scientific discovery and innovation. We read and hear about breakthroughs in climate science, space exploration, medical discoveries to fight outbreaks of disease, solutions to harness and distribute energy efficiently, or ways to prevent food insecurity and water scarcity. Among other social issues like human rights and inequality, these research missions are without a doubt the most important and urgent quests of our time.

Yet there is much work to do to build awareness for these causes. We must educate the public about the consequences of these threats and how critical it is that we accelerate advancements to meet them. We must communicate the need for funding and new public policies and we must do a better job of marketing these research-led solutions to consumers. Perhaps most concerning is the current anti-science, conspiracy-driven movement. We cannot afford to allow a growing public sentiment that is propelled by a lack of education or the loss of reason.

Sadly, in many cases the actual science is outpacing the ability to tell these stories. Nonprofit organizations — those who are actually leading the science — are often not positioned to meet these formidable marketing and communications needs. They are sometimes not funded well, and they simply cannot provide the data-guided, outcome-focused marketing required to match the contemporary best practices of their corporate counterparts in communicating their own story. And it’s not just the compelling creative, design, or storytelling. Typically, they lack the audience, distribution and reach that is required to build broad awareness.

This is why I founded ScientificBrandsTM. The need for scientific progress deserves an elite agency-partner dedicated to accelerating the growth and success of organizations leading the charge. With this new mission, I am committed to outperforming the rest of the field and elevating science. We aim to help organizations positioned in research and technology — those seeking to expand our knowledge, change the world, save lives, and improve the quality of life for millions. We recruit and engage top talent that research, strategize and plan, and deliver powerful brands, campaigns and signature marketing assets designed to yield a much higher ROI, tying everything directly to business goals.

This work is imperative. We must deploy all of the new tools at our disposal. We must be bolder and more disruptive with our messaging. Knowing the risks of not succeeding, we must apply a new approach that aims for maximum yield with minimal investment. We must expect transformation through more ambitious, high-impact outcomes. We can target new goals and work to quadruple your annual aggregated impressions through an evaluation of your business and brand. We can strategize a better plan of press, deploy programmatic advertising, and we can co-opt the audiences of influencers to carry the message.

We can apply the same data-approach to your marketing that is used in your science mission. We can rethink the tired, traditional media mix of paid, owned, and earned media. We can find creative ways to strike content-sharing deals to game the system and extend reach. We can do all these things because lives, and humanity itself, depend on it.

As we face the most serious threats of our generation, I hope you will join me. Let’s see this work with a new determination and tenacity. Let’s raise broad awareness for these environmental, health, medical and social causes. Let’s elevate the marketing efforts of the organizations that are best positioned to deliver solutions. As the president of ScientificBrandsTM, I pledge to work tirelessly to tell their stories with powerful impact and effectiveness.

About the Author: Dwayne Flinchum is the President of ScientificBrandsTM. With 30+ years of experience, he has worked in the strategic planning and development of brand identity, media, marketing and communications initiatives, leading image-defining engagements for global companies and nonprofit organizations. Flinchum founded IridiumGroup and led the firm to success as a brand consultancy for global clients by managing strategic and creative consulting for preeminent private foundations, professional associations, and national cause-based member organizations. For 18 years, he played a significant role in differentiating and building the Accenture brand worldwide. In 2016, Flinchum became a member of the Leadership Team and the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Child Mind Institute and in just three years, achieved accelerated growth of 300-400% across KPIs to dramatically grow audience, build brand awareness, and extend the reach of the public education program and its online resources.