Head of Marketing
for a eLearning Membership Enterprise
Empowering and educating Chinese Medicine practitioners
Brand & Messaging
Director of Marketing
Doane Online Education currently offers distance-learning CEU courses, webinars, and weekly treatment strategy videos. A membership site with educational resources from acupuncture, herbal methods, and practice management systems to run a highly successful Chinese medical clinic.
- Oversee rebrand with a focus on website redevelopment
- Strategically rename their offerings including their tiered membership
- Oversee brand decisions from colors, copy, and messaging
- Sustain and keep current members while optimizing conversions
- Manage third-party contractors
- Execute communication strategy to provide a seamless transition to current members
The Challenge: Blind Spots
As business owners, it is often challenging to see all the blind spots — especially the blind spots in branding and marketing. I am guilty of this myself and always appreciate someone else’s perspective and external feedback. We can be great entrepreneurs but at times not be able to convey the value proposition creatively and effectively.
Doane Online Education was at a crossroad with their business due to the pandemic halting all in-person seminars. In the past this was their highest source of revenue with students flocking to learn the art and skill of Medical Pulse Diagnosis™. Because of this, over the years their monthly membership took a back burner and more or less broke even with monthly sign ups and cancellations.
While their first request was to “fix their cancellation problem,” I couldn’t help but notice the outdated customized WordPress website with an external admin dashboard to publish blogs.
With my marketing background, I knew immediately that was unnecessary given WordPress is one of the main content management systems out there. Along with other blind spots such as confusing membership structures and too much action without goals or strategy.
I would be doing them and myself a disservice, if I did not speak up about the depth of what was truly required to create a successful online membership using digital marketing and automation. And so began the process of being their Remote Marketing Director.
“We can be great entrepreneurs but at times not be able to convey the value proposition creatively and effectively.”
The Start: Roadmapping
The process started with a full audit — from website, to copy, to social media — along with a 2-hour Deep Dive Clarity Roadmap with Doane Online Education.
This deep dive allowed me to ask questions about the company, products, services, and the goals so that I can come up with a rock-solid plan and get them from where they were to where they want to go.
The Observation: Action without strategy
Hiring external support can either slow you down and cost you or speed you up and free up your time as a business owner.
From the roadmapping session, they were running on a lot of tactical action as far marketing without the details of whether certain actions were needed. The upside of this was over the years they reached milestones such as a 4,000 private Facebook group.
But after running a market research questionnaire within this group:
97.5% of this group had no idea Doane Online Education was a monthly educational platform.
Secondly, money was being spent on social media ads before any branding, copy, or membership structure was in place with the goal to convert a cold audience to this membership.
The elephant in the room was that there was already a huge warm audience that didn’t necessarily need ads. I proposed we spend time nurturing and educating them on what the Doane Online Education products were.
My end goal was to anchor all this action into strategy, create a clear brand and add structure to their business to flourish organically, without spending money on advertising just yet.
The Process: Managing the right external team
This was a project where I needed external support to execute this beautiful puzzle.
As the Marketing Director, I curated the brand voice, tone, market segment, and consulted them on new membership tiers and pricing structure.
As the foundational pieces started to settle in I brought and managed the following:
- WordPress eLearning Developer found on codeable.io
- Copywriter with past experience writing for Modern Acupuncture
- Social media manager to execute the new brand visuals and messaging
- Virtual Assistant for administrative task
- Myself to develop email marketing onboarding automations (for members) and develop a lead capture and nurture automation (potential members)
The Strategy: Renaming and Restructuring
From “The Office: Blog”
To “Treatment Strategy Videos”
When in doubt with messaging and communication — clarity is kind. The biggest value add to their membership site are weekly videos, previously called “The Office: Blog.”
Here is why this is misleading:
The Office — this sounds more business oriented than clinically oriented. There’s an entire show called The Office based on a company that sells paper. Generally the first thing that comes to mind from “office” are corporate or business settings.
Blog — blog is a well-known term to describe a website or a piece of content that is generally open to the public. Their weekly videos were not free and only for paying members. Additionally, none of these “blogs” were supporting their searchability. Instead of trying to educate new website visitors that this is a paid blog, I advised them to simply rename it all and add an actual blog driven by keywords.
A clear membership that adds value
Previously, students had the option to pay for Full Access or Master Access with the only differentiator was a monthly call but both positioned on their website as “Most Popular Plan.”
What was needed was not only to make it clear the added value in tiers but also progress members up as they advance in their Chinese Medicine practice.
Past Membership Structure
New Membership Structure
Channel Execution & Consistency – How we used each channel
- Facebook: offer helpful content to convert people to the online membership
- Instagram: offer helpful content to convert people to the online membership
- Email Marketing with Mailchimp:
- Provide a “Free webinar” where people exchange their email and receive the webinar along with an email series pitching Doane Online Education
- Provide helpful email content monthly or bi-weekly
- Communicate weekly to paying members when there’s new content available to watch
Real Results. Real Impact.
Increase new membership subscriptions by +103%
Monthly Recurring Revenue increased by +26.4%
On average, 65 new leads per month
All data compared to previous year
From cancellations to engaged community
Thank you to the team at Doane Online Education for trusting my recommendations and strategy. The process took patience and consistency, the results are incredible for that reason. We’ve seen the community and membership grow both on social media, paying subscribers, and upgrades from current members.
If this is something you’re interested in achieving in your business — set up your free consultation!
“Brenda did an excellent job of marketing for our company. We highly recommend her services.”