Spirituality 101 Project

Spirituality 101 Project

 

Ver 2.3

 

Background

 

The core mission of ISKCON Online is to serve the spiritual needs of people throughout the world with relevant and relatable content and nurture their awareness, interest, and engagement in Krishna consciousness.

 

The opportunity to reach people online with Krishna consciousness is growing rapidly, but on the whole we are not keeping pace. Our first step to get up to speed has been the launch of the ISKCON Online network, and our team learning resource ISKCONOnline.com.

 

We are excited by devotee’s enthusiastic interest in being part of the ISKCON Online network and are now ready to begin a complete internet outreach project, laying the groundwork for many more.

 

Introduction

 

We have chosen to call this first project “Spirituality 101” indicating its orientation towards educating new people. Through this project we will create and deploy an integrated group of deliverables with branding and unique features oriented to a specific market segment for Krishna consciousness outreach

 

– the millennials in English speaking countries who are exploring their spirituality.

 

Strategy

 

Our goal is to reach people who are at a point in their lives where they are ready to look seriously at their spirituality. We want to help them find their way to Krishna.

 

Here is a summary of our strategy:

 

  1. We will produce great content (videos, articles and graphics) that will get widely shared and promoted to these people in their online space. We will also target advertising to them.

 

  1. This content will stimulate their interest in more of our content leading them to explore our dedicated places (YouTube channel, Facebook pages, websites, apps, and more).

 

  1. These places will have various "calls to action” which encourage visitors to enter their e-mail address to access free premium content.

 

  1. After providing their e-mail address we will nurture their interest through more great content and opportunities for free online webinars, downloads, email series and more.

 

  1. A network of hundreds of devotee "online missionaries" will be connected to these new people in appropriate ways to offer support and further encouragement.

 

  1. Our backend systems will track people's interaction with our websites and social media developing a profile on our “customers” which can be referenced by our support teams. The systems will also trigger automatic nurturing content to help these people advance.

 

  1. As people’s interest is nurtured they will be offered courses on various aspects of Krishna consciousness. Some courses will be free and self-paced and others will be personally tutored and have some fee or donation connected to it.

 

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  1. We will also offer physical products (japa kits, altar kits, etc.) through our online store with the fulfillment handled by an outsourced agency.

 

  1. We will create online communities for our users to interact with each other and experience devotees to further nurture their Krishna consciousness

 

And, as these people become devotees we will

 

  1. prepare them for connecting with ISKCON and offer guidance

 

  1. engage them in practical service (especially in helping the project reach others)

 

Target Market

 

Who are "these people" we talk about in our strategy outlined above?

 

Of course, they could be anyone that comes into contact with our content. But, in order to be as relevant and relatable as we can, we are targeting a specific type of demographic:

 

  1. They belong to what is known as the “Millennial” generation (people aged 16-34).

 

  1. They live in North America. Narrowing the audience culturally makes it easier to create content that is relevant and relatable. Using an English accent that is familiar is also important.

 

[Note: we will plan to repurpose the project quickly, or even simultaneously, for UK, Australia and NZ using localized content]

 

This demographic gets further defined by their psychology and experience. We will need to do a lot more research to fully understand these characteristics but here is our first attempt:

 

  1. These are people who are open and interested in spiritual knowledge and/or a spiritual path.

 

  1. Due to their sukriti, they are open to the Hare Krishna movement and will be drawn to our content.

 

  1. They are not too much adversely conditioned by some existing connection with yoga, religion, or some other spiritual path.

 

  1. They may not even be familiar with the term bhakti, or Krishna, but have probably considered things like karma, reincarnation, meditation and so on or would be open to these ideas if they don't know about them.

 

Some of these people will have had some initial contact with Krishna consciousness either through our books, Harinam parties, festivals, Sunday feasts or other ISKCON programs. And this contact has stimulated some attraction or at least curiosity about Krishna consciousness. This project will fulfill devotees’ need for a suitable place on the internet to send a new person just starting to explore our movement.

 

Others may have never heard of Hare Krishna or contacted a devotee. But for some reason, like personal development, relief from some distress (or stress), curiosity or genuine seeking of truth, they are online or searching in places where we can reach them with our content or advertising.

 

This is a preliminary analysis and part of this project is to use various market research methods to better understand this audience.

 

 

 

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Research

 

The project will begin with comprehensive research on our target market, competitive analysis, existing ISKCON efforts, and models from other organizations that could be utilized. We will be looking at all kinds of efforts from anywhere that can help inform our project like:

 

  1. progressive media producers like Soul Pancake (http://soulpancake.com/) and RSA (http://thersa.org/)

 

  1. Buddhists like Shambhala (http://shambhala.org)

 

  1. ISKCON efforts like Spirit Matters (

 

  1. Christians missionaries like the Mormons and Christian evangelicals

 

Components

 

Our research so far has identified these principal components to the project:

 

  1. Content

    1. Articles

    2. Blogs

    3. Videos

    4. Infographics

    5. Downloadable documents

 

  1. Courseware and educational products (both free and revenue generating)

    1. Self-paced courses

    2. courseware with personal instruction

    3. apps

    4. e-books

    5. Subscription content

  2. Web presence (responsive, on all kinds of devices, especially mobile), e.g.

 

    1. Main site

    2. Landing pages with calls to action

    3. Apps

  1. Social media presence, e.g.

    1. Facebook

    2. Youtube

    3. Twitter

 

    1. Whatsapp

 

  1. Marketing, e.g.

    1. content marketing

    2. advertising

    3. lead nurturing

    4. Distribution channels (including tieups with fulfillment for books, etc.)

    5. Affiliates

 

  1. Customer support, e.g.

 

    1. online community

    2. live chat

    3. e-mail support

 

    1. mentoring

 

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Team Development

 

The current document you are reading is only an introduction to the project for those who will work on a comprehensive plan. So, the first step in going forward with this project is to bring together a team of devotees to do the research, brainstorming, idea formation and execution planning for the project.

 

At this stage we need team members who are ready to devote at least an average of 30 minutes every day to participate in the online discussion. We especially need devotees who are interested in taking an active role in the production teams once the project planning is complete. Part of the project planning will be to come up with the various service descriptions for the roles that will need to be filled.

 

This initial team will be focused on two primary tracks:

 

  1. Doing research on existing programs, competitive analysis, and possible models we can replicate.

 

  1. Collaborating on a project document and brainstorming ideas for every aspect of the project, for example:

 

  1. the most appropriate URL for our main website

  2. profiling of our target audience

  3. content of introductory courses

 

  1. ideas for videos

  2. revenue strategies

 

  1. design briefs

  2. potential production team members

  3. marketing tools

  4. and so on

 

 

After this initial idea building team effort we will form the production teams from both the initial idea team members who are ready to take on further responsibility and others that we identify and recruit including volunteers, full and part-time staff and professional consultants and freelancers.

 

We envision five key implementation teams:

 

  1. Strategic – overall strategy, fundraising, project management and team leadership

 

  1. Content - organizing the development of web content, website design, promotional material

 

  1. Courseware – planning and organizing the design and delivery of online courses, educational products, mentoring, and training.

 

  1. Marketing - building and deploying marketing programs, maintaining customer support

 

  1. IT– building, deploying and maintaining websites, social media pages, and apps, deploying and maintaining CRM and other automated systems, deploying and maintaining LMS

 

We also envision a wider circle of devotees helping in different areas like:

 

  1. Content development (graphics, video, audio etc.)

 

  1. Course teachers

 

  1. Online mentors

 

  1. Live chat and email correspondents

 

 

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5) online community activists

 

The administrative support infrastructure will combine a virtual office environment with a head office in Mayapur.

 

Timeframe

 

The target timeframe is as follows:

 

 

Activity

 

 

Due Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1)

Initial team formation

 

26 October, 2015

 

2)

Research and concept development

 

1 December, 2015

 

3)

Working team organization

 

10 December 2015

 

4)

Concept presentation

 

24 February, 2016 - ILS

 

5)

Alpha launch

 

9 May, 2016 (Aksaya Tritiya)

 

6)

Beta launch

 

21 June, 2016

 

 

Participation

 

If you are inspired by this project and are ready to devote some of your time and expertise to developing the project plan and taking an active role in its implementation, please e-mail Pancharatna@ISKCONOnline.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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