A Personal Journey to Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management Part 4 of 8: Marketing
Whooah, we’re half way there. (Livin’ on a prayer.) If you’re just tuning in – I’m getting a Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management by the Society for Nonprofits and Michigan State University. As I complete each course, I’m sharing my top learnings so we can all better help our communities.
My fourth course was close to home—on marketing. Marketing is the “process of understanding who you will serve, which of their needs you will address, then planning what your organization will offer to key constituencies, and effectively implementing these plans to achieve the organization’s mission.”
Here are the top four lessons I learned:
- You’re a Marketer! You’re a Marketer! We’re all Marketers! Marketing is the means to an organization meeting its end goal (its mission). It helps us understand, connect and serve our clients effectively. It is how we create and enhance relationships. Because of this, every person involved with a non-profit must be a marketer, as each person has some impact on the organization’s clients and stakeholders.
- A Goal Without a Plan Is Just a Wish. Marketing and strategic planning are inseparable. An organization’s strategic plan is the foundation for the marketing plan. Marketing plans are a team effort and should include an objective, target market/audience(s), needs to address, product and/or service(s), price and/or incentive(s), place, promotion, and evaluation.
- Everyone Is Not Your Audience. Every marketing plan must begin with knowing who your target audience is, and that audience needs to be segmented into relatively homogeneous subgroups. What are their needs? What motivates them? Through market research that asks, listens and observes, you can analyze and act on your audience’s behaviors.
- Evaluation Makes You Wiser. How do you know if you accomplished your marketing objective? It begins by determining how to assess the plan for effectiveness before you begin implementation. Each marketing program should then be routinely monitored and evaluated based on feedback mechanisms among your target audiences.
Marketing and public relations go hand-in-hand. Both are focused on building and maintaining relationships. As communicators, we must approach every organizational challenge through an integrated marketing communications approach. It is then we’ll be able to determine, implement and evaluate the strategies and tactics most beneficial for meaningful engagement with our audiences.
Take my hand and we’ll make it, I swear – next up is mission-based management.
Please be sure to read about each step of my Personal Journey to Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management:
Melissa Zuckerman is an Account Director at JPA Health