30 July 2012
Last Updated on 05 September 2012
Your Marketing Plan, as a Key Component of your Business Plan..
is essential and fundamental to the success of you nonprofit. No matter how good you are, your business will likely die a slow and costly death if you don't display your wares.
"Developing a Marketing Plan
Marketing takes time, money, and lots of preparation. One of the best ways to prepare yourself is to develop a solid marketing plan. A strong marketing plan will ensure you’re not only sticking to your schedule, but that you’re spending your marketing funds wisely and appropriately."
We would like to take a moment to grab your attention and ask you to fully consider from where your supporters come from. Fact is that donors come from all walks of life and all corners of the world. These are the 73 percentile, individuals who give time, money and expertise to all charitable causes in America and around the globe. Since focus on this majority stands to reap more rewards and ultimately sustainability of your organization, you are obligated to seek them out.
Now consider that, nonprofits live or die by donations either from individuals, corporations, foundations, or bequest. And, consider that the basic process for turning any donors from the masses into committed contributors involves a three-step process;
- Imagination - Sharing your vision,
- Participation - Getting people involved, and then
- Commitment - Realizing the benefit of contributions of time, resources, and money.
So how does an organization reach out and connect with individuals and potential donors, participants and committed resources? How you do that, must at some point involve your Marketing Plan.
•Although there are different definitions of brand positioning, probably the most common is: identifying a market niche for a brand, product or service utilizing traditional marketing placement strategies i.e.
•Positioning is also defined as the way by which the marketers create an impression in the customers mind.
Market Position could be called Market Strategy except that it generally lacks functional strategies for particular media platforms to which you will distribute your Brand message. In almost all other ways market positioning describes and supports your marketing strategy.
Effective Brand Positioning is contingent upon identifying and communicating a brand's uniqueness, differentiation and verifiable value.
Generally, the brand positioning process involves:
1.Identifying the business's direct competition (could include players that offer your product/service amongst a larger portfolio of solutions)
2.Understanding how each competitor is positioning their business today (e.g. claiming to be the fastest, cheapest, largest, the #1 provider, etc.)
3.Documenting the provider's own positioning as it exists today
4.Comparing the company's positioning to its competitors' to identify viable areas for differentiation
5.Developing a distinctive, differentiating and value-based positioning concept
6.Creating a positioning statement with key messages and customer value propositions to be used for communications development across the variety of target audience touch points (advertising, media, PR, website, etc.)
A note to nonprofit organizations on analyzing competition;
Nonprofits often find it difficult to address or even analyze their competition because they may feel that they are the only entity offering their products and services at least in their own territory. Just keep in mind that a competitor is anyone who would do what you do if you don’t do it. This can include large, well established companies, but also small, aggressive start-ups and even individuals. And, also be aware that there are two kinds of competition that you need to be concerned with. One is, of course, competition in your local area for the same products and services that your organization offers, but also you need to judge the global competition from the standpoint of ranking in Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. It may be a good idea, when considering your competition, to think about the potential to turn would-be competitors into real-life supporters and collaborators.
If you build it, they might not come!
“It is not the responsibility of the customer to know what they want.” - Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple computers.
This is equally true with donors to charitable causes. It is in fact, your responsibility, to know what your donors want, and to provide the products and services (appeal and satisfaction) that they need. Your success in reaching your customers is vital to your success.
After analyzing and establishing price and distribution of your products and service (not discussed here) and analyzing and documenting your competition's market position it is time to deal with how your organization is packaged (how external stakeholders view your company) and just where and through what media should your brand be promoted.
A picture is worth a thousand words: Your promotional strategies might look something like this -