Charities, just like any other organisation need to communicate with the wider world. Doing it in a structured way in order to ensure the right messages get to the right audience at the right time is made a lot easier if it is structured as a Marketing Strategy.
Key to this is understanding what is it you want to communicate and why? Are you looking to drive up donations or income? Gain more volunteers? Build wider awareness? A marketing strategy will ensure you remain focused and do not waste your time and money.
Like all strategies building a marketing strategy means making a set of choices, setting priorities and making sure you make progress. Using acronyms like SMART to help make choices and being realistic about what you can achieve is important. Lastly ensuring your marketing strategy complements the values of the organisation and supports the operations otherwise you can look like you are making promises you can’t keep and can even confuse your wider audiences or worse, actually put them off. We have all come across organisations that claim to be the “World Best” when they are not even the best in their own backyard.
A good marketing strategy will look at some of the following:
What’s HOT and what’s NOT. What are the latest trends, discussions, colours, technologies? Don’t use ideas from 4 or 5 years ago. Be brave develop your own based on what’s happening now.
Be clear on WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT. Don’t start making wild promises and stick your knitting. Celebrate success. Dominate your own niche and don’t be afraid to say. Be clear who is also operating in the same “strategic space”. There are a number of strategic tools which can help you think through these things.
Once you have looked around at what’s happening, are clear about what you are good at and what your Charity is set up to do its time to set those marketing objectives. Are you looking at increasing your volunteer numbers? Do you have a fund-raising goal? Do you want increased media exposure? Are you opening up new digital channels? True of every strategy is limit yourself to 1 maybe 2 achievable realistic goals.
Once you have decided that Get CREATIVE. What are the messages, images, pictures, videos podcasts, channels etc you need to achieve those goals? Who are your target audiences? What makes them tune in and what are their hot buttons. How does your planned campaign fit within your overall Charity Brand? Is it consistent? Who is going to deliver this within the Charity? Does it fit with the operational side? What’s the budget? Have you developed your Marketing Plan which should show the what when and where’s of your planned activities?
Once you have settled on the practicalities make sure you keep a close eye on how it all goes. Did the strategy work? How will you know? What are you measures and proof of success? And will you learn from what worked and what didn’t?
If you would like some help crafting a practical simple marketing strategy for your organisation contact us at Third Quarter Tribe.