2011's Most Useful Marketing Lessons
Like many of you, reflection always tops my New Year's to-do list. This year, in my role as publisher of the GettingAttention.org e-news and blog, I wanted to 1) motivate nonprofit communicators to reflect so they'll increase the impact of their work this year and 2) share the core lessons learned with their peers. Thus the "most valuable marketing lessons learned in 2010" survey was born.
The marketing lessons shared below, just a sampling of what we heard from you and your colleagues, are thoughtful, focused, practical and based on experience. In many cases, I couldn't have said it better myself.
Everyone is a marketer, so make sure staff is skilled at it
"All staff members, volunteers and board members who answer the phone (or have any other public-facing role — or simply mention the organization at a party) are marketing your organization. Make sure they do it well. Our part-time data base staffer was recently deluged with calls from angry members unable to register for our sold-out conference. I crafted talking points for her and the rest of the staff on how to break the bad news in the most positive way possible so callers would renew their annual memberships."
More stories, fewer stats
"Remember that my donors need more stories they can connect to and fewer statistics about what we are doing."
Without a marketing plan, it's all action and no traction
"Have a marketing plan, and refer to it frequently. It's so easy to get distracted by the day-to-day (week-to-week, month-to-month) tasks. But the result is that you end up with nothing but a lot of projects you've checked off your list. What you don't get is any real, cohesive advancement in communicating your mission or engaging your target audiences."