A guy was driving across town and he saw a billboard. The billboard read “Do you abuse alcohol? Call 555-1435.” The man, who had a drinking problem and had been considering getting help, decided to place a call to the number in order to access assistance. He grabbed his iPhone and dialed the number. “Leroy’s Discount Liquors, how may I help you?”, answered the voice on the other end of the line.
As small nonprofit organizations we are all working hard to get our message out. We have to be creative in order to cut through the noise, gain attention from prospective donors, volunteers, or clients, and increase brand recognition. At the same time, we must ensure that our tactics are ethical as well as effective. Some would say that enticing alcoholics to a liquor store is an ethical breach. Others might call it “targeted marketing.” It is important that you use tactics that not only accomplish your desired outcomes, but that also allow you to look at yourself In the mirror.
Many of us are finalizing our Development Plan for the new fiscal year. When planning your marketing, these three tips will help you to maximize your efforts and accomplish your goals.
Develop a Clear Message
It is absolutely critical that you decide ahead of time what you are seeking to accomplish with your marketing. Are you working on attracting new clients? Are you hoping to sell tickets to your gala? Are you building awareness and/or educating the public? Once you have determined what you are trying to accomplish, you will be in a position to craft your message. It must be clear, concise, and memorable as well as delivered using the right medium.
Ask for Clear Action
What is it that you want your prospect to do? Go to your website? Call your office? Stop by your upcoming health fair? Your marketing needs to direct the prospect, clearly, so that they understand what you are asking them to do. If the person has to think about it too much then you run the risk of losing their interest. Marketing can be expensive, it is important that you convert as many leads as possible.
As small nonprofit organizations we can sometimes forget that building awareness and recruiting constituents through marketing is not something that we “finish” doing. In other words, for us to be successful we must also be consistent. There are organizations that can get away with being ‘under the radar’ until their big event or annual outreach happens. Those tend to be organizations that enjoy significant name recognition and have been doing their work in the community for many decades. The rest of us need to be marketing effectively year-round. I understand that dollars can be scarce, so that means that we must stretch our budget as far as possible through good planning. If we only have $5,000 for marketing for the whole year, TV is probably not the best option unless you have a media partner.
Developing a clear message, asking for clear action and being consistent can help propel your small organization forward so that you will be able to accomplish your goals, serve your constituency, and raise more money.
Have a great week,