With a clear, well thought out marketing strategy your organisation, or social enterprise, will be more successful and effective in reaching all your key audiences and stakeholders, with the least amount of time, money and effort.
We know that it is often a challenge to find time to step away from the day to day running of your charity or business. However, setting time aside to understand your organisation’s aims and vision, your stakeholders and how the best way to engage with them is, is a very worthwhile exercise and can really help you to increase your income and impact in the long term.
Don’t be daunted by the term ‘marketing strategy’. What you are essentially doing is creating a game plan – it’s a set of tactics that are going to increase your engagement with your target audiences: whether that’s donors, customers, or service users. Once you have your strategy in the plan then you can really begin to drill down to create a ‘tactical plan’ which would include specific actions.
We suggest that you put aside a few hours, without interruption, and with these key steps, begin to create your strategy document.
Know your ‘why’?
Often the ‘why’ of what we do can be lost in the day to day running of our organisations.
Use this time that you have taken out of your hectic ‘to do’ lists to revisit your vision & mission and put the ‘why’ back at the centre of your marketing strategy. Remind yourselves about the impact you want to achieve in your community and how are you looking to change society for the better.
You will also want to explore and develop what you want to achieve with this new marketing strategy. Perhaps you want to build donations or launch a new awareness campaign.
Whether you use SWOT or PEST, data or competitor analysis, you need to look at both the sector landscape AND your organisation’s current situation.
Be aware of the external forces at play and how they affect your fundraising or service delivery. Take time to understand both what is outside your control, as well as those elements that you can change and influence.
You will want to also consider what time and physical resources you have to implement marketing activities.
Know who you want to talk to
Do you know who your target audiences are? Who do you really want to speak to? Begin to build an in-depth picture of all of your stakeholders: service users, funders, donors, and volunteers. Explore how each different audience looks, their ages, genders, interests, and values.
Explore what each of your stakeholders gets from their relationship with you too. What is it you offer them?
How are you going to reach people?
Identifying all your different stakeholder groups is the first step, and now you’ll need to understand how you will reach them.
Do you know where they ‘hang out’ or where you will be able to ‘meet’ them? What channel will you use to connect online, print magazines or radio? Maybe they only engage with your organisation online or perhaps traditional print collateral is the way to connect.
Map out and explore all the different options for each group, and then revisit the resources available to you to get the maximum coverage.
Build your brand
How do you want to be known? What does your brand mean to each of your stakeholders?
This is the time to explore and develop your brand positioning statement – we often use this simple formula to kick start the process:
“Our (offering) is the only (category) that (benefit)”
It is also the time to look at your value proposition ie “We help X to do Y doing y”.
Building your key messaging is an important step in communicating your ‘why’ to the outside world. You may have more than one key message – we suggest three to five is a good number, so that you can speak directly to a wider range of stakeholders. And, by developing these key messages you can ensure that your whole team, large or small, are all on key in all their communications.
Now for the how!
What will success look like for your organisation? You should definitely be building in a set of goals – what you want to achieve, within a specific timeframe. However, we also suggest a regular evaluation and analysis which will enable you and your team to refine and refocus when and where necessary.
By using all of the insights you have collated you can begin to build an overall structure to your strategy.
However, you choose to write and present your strategy document it should include:
Your Why: vision and mission
The Sector Landscape
Who is your audience? What are their needs & how do they benefit from your organisation?
Where can you reach your audience?
Brand positioning statements
Actions – What is your measure of success?
Content – What mediums will you use to drive this success?
Targets, evaluation and reviews
Good luck with writing your strategy. The team at Marketing with Purpose are always happy to help, so if you’d like to book a free half hour consultation to kick start your strategy, then why not drop us a line at email@example.com?