Marketing and your community group - What is marketing?
Marketing is a word that can prompt a wide range of interpretations and definitions.
Some people think marketing and advertising are the same thing - which they aren't. Others may associate marketing with some sort of loud, chest-thumping promotional effort - which it doesn't have to be. More may believe that marketing is a matter of having a name that is well-known in the community - which is a part of the story, but not all of it.
Marketing is the process by which you examine the world in which you operate - that includes your customers, your competition (or other similar groups to yours) and what you have to offer.
It also includes finding out what threats or opportunities exist; what needs your current or potential audience/contacts have; and how you address those needs.
Marketing should be considered as more than just getting donations or members.
It covers the whole range of activities involved in meeting the needs of your stakeholders, donors and "people". Marketing is about the entire breadth of experiences people have with your group and the way in which people perceive your organisation- from promotional material to correspondence, to dealing directly with staff, members or volunteers.
Marketing - why bother?With stretched resources in time, money and personnel marketing can sometimes be seen as an optional extra. However, it shouldn't be and here are a few reasons why:
Marketing – what you need to considerBefore you begin a marketing campaign, your group will need to develop a marketing plan that considers aspects of your group's aims, identity and standing.
Firstly, your group should look at:
Another useful tool your group can to prepare a marketing campaign is a SWOT (Strengths,Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis. More information on this subject can be found in the help sheet A SWOT analysis in preparation for your direct mail campaign, at the Media & Marketing Centre.
And for a more detailed run-down of the type of preparation your group should do before embarking on a marketing campaign, including a SWOT Analysis, refer to the help sheet Developing a marketing plan, Starting out.
Marketing - developing a marketing planOnce you have an idea of where your group or organisation stands (both in isolation and in comparison to any competitor or similar organisations); what you want to market; and who you want to target with your marketing, it is time to use this information to develop a marketing plan.
Marketing plans don't have to be complex - in its most basic form, your marketing plan should identify how you are going to survive and thrive by achieving the marketing goals you have set (for example, using marketing to increase membership, attract more donations or raise your visibility in the community).
There are a number of individual components that can make up a marketing plan:
For more information on developing a marketing plan, refer to the help sheet Developing a marketing plan, Eight Steps at the Media & Marketing Centre.
A final note on marketing and advertising
The concepts of marketing and advertising are often confused as one and