The COO of this well-known, long-lived, positively-perceived nonprofit reviewed for me why the org is pursuing a new brand just a few years after its last rebrand (every brand should last at least five years, if not ten). Branding has to be flexible enough to embrace your org through continual evolution, but specific enough to engage your audiences — a challenging balance.
Anyway, the story here is that there was trouble with the current brand even during the development process, and the board (not marketing experts) ended up picking and choosing (and changing) some of the brand elements. The result, not surprisingly, was an alienated staff (who remain marketing-avoidant as a result) and a weak brand.
Making marketing planning a team effort — from the get go — is the way to avoid this disaster. Here’s who to include and what they can contribute:
- Executive Director/CEO: Senior leader support validates your efforts and influences other key players to get involved. Also, can get rid of some of the institutional red tape out of your way.
- Functional Support: Make sure your plan is technically feasible via consults with IT, HR, finance and other related functions.
- Fundraising colleagues: This team is marketing’s other half. You need this perspective as these are your big (if not biggest) messengers.
- Program & Issue Experts: These folks are the source of accurate, relevant topical content and context.
- Regional/Site Staff: These on-the-ground colleagues can provide vital input on the customer/donor/volunteer experience, and what’s important to them.
When your marketing plan reflects the insights and knowledge of key stakeholders (including your colleagues, too often left out), it’s more likely to generate the buy in critical to real success.
Missing out on the Getting Attention e-newsletter? Subscribe now for in-depth articles and case studies on nonprofit marketing.