11NTCweave

Last week I had the opportunity to join three fantastic colleagues to share guidance on this crucial nonprofit marketing challenge at #11NTC (NTEN’s annual conference). And I want to share that guidance with you.

What a pleasure to work with Kivi Leroux Miller of NonprofitMarketingGuide.com; Karen Secular, Communications Director at the Arnold P. Gold Foundation; and Tara Collins, Communications Director at the Watershed Agricultural Council! And what a thrill to have so many focused, sharp, engaged session participants asking questions and sharing their wisdom.

Weaving your loose ends together is a prerequisite to your nonprofit marketing success but remains, for so many of you, a stubborn barrier. Here are two key tools we shared at the session; they are a huge help in getting started with your weaving:

Here are 12 steps to weaving a tight, powerful marketing plan, highlighted by session participants via Twitter:

  1. Moving marketing from support function to a strategic player is the game changer. (@stacyjclinton)
  2. Stop acting as the in-house marketing agency at your org, and take control of the situation (@egratto) A.K.A., “Stop taking the tickets and start driving the bus,” as Tara says.
  3. Only 16% of nonprofits have marketing plans. You need one to make the move to strategic player. (@ksuzj)
  4. A marketing plan is essential because it directs your focus and keeps you on a clearly defined path. (@elimcgon)
  5. However, marketing planning is ongoing series of refining and understanding. Don’t plan more than 1 year out. (@volmatch) Then break it down further to 3-month chunks @wendymarinaccio)
  6. Rule of 3: Identify no more than 3 target audiences for your messages or you risk diffusing your efforts. (@stacydyer)
  7. Meet your audiences where they are (channels and perspectives) (@weinrichc)
  8. Your brand is not just “clothes you wear” (e.g., logo and colors) It’s your organization’s whole personality-the way you walk & talk. (@linzbilks)
  9. Put all of your marketing material on a table; see if there is consistency through ‘em (@weinrichc)
  10. Unless your blog is supporting your brand or a call to action it’s just words. (@ksuzj)
  11. Vital part of mktg planning is outlining every single task down to the nitty gritty – who is doing what when (@volmatch)
  12. Failures are what our successes are built on. (@mkdm, @andystitt829)

If you don’t have a plan, or have one that lives in your head or hopes, is just notes, not formalized and approved, or simply not working, get on it right now! It’ll change your life, and your marketing impact.

Please let me know what’s getting in your way, and I’ll give you some recommendations for pushing through!

For more insights from the session, review the slide deck and crowdsourced notes.

P.S. Get a jump start on your marketing planning via the Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshop led by Kivi Leroux Miller and me. Karen and Tara participated last fall with great result! 2011 workshops are scheduled for June 16 in Seattle and October 12 in New York City. Learn more now–the workshops sold out last year and 2011 seats are going fast!

Nancy Schwartz on March 22, 2011 in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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It’s so good to be back with you.

We arrived home from New Zealand last weekend but, of course, I brought home some evil plane germs (among other souvenirs) and between fighting those and jet lag have been in slow mode! I’ll share more on the trip soon.

But today I want to invite those of you attending this years Nonprofit Technology Conference (a.k.a. 11NTC, which is sold out, but you can still participate online) to join me in the following sessions:

1) Nonprofit Marketing Affinity Group: Thursday, March 17, 11-12:30, Lincoln West, Hilton

100 folks are already signed up for this so we’re going to have some fantastic networking! Don’t miss it.

The Nonprofit Marketing Balancing Act: I have so much to do but have no idea where to start. Join me and my friends and colleagues Katya Andresen, Sarah Durham and Kivi Leroux Miller in this facilitated discussion on competing priorities/balance/time management in nonprofit marketing — where there’s just never enough time or focus at hand.

  • See how your peers are balancing competing marketing priorities
  • Identity what tools or techniques will help you achieve nonprofit marketing nirvana
  • Learn how to succeed at your own nonprofit marketing balancing act

But most importantly, this is a fantastic opportunity to meet others who do what you do (wear the marketing hat, or partial hat), share experiences and forge some great new brainstorming relationships you can carry through the conference and beyond!

2) Weaving Your Marketing Loose Ends into a Strong, Tight, Powerful Plan (11NTCweave): Saturday, March 19, 1:30-3, Georgetown West, Hilton

If your marketing and fundraising campaigns are a big pile of loose ends, or just too many loose ends that are a barrier to marketing impact, you aren’t alone. That’s how most nonprofits operate.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the right approach or one you have to live with. Join us — Tara Collins, Communications Director, Watershed Agricultural Council; Kivi Leroux Miller; Karen Secular, Director of Communications, Arnold Gold Foundation; and me — to learn how to knit all the pieces of your marketing and fundraising — online and offline — into a strong, tightly-woven plan that produces concrete results. We’ll begin the conversation then open it up for Q&A, counting on drawing on the wisdom of the crowd!

Session Takeaways:

  • See what pieces of your plan need be tightly knotted together, and what’s okay to leave hanging on its own.
  • Review a tested marketing plan template that you can start filling out right in the room
  • Explore how other nonprofits are making their websites, email, social media, direct mail, word-of-mouth, and PR work together to become far more than the sum of their individual parts.

Hope you’ll join us. Successful integration of all of your marketing efforts – cross-channel and with fundraising communications — is the first step to connection, which is the path to conversion!

For those of you who won’t be at 11NTC, I’ll blog out on key conversations asap! Please share questions you’d like addressed in either session.

 

Nancy Schwartz on March 10, 2011 in Professional Development | 1 comment
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