Recently I was invited to speak at a gathering of organisations working in the community sector. They were a mix of both conventional businesses and not for profits. The challenge wasn't in the mix, but in the unspoken assumption that there is no place for conventional marketing practices in a sector that is all about supporting people.
But just like a Tom Holloway play, a Dean Stevenson concert or an Elizabeth Barsham exhibition, the not for profit and community sector needs their story to be told. And that is what good marketing is about.
When I set up my business Kylie Eastley Consultancy seven years ago, it was in response to yet another performance I had been to, where the play was fantastic, the actors convincing, but the audience was abysmal. This repeated experience inspired the foundation thought to my business, which was...
'If you or someone else is willing to put their time, resources, money, energy and passion into creating something, then doesn't it deserve the best chance of success.' (KEastley 2009)
And success can mean lots of things. It might be a packed audience at a show, contented customers who return to access your business or it could be an amazing experience or service that you deliver to a client.
So, seven years on and I am still passionate about marketing; telling the right story to the right people at the right time. But fortunately now I get to work across the Arts, Community, Business & Government and it seems timely to share some Marketing thoughts that are relevant to all of them...K
Clever marketing enables you to be in control of how you are viewed now and what your future story looks like. It isn’t complicated, but it is important to get it right. Many businesses and non profit organisations struggle to tell their community and potential clients about the work they do. Sometimes this is because of lack of resources or knowledge, while other times it is a perception that marketing services that are provided to the vulnerable is somehow offensive.
Marketing is not a dirty word
It IS telling your story
It is NOT just promotion
It is identifying WHO your audience is
It is NOT selling out
It IS understanding your clients & sector
It IS understanding the basics of marketing – the P’s
It IS important & has to be genuine.
The story you are telling needs to align with the quality of product, service or experience you are providing. If your message and product, service or experience don’t align then you at risk of losing customers or clients and once they are gone it is extremely difficult to get them back. The challenge is that, like many industries that work with the vulnerable, there needs to be a balance between heart and head; ethics and business. If your service is not financially viable you are letting your customers down just as if you are too business focused and lack heart, you will lose clients. It really is a balance.
The Marketing P’s
These are the considerations that are required in developing a strong marketing plan or strategy. They may vary from 5 to 11 P’s but these 7 seem to do the trick...
PRODUCT - is what you are offering–the product or service
PRICE - is what are your price points and how does this connect with your target market
PLACE is about the environment that you are operating in
PEOPLE relates to all those key stakeholders who are engaged through your organisation or business; workers, customers, audiences etc
PROCESS is about what processes you have in place to deliver your products and services
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE refers to everything your customers see when interacting with your business.
PROMOTION is how you get the word out about your products and services.
All these elements combined make up a strong marketing approach. They all relate to each other.
While there is much more I could share from both the presentation and my own experience I will end here with a few final simple marketing tips:
Do less and do it very very well.
Tailor it to your market. Don’t be distracted by the sexy new thing, unless it is really going to work for you.
Be creative – short video’s and images capture more attention than lots of text. You have time to capture someone's attention.
Marketing mix; what activities can you combine that will give you the greatest capacity to capture the market you are seeking.
For more information about Kylie Eastley Consultancy please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0439 262 344 or visit www.kylieeastley.com.au