Any Marketing 101 class teaches the marketing mix of product, price, promotion, and place. This lets us know that marketing is a multifaceted concept. To market effectively, one must utilize all these facets to create a strategy that will reach everyone in the target demographic. Developing an effective marketing strategy begins with creating a fluid plan that is based on research and outcomes. Creating a successful marketing plan will aid your nonprofit in reaching the people you need to complete your mission.
Marketing Plan Components
A good marketing plan comes with certain ingredients that create a strategy which can’t be ignored. These come from finding a target market, market research, product knowledge, studying the competition, and creating promotion plans.
- Target Market
- A target market is the demographic of the people you are trying to reach. Their ages, socioeconomic statuses, the location of residence, etc. all add up to a target market. Basic barriers must be met to establish a target market. The point of a target market is to find those who will be most likely to use a product or donate to a cause. It can be challenging to market to a larger demographic, as they will respond to different things. A nonprofit usually works with many different types of people. You have to focus on why your nonprofit is important to them. What will make them want to donate? There is usually a specific theme that can reach many potential donors at once.
- Market Research
- Market research is the collecting and organizing of information about people who are involved or support nonprofits that are similar to yours. This research should consider donor preferences, (i.e., the target market), current suppliers available, industry sales, and product competition. Current market trends are needed to complete the research as accurately as possible. Market research is the basis for which is entire marketing plan is created. Knowing where you can find your donors is important.
- Product Knowledge
- How well do you know your nonprofit? It needs to be described in a way that will appeal to the target demographic you’re aiming for. What does it have that other, similar organizations are lacking? Knowing these answers will aid in creating a successful marketing plan.
- Who is marketing to the same demographic as you? What is their suggested donation structure and can you beat or match it? How is your organization different and better? These are all questions that must be answered before you can ensure that your nonprofit rates above others.
- Promotion Plans
- Once the previous components are in place, you must decide on how and where to promote. Making use of direct promotion, such as flyers and brochures, is one strategy. There are also advertisement venues such the radio or television. Do you have a website for your organization? If not, that needs to go on a priority list. Web traffic is the number one way people learn about products and services now. Not taking advantage of a website could cause major setbacks in promotion plans.
A marketing strategy is the most effective way to establish a successful organization. The marketing strategy is used as a guideline for all marketing completed for the organization. It also needs to be fluid. Keeping the marketing plan from being set in stone ensures that the strategy will stay up to date on any changes that occur. Marketing companies can assist with any questions you may have on how to reach the target demographic for your nonprofit.