July 17, 2015
What’s in a marketing plan? Well, lots of things I’m sure you would say. Goals, data, challenges, obstacles, timelines, budgets, road maps, research and intelligence, among many other things… Maybe some blood, sweat, and tears! How about commitment, promises, accountability?
Your marketing plan is more than a list of ideas. In fact, it should be less than a list of ideas. It is a document that captures all of (correction: only) those things that you are committing yourself to achieve, deploy, etc. Those things that you, as the director of marketing, are willing to be accountable for (this quarter, this year, whatever the timeframe is). It’s your promise to your executive director, to your organization, to your board of directors of those things that collectively you’ve agreed are important and needed to move the organization in a certain direction.
And if you look at it through that lens, then it becomes so much more:
1. A tool for negotiating – our 2015 benchmark for communicating in the nonprofit sector survey revealed that 62% of respondents said that lack of budget/resources was their number one challenge yet we see nonprofits forcing themselves to do more with less, rendering many initiatives largely infective versus doing less with more. Also, a tendency to take on whatever demands or ideas are put forward (by board members, by directors, etc.). Use your marketing plan as a negotiation tool. Seek buy in from your board, and then deflect those items that arise and aren’t part of the plan for future consideration/implementation.
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