All this week, we are taking a look at what it means to be a CALM Communications Director (Collaborative, Agile, Logical, and Methodical).
Today, let’s talk about being Logical.
Many people mistakenly believe that good marketing is all about the creative. The right words, the perfect images. And those are important, without a doubt. But they don’t matter without a logical strategy as their foundation.
Problems That Arise When You Aren’t Logical
If your nonprofit marketing work isn’t grounded in something that makes sense, plain and simple, you are likely to encounter many problems.
- Decisionmaking will be painfully slow, because there is no logical basis for how to make a decision. You’ll be pulling answers out of thin air, or relying solely on instincts or what sounds good, which can be incredibly dangerous when misinformed or inexperienced people are involved.
- You will be expected to do it all, trying to please everyone all the time, with no real sense of priority, and therefore you’ll have a to-do list a mile long.
- You won’t be able to justify why you need a marketing budget or why that budget should be larger. In the nonprofit world, where getting the budget you need is already a struggle, you really can’t afford to wing it.
Three Ways to Be More Logical
1. Integrate marketing and communications goals with programmatic and fundraising goals.
Marketing should be viewed as an integral part of your programmatic and fundraising success, which means that there should be some shared or overlapping goals. Everyone else in the organization needs to understand why marketing is essential, and the best way to do that is to link your goals to theirs.
2. Ground everything in a Quick & Dirty Marketing Plan.
At all times, you should be able to sketch out your marketing strategy as a whole and for specific projects or campaigns on the back of a napkin, or a receipt, or whatever you have handy. I call this the “Quick and Dirty” version of your marketing plan. It always answers three questions — who are we talking to, what’s our message, and how are we delivering that message to those people?
3. Follow best practices and experiment.
You are not the only nonprofit facing marketing challenges. You don’t need to start from scratch. Pay attention to what others are doing and start with the best practices associated with whatever it is you are trying to do. We are very blessed in this sector that people share information freely. Then be willing to experiment, to learn from those experiments, and to share your results with others too, adding to the greater community knowledge base. Again, this will ground your actions in logic.
Tomorrow we’ll look at being Methodical.
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