Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Marketing is a Process Not a Project

I picked up Mastering Online Marketing by Mitch Meyerson at the library hoping to get new ideas for marketing my blog. The book is a little salesy and is definitely intended for a for-profit audience. That said I've been pleasantly surprised with much of the content. In particular, I liked this advice in Chapter 2.

"..marketing is about building lasting relationships with loyal customers. It involves a commitment to serve, before, during, and after a sale. It's a process, not a project (my emphasis) - one that requires long-term perspective. It's not one transaction. It's not one order. It's not one anything. Rather, it's accepting the benefits of ongoing connections and doing whatever it takes to grow and nourish them."

A PROCESS is a "sustained phenomenon" that occurs over a long period of time, like a good marriage or parenting. On the other hand, a PROJECT is finite and has a beginning, middle and and end. Building a new website is an example of a project.

Many nonprofits approach marketing as a "one-shot" deal. They advertise in the Chronicle of Philanthropy or do an annual appeal or publish a research report and then complain about disappointing results. But, just as one date doesn't constitute a marriage, an annual report is not a marketing effort.

Don't approach marketing as an activity that ENDS in a new donor, board member, etc. Instead, think of it as a long-term commitment to BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS with your all of your clients, donors, members, volunteers, funders, etc. OVER TIME. Then you'll be marketing.



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