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You Don’t Have to Do It All in Marketing

By: Elaine Fogel



It’s OK. I give you permission. Your smaller business or nonprofit doesn’t have to do every imaginable marketing tactic under the sun.

This holds especially true if you work in an environment where you regularly hear: “I just read an article about [fill in the blank] and we should be doing that.”
Answer: No, you shouldn’t!
Marketing is NOT a hodgepodge of the flavors of the month.
It isn’t something you want to change every time a new shiny tool comes along. There’s more to it than that.
To succeed with your marketing efforts takes thought, strategy, and perseverance, not having a profile on every social media site. Every business and organization is different—some have similarities, but no two are exactly the same. The ideal is to develop a marketing plan that best suits your organization, taking into account its human and financial resources.
A marketing plan not only helps organizations define where they are going and how to get there, it also helps pinpoint the specific tactics that are doable. If your organization cannot possibly manage everything on its marketing tactics list, it’s time to pare it down and focus on the “best bets”—the ones with the most promise or that have proven to be successful.
If your business or organization is locally based, you probably don’t need that many tactics that target the entire planet. You’ll want to find those marketing channels that help it reach its targeted, local market segments. And, even if you work nationally or globally, you’ll still want to identify the marketing channels that help your organization reach its target audiences.
Another benefit of a marketing plan is establishing responsibility and accountability for marketing efforts. Gone are the days when the “marketing department” was solely responsible, whether that encompasses one individual or several. Today, everyone must be a marketer, engaging customers (donors, clients, volunteers, etc.).
Tom French, Laura LaBerge, and Paul Magill summed this up well in a McKinsey & Company article entitled, “We’re all marketers now“:
Companies of all stripes must not only recognize that everyone is responsible for marketing but also impose accountability by establishing a new set of relationships between the function and the rest of the organization. In essence, companies need to become marketing vehicles, and the marketing organization itself needs to become the customer-engagement engine, responsible for establishing priorities and stimulating dialogue throughout the enterprise as it seeks to design, build, operate, and renew cutting-edge customer-engagement approaches.
This principle can be scaled for every organization—no matter its size.
So, sigh deeply. You don’t have to do it all in marketing, nor should you try. Be strategic for the best possible outcomes.
Is your organization trying to do too much? How is it managing? Do you have any tips to share?
This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel
Published: July 12, 2013

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