Good evening everybody!
Another week has flown by and it is certainly time for my blog entry.
This morning I participated in a 1 mile Fun Run whilst my husband slaved over a 5 mile race in Wellingborough. I then walked half the perimeter of Pitsford Reservoir this afternoon in the sunshine, so all in all it has been an incredibly active day. In this recession it is nice to explore free pastimes and this is one that I would certainly recommend.
Last week the blog covered the definition of marketing and some key principles. Week 2 will serve to assist you with forming an integrated strategy and the actual marketing plan. :-)
So, what is an integrated marketing strategy? It sounds more complicated than it really is, doesn’t it? In simple terms it is a plan that combines a variety of different methods of getting a message across so that it achieves more than one element of pre set marketing objectives.
One very significant element of an integrated marketing strategy for a voluntary and community sector organisation is how to raise awareness of issues associated with its clients. Social marketing is about an organisation building up a more thorough picture of its service users. Building up a more thorough picture of service users can be a principle objective of marketing campaigns and a sensible starting point for many organisations.
So, from an objective such as this, it is clear that marketing research will form part of the integrated strategy. An event planned to conduct the research may in turn raise awareness of the organisation’s social benefit to future members. At the same time, however, it may provide the opportunity to decide on the most appropriate activities to meet your goals.
Some typical example marketing objectives are as follows:-
- To attract new members by raising the profile of your organisation and its achievements.
- To achieve a target level of grant or money from fund raising.
- To attract funding from sustainable sources, considering the statutory sector (County Council, District and Borough Councils, Primary Care Trust etc)
To ensure an effective integrated strategy there is the following marketing mix 4 P’s checklist that you can easily work through, by answering the following questions:-
Does your product meet the needs of your prospective customers?
What is your pricing policy for activities? Is it realistic?
Where and how will you deliver your product or service?
What is the best method of promoting your services to your service users?
- Direct Marketing: grapevine (word of mouth), websites, email, postal (using new strapline)
- Advertising: local radio
- Public Relations: local newspaper, press releases, key note speakers, patrons
- Sales Promotion: ambassadors (foot soldiers) proactively deployed.
- Internal Marketing and Personal Selling: social and extended networks.
The Marketing Plan will begin with an introductory paragraph about its mission and vision followed by a situational analysis. The results from the 4 Ps exercise provide you with your marketing objectives and this is normally the section that follows the situational analysis. When you combine the answers from the 4 Ps exercise, this provides the key evidence and Marketing Strategy that the plan is based on.
A typical situational analysis may read:-
X is a Youth Club that has been operating for some X years as a not for profit. It is well known by the local community and is well supported by volunteers. However, young people over the age of 14 up to 21 do not frequent the Club as often as X would like. In 2008 the local authority Youth Fund which delivers activities for the 14 – 21 age group rejected the £10k application for funding. The club would like to consider a new marketing campaign to establish why this is happening and what can be done to improve this current situation and improve its facilities accordingly.
So to recap, these are the headings that will support an effective framework for your marketing plan:
- Executive Summary an endorsement of the plan from Committee
- Situational Analysis
- Marketing Objectives
- Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Budget the financial planning part!
- Schedules and updates timescales and reporting**
In a larger voluntary and community organisation a marketing committee may be elected with a number of officers who are each responsible for different elements of the marketing mix and delivering on the strategy. However, in the vast majority of instances that I have been working in the voluntary sector, I have never come across this good practice.
That’s all for now! Please do not hesitate to contact me, should you have any questions pertaining to marketing.