School holidays began this week and parents have been wrapping their children in more cotton wool than normal because of the Swine Flu risks. I will be avoiding a large scale social event this weekend because of the fear of contracting Swine Flu and passing it on to my young children. I do not believe this to be delusional behavior but rather a method of implementing a sensible risk assessment. :-|
Of course people are worried about contracting Swine Flu! The news is everywhere. People have been rushing to the emergency services as soon as they get flu like symptoms and the NHS is overwhelmed. Thankfully, the National Pandemic Flu Centre has now been launched to work through the on line flu assessments. The BBC news tonight tells us that 9 million people per hour are trying to log on to the Centre’s website to be assessed by the on line criteria in order to receive their unique identification code to get a dose of Tami flu vaccine. The website can be visited at www.directgov.uk/pandemicflu I did not yet see a telephone number for those without access to the internet. :-?
Moving away from our current global state of panic, I will venture back to the calm and localised Unlock your Potential event on 23rd June held in Northampton. I highlighted there the significance of marketing in the Strategic Planning workshop. The concept of marketing raised a lot of questions at the time. Now I wish to dedicate two weeks worth of blogging to the subject. :?
Marketing is often a mystery to the voluntary and community sector. It is generally seen as a business concept that is not necessary for the not for profits. However, marketing will enable your voluntary and community organisation to stand out from the crowd.
What is Marketing?
In simple terms, it is a process which tries to match its services to the needs of its service users.
Effective marketing is about identifying the needs of the people who use the services. Therefore research into their needs and wants is an essential part of this process.
After research is complete, this may mean adjusting the services you offer to make sure that they meet the needs you have found.
Marketing is about providing information on these services to important groups and users.
(money being the route of all evil!)
Firstly, you will need to set a financial budget for the cost of this. This is one very crucial aspect of marketing. Fundraising and marketing principles are interlinked because of this fact. There is plenty of funding out there which will support the cost of marketing your offer to your service users. It would be further worthwhile to ensure that somebody is trained in the concept of marketing and this can be built into the cost of the fundraising application for the marketing exercise.
Assign somebody to the important role of formulating the marketing plan and setting key objectives. It is normal that somebody from the management committee or board is allocated this important role of marketing officer.
|Marketing Research £500|
|Design of new pamphlets £300|
|Sending Mailshots £500|
|Promotional/novelty items £300|
|Key note speaker £550*|
*These costs can be built into the Annual General Meeting to make a very large impact to a wider target audience.
Next time I will demonstrate an integrated marketing strategy and a workable marketing plan.
Until then, keep safe and well.