Marketing starts with a plan on what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. You may need to increase sales to a level that supports adding a new employee to your business. Or, you might want to promote a new product or service that you recently decided to add to your business. Organizations may want to increase awareness in advance of undertaking a fundraising campaign or to support a recruiting strategy to draw qualified workers.
A strategy should be succinct and precise in order to keep the focus on track for the goal. The opportunities you choose to support reaching that goal need to be sustainable for the long-term, manageable within your business or organization and flexible to accommodate changes (both positive and challenging) that were not anticipated.
When you have a strategy of what you want to achieve and some ideas on how to do that, you will need to create content to support your efforts. In every single piece of content, you need to say the right things to certain people so that they do what you want them to do. Content is the most under-valued aspect of marketing.
Some common issues with providing good content include
- Language that the business understands but the customer does not
- Missing key information to help people make a decision
- A tone of language that is abrasive, critical of or demeaning to the customer
- The sense of being entitled to someone’s business or time
- Errors in sentence structure that make the organization appear unprofessional
- Not saying the right thing at the right time
When a customer visits your website and is overwhelmed with industry language, they will go to someone else’s website who has content in a form they can understand. Donor fatigue with organizations often happens because the organization expresses an entitlement to every giving opportunity from the same individual – as if there is other cause worth supporting.
Even if you have the best marketing strategy, you can lose the customer with how you choose to communicate.
Even if a business or organization has a marketing person on staff, being able to manage marketing strategies can require more than what a person can do in-house. Being able to manage a campaign, source opportunities and keep track of sub-contractors can often be more efficient if managed by someone who is dedicated to a specific task.