A marketing assessment for your association or other type of nonprofit organization involves a thorough examination and evaluation of your marketing practices and results. Here are several key questions to help you attain a “quick read” on how well your staff and organization employs marketing principles.
…About Marketing Planning
Sounds obvious, but many forgo the annual practice of developing a written marketing plan. Admittedly, this requires a hefty dose of discipline. But you can’t achieve a goal without first articulating it, identifying where you are, and determining how to get there.
Writing down your goal allows your marketing team to easily share information and avoid unforeseen breakdowns such as when the marketing department initiates a promotional campaign but forgets to tell call center staff, who find themselves deluged with questions.
. . . About Marketing Research
Your staff should be able to articulate a customer profile for each product or service and explain the want or need each product or service satisfies for each customer type.
. . . About Customers
The correct answer isn’t necessarily “those who pay us the most per order.” Why? Because, if tracked, you may discover customers who don’t prefer big-ticket items may routinely spend more on multiple purchases over time.
Customer groups are defined by geography, type of industry, job title, type of training, purchasing pattern, demographics, or other significant characteristics. Understanding how your product or service fulfills a customer want or need and how wants or needs vary by customer type allows you to prioritize the market. It also helps you find the largest consumer groups that are most likely to buy repeatedly.
. . . About Cost and Price
Without an eye toward cost of goods sold and the competition, marketing initiatives will lack any focus on profitability.
. . . About Convenience
With innumerable options available, ease of use and ease of purchase can turn into a competitive advantage or a deal-breaker. If you offer high quality at competitive prices and satisfy customers, but make them work too hard to buy, you risk losing sales.
. . . About Brand Communication
Listen for a three-sentence answer that articulates the most sustainable benefit that gives the greatest leverage for the product or service, which cannot be owned by any competitors. If your organization doesn’t own the answer to this question, how will you communicate your value?
There are no permanent, “right” answers in marketing. Customers’ wants and needs are moving targets, and marketing initiatives require testing and re-testing to find the most profitable formula. As such, the activity of examining your organization’s marketing practices and results is itself germane to productive marketing.