"How do I convince my board to try new ideas and technology?" That is one of the most popular questions I get. It's often the young staff from nonprofits, businesses, and churches wanting to venture out into a digital campaign or a dynamic new mobile tool or app who face pushback from leaders who don't understand or are threatened by the new and unfamiliar.
So how do you get your point across to yesterday's generation without frustrating them and getting shut down?
If I have learned anything in 25 years of marketing, you must speak your target audience's language. And that goes for the people you have to help adopt a new vision or strategy.
Often you have to use yesterday's language to sell today's idea to accomplish tomorrow's mission.
Take the church marketing dilemma as an illustration of this principle. While some leaders might argue whether or not churches should be in the marketing business, most will agree that every church should be in the evangelism business. Often in my conversations with church leaders, I speak of outreach or an evangelism plan instead of a marketing and branding campaign if I'm talking to an older group. At their core, they are the same–how can we reach more people with the Gospel message–but language significantly impacts the way an audience responds to them.
If you're having difficulty getting buy-in for your idea, try rethinking the way you're communicating it. Describe your new concept in a way that resonates with your audience. Use a frame of reference that makes sense to them. While you might need to revamp your website, you are ultimately trying to reach and connect with more people.
It's hard for someone to shoot down "digital recruitment" or the creation of a more substantial "donor journey," as you make a case for a more robust website. In certain circles, a digital funnel might be framed as a "new acquisition strategy." Don't underestimate the power words have to persuade.
If your church or nonprofit needs marketing or consulting help, don't hesitate to contact us. The A Group always starts with a strategy first mindset, so you can rest assured that any of our work together will have impact-focused results, which are sure to make any board (or boss) happy.