No matter how small or large your organization is, you are its marketer, even if that's not your job title.
Let me explain.
A good marketer understands communication, persuasion, and the psychology of how to move people forward.
If you lead, work or serve a nonprofit or church, your success is directly tied to how good a marketer you are, even if you are not the official marketing person.
Here are some instances of how thinking like a marketer will serve you well:
When you think like a marketer, you understand why your donors give and how to get them to continue giving and increase their donations. A good marketer understands human psychology and motivation. If part of your job is fundraising, understanding marketing will be a huge help.
I remember speaking with a donor once who had given small amounts to the nonprofit I was leading. During our conversation, it became clear that her passion was helping struggling teenagers find their way in life.
My "marketing brain" kicked in, and I realized I was not communicating with her well. My ask was always for the big picture, but I failed to highlight how we would impact teenagers.
Shortly after I changed my approach with her, she committed to funding an entire teen center that was part of our big capital campaign. Interestingly, she knew about the campaign, but it wasn't until I described the teen center that she got excited about the project.
Thinking like a marketer will help you sell your ideas to your board and bring them along with your plan. I remember dreading board meetings early in my career because I knew Mr. Jones would constantly challenge my ideas and derail our meetings, sometimes for hours. My marketing mentor gave me some tools on how to overcome objections.
I realized that Mr. Jones did not dislike me. He just needed time to digest and look at all the angles of any new proposal. He was the classic "methodical" consumer persona I learned in my marketing course. That's the type of person who reads the entire landing page and all the FAQs before taking action.
My following proposal to the board went so much better. Before presenting it to the entire board, I met with Mr. Jones privately and walked him through the whole proposal. After a couple of hours and one hundred questions later, he was on board.
Thinking like a marketer will help you create compelling posts that will get you the best candidates to join your team. Even when you outsource work, you'll know how to hold your freelancers accountable for results.
Several years ago, I recruited a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University genetics lab to become my local church's director of small groups. His peers were shocked he made the change, and frankly, I was as well. I used the "what if" marketing technique that helped him evaluate his career path and the future he really wanted. After that, his choice was to leave the lab and join the church staff.
How do you think like a marketer?
You need to understand the framework of your communication structure and how to structure every campaign, whether it is fundraising, board management, and recruiting staff, freelancers, or volunteers.
So what's your next step?
Hang tight. I'm working on a resource that will help you understand the principles and strategies savvy marketers use in all of their marketing campaigns that will give you a framework to think like a marketer and work like one.
If you want to be the first to get this resource, sign up for the newsletter here.