Hi everyone! I know Erik mentioned, I’d write about technology, but when I sat down to write this post, the topic of building a marketing team just would not leave me. I hope you enjoy it! I’ll see if I can convince Erik to let me guest blog again and I promise that post will be more focused along what I have written in the past, on Mondays with Marissa. Thanks for letting me blog-sit, DonorDreams readers! Erik is back on Thursday!
A few weeks ago, Erik reflected on a quote by Warren Buffet, “The people own the brand.” That got me thinking; if the people own the brand, then we as nonprofit staff, are all marketers. It doesn’t matter what position you hold in your organization. Every single staff member is a marketer or at the very least can be part of the marketing team.
As a member of the marketing department, it is my job to grow an audience of participants, supporters and influencers for our organization through various means of communication. This is a challenging job and one, in my opinion, should not rest solely on the shoulders of one department. It is not possible for me to know all of the programs that need to be promoted, see the impact we are making in the community, and attract new members all at the same time. I need help. So together with the other members of my department, we worked to create an organization-wide marketing team.
Here’s how we did it and how you can too:
- Create a marketing strategy – It is the job of the marketing department (or person) to figure out which audiences are reached by which media channel. Perhaps your participants are all on Facebook, but you can reach all of your supporters via email. Take time and figure this out. Also, meet with each department to figure out what that department’s goals are. Put all of in this information down in one place. It can be as basic or as detailed as your time and resources allow and the format does not matter.
- Identify key team members – Look at your entire organization. Who communicates with the marketing team (or person) the most? Are there members of other departments that want to develop marketing skills? These people will give the marketing team (or person) the information they need to execute their marketing goals. Nonprofits tend to become siloed because each department is focused on their own set of goals, it can help to have a person who is a bridge between their department and the marketing team. Also, other members of each department might feel more accountable to a member of their own team and as a result, marketing information might be more readily available.
- Decide on a communication system – Email can get clunky, but if it is what works best for your organization, run with it. However, maybe you’ll find that project management software, like Trello, helps organize things and keeps communication fluid, and focused. Or perhaps, it could be a communication call where a representative from each department (ideally, a member of your team you figured out in the step above) shares what needs promotion in their area. Whatever it is, make sure there is a clear system on how communication will flow.
- Test it out – Now that you have your strategy, team, and system in place, see how it works. It is important to keep an open mind; ask for feedback and make adjustments.
- Be transparent – After testing out, let the rest of your organization know how the marketing team is now spread across all departments and explain the impact it is having. Where I work, we have seen that creating a team of promotion managers has allowed the marketing department to go from only being scheduled a week ahead of time, to being scheduled at least two weeks ahead and having promotion items on the calendar a full month ahead.
What I described above, is a step-by-step method for creating a structured marketing team that is spread throughout your organization. Maybe your organization needs something more flexible. In that case, the most important thing is to find a communication system that works best for your organization. This is the anchor for everything.
In many organizations the marketing team, is really only one person. It is important to lean on the entire staff to provide this person with information needed to create participants, supporters and influencers. In order for that to happen people need to know what to do with the information they are submitting to the marketing team and get feedback from the marketing team on how they are going to use it.
On a recent episode of Mad Men, Donald Draper said, “Behind every great ad, is a great story.” Building an organization-wide marketing team can make it easier to find the stories needed to create that great ad/blog post/social media post – one that can grow the organization’s membership, donor base, and awareness.
Do you work in the marketing department of your organization? How do you manage internal communications to ensure you have the information you need to tell your story? Let us know in the comments!
Communication has come a long way since quill and parchment. Today information is sent through the air at high speeds and people can get what they need in a matter of seconds. Email is a standard in today’s communication arsenal, but today I’m going talk about voice calls. Talking is still faster than writing and today we are going to look at how Skype can help when it comes to communicating through voice.
Skype is a powerful tool that can be a great benefit to any nonprofit organization. Skype can be used to make voice or video calls to people in your contact list. I know what you might be thinking, “we already have phones for this, Marissa”, but allow me to show you the flexibility of using Skype for calls.
Calls (voice or video) to users in your contact list who are also using Skype are free. That’s right, FREE. This can add up to big cell phone savings. How many times do you send an email knowing it’s going to take longer than you’d like to get the information you need just because everyone has a ton of email to go through? If everyone in your organization was on Skype if a person had a question, they could just Skype call them and get the information in a matter of seconds. Skype calls can be answered no matter where the person is logged in from, if that’s home, a cafe, or the cubicle next door.
By adding money to your Skype account, phone calls can be made to landlines. This is a nice feature to have if a person on your team is even found in a place with a wifi signal but no cell phone reception. Additionally, by adding money to your Skype account, you can make international calls at lower rates than you would if you used a landline phone.
Skype also allows users to attach a single phone number to their account to make it easy for calls, whether made from Skype or a landline, to be answered from anywhere. With a mobile app, Skype users are able to answer voice and video calls on the go.
Skype also comes with voicemail functionality. This can be a great tool for agencies. By simply creating an account with phone number attached to it, messages left in this voicemail box can be accessed by anyone who has access to the account; making returning calls a team effort.
One more feature of using Skype for voice calls is the ability to record phone calls. If your agency is having an important conference call, it can be easily recorded through Skype. This recording could the be posted for absent team members to listen to when they are available.
There is much more to Skype besides just making voice and video calls that can be helpful for your organization. When in a video call on Skype users have the ability to share their screens with people on the call. This feature could come in handy for Board Meetings being held online if not all of the Board Members could make it. Skype also comes with an instant messaging service that allows you to send quick messages to people in your contact list when a call is not needed. Through this chat system, documents can also be easily shared between team members.
Skype is a feature rich application that has a lot to offer a nonprofit organization. I have seen where using it has increased communication between team members just due to the pure flexibility that comes along with it. Do you think Skype is a good fit for your agency? Do you already use Skype? If so, what do you use it for the most? Let talk about it in the comments below!