Planning your Marketing
Like any plan, a marketing and promotion plan, can be either short term (for a specific project/event) or longer term for the promotion of your group. No matter what you are marketing or promoting the underlying principles are the same.
Setting up a Marketing and Promotion plan
When setting up a marketing and promotion plan you need to consider:
What it is that you want to promote - being clear about what you are providing will help to focus your marketing and promotion plans as well as make sure everyone in your group sends out the same message.
What are the benefits of what you are providing? Why should people support what you are doing and how will it help them?
Who are you trying to reach and why? You may have many different types of people/groups you need to market to, for example you may work with youth groups and so they would be your main audience however you may also work with other service providers who would be your secondary audience.
What is your budget? Good marketing and promotion does not need to be expensive, set a budget and concentrate your resources to make the most of it.
What resources will you use? Marketing and promotion uses many different types of methods from brochures to radio advertisements. The most effective marketing and promotion is where a combination of these is used, as this will ensure all the different audiences you are marketing to will ‘get the message’. For example when marketing a family event you may use online services such as social networks, press releases, posters and radio advertisements.
Setting a timescale for your marketing and promotion will enable you to plan resources and develop the marketing materials you need.
For a one-off event it is advisable to commence planning the marketing and promotion about five months in advance - giving you the first two months to develop and produce marketing materials, and three months to promote the event with a more intense campaign in the final month.
For the general marketing and promotion of your group it is advisable to plan for a 12 month period, including things such as newsletters, annual reports, website development/updating and social media.
Reviewing your Marketing and Promotion plans
Reviewing your marketing and promotion plan will help you identify what resources/methods were successful and what you can change to improve your next plan. Ask your target audience if the marketing materials and press activities worked - did they know about the event or understand the objectives of your group?
Collect statistics from on-line campaigns such as:
how many people opened/responded to emails?
how many people visited the website page?
how many people used social media?