Question from Jeff, via Philanthropy Today:
How do you think emotional marketing by non-profits compares to campaigns that are more focused on performance capabilities and demonstrable impact?
Marketing is about storytelling. And the thing is, different people need to hear different stories. Some people respond to a cold hard number (like the Gates Foundation). Others want to see the happy kid with braces. The challenge is in telling the right story to the right people in the right way at the right time.
Question from Yvonne S. Sparks:
What are the three biggest mistakes charities make in marketing besides not doing it?
Marketing doesn’t equal advertising. Marketing is the act of interacting with people and the creation of products (or in your case services) that people choose to talk about. The biggest mistake non profits make is that they’re so busy not making mistakes they end up being boring. Boring and selfish and self-absorbed, all while they’re working so hard to make the world better. It’s ironic, but true. Kiva.org works primarily because it’s not boring. They make it easy to talk about what they do, and people choose to do so. Thus, the idea spreads.
“The biggest mistake non profits make is that they’re so busy not making mistakes they end up being boring.” Wow. What a line. The same is true of foundations and for-profit businesses too.
Let’s not be boring. Let’s make mistakes. Paul Brest and Jim Canales make mistakes. They aren’t boring, they’re leaders. What are you going to do today that might end up being a mistake?