Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

How to Hire a Marketing Person Part 2 – Interviews Begin

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Finding a great marketing person is difficult and a key responsibility for a hiring manager.    A previous post was on what to do before the interviews begin while this post will describe the process to hire a great marketing person, once the interviews begin.

hiringpeople

Here is a typical timeline for hiring a new marketing person once top candidates have been selected:

  • Hold phone call interviews (1 week)
  • Select top candidates (up to 5) (1 day)
  • Set up face to face interviews (1 week)
  • Hold face to face interviews (1 week)
  • Make determination (1 day)
  • Make offer and send paperwork (3 days)
  • Possible new employee gives notice to previous company (2 weeks)
  • Start date of new employee and onboarding begins

Here is a suggested process to find a great marketing individual when interviews begin:

  1. Set up the phone interviews with the selected candidates.  This is done by the hiring manager who will rank the candidates against each other.    Suggest about 30 minutes for each phone interview.  But could last up to an hour so allocate an hour time slot.
  2. The interviewer should prepare a pitch about the position and the company that will start off the call.
  3. The interviewer should look up the candidate on LinkedIn.    Especially their connections to see if you know anyone in common.  Look at how complete their profile is.  A marketing person should know how to promote themselves and have a complete profile, that is written well.  Look at the groups that they are a member of.
  4. The interviewer will need to come up with a list of questions to ask each candidate (some will be the the same for all candidates while other questions will be specific to the candidate).  Here are a few items to consider when creating questions:
    • A great marketing person needs to be an excellent writer.  Ask them questions about their writing capability.
    • A great marketing person is organized.  One of your questions you ask them is to find out how they stay organized.
    • A great marketing person needs to be a good project manager.  Ask them questions on the projects they have managed and how they managed them.
  5. Hold the phone call interviews.  Take good notes on the candidates.  If it is obvious that the candidate is not a fit during the call, be considerate but cut the call short as soon as possible.
  6. Create the blank feedback form for the position to be filled out by the panelists.
  7. Create a written exercise for the candidates.  A great marketing person needs to be an excellent writer so create an exercise that job candidates must complete before the interview.  Keep it simple, maybe an email response to a situation or website content on a particular subject.  Look for the organization and grammar in the writing examples.
  8. If the position entails public speaking then determine a short presentation that the candidates can do during their interview.
  9. Select the face to face panel members who should include the hiring manager and peers in the same department, as well as others outside the department that would interface with this position.
  10. Select the candidates (up to 5) to continue on and set up the face to face interviews.  Send the written exercise to the candidates.  If speaking is part of the job, then have each candidate do a short presentation on something at the face to face interview. Notify them in advance on what is expected of them.  Notify the other candidates that were not selected and that they will no longer be considered for the position.
  11. Communicate to interview panel.  Send candidate’s resume, written exercise by candidate and blank feedback form in the interview meeting request.  Ask the panelists to be prepared with questions for the candidate.
  12. Check references of the candidates (either before interviews or right after interviews)
  13. Hold face to face interviews and have interviewers fill out feedback form.  During the interviews you are looking for expertise, energy, stamina, culture fit, personality and getting along with all members of the team (not just the hiring manager).  You probably want someone that has a specialty but you are looking for a marketing generalist as well.  And someone that can handle change and pressure.  Do a group session first with each candidate and then have them do individual sessions with each of the hiring panelists.
  14. Have a meeting with all the panelists and discuss the candidates.  This meeting should occur as soon as possible after the final interview.
  15. Make determination and send offer.  If two candidates are too close to make a definite decision then discuss other ways to decide (an interview with the President of the company, a personality test, additional reference checking, an additional written exercise, etc.).   Or if no good candidate, repeat cycle.  Notify the candidates not selected once an offer has been accepted.

Hiring is one of the most critical responsibilities of a manager.  It is not easy.  It takes time and energy.  And a bad hire is stressful for a manager and can be disastrous for an organization.  Be organized and do what is necessary to hire a great marketing person.  Also, if you haven’t done so already check out the post on what to do before the interviews begin.  Please let me know your thoughts on hiring.

Photo Credit: stocksnap.io (141)

Advertisements

How to Hire a Marketing Person Part 1 – Before Interviews

February 27, 2017 Leave a comment

I wrote a post on onboarding a new marketing person, but realized that I haven’t posted about how to find that great new marketing person.  Finding a great person is difficult and a key responsibility for a hiring manager.  You want the hiring process (the paperwork, the job description, interviews, etc.) to be done as efficiently and accurately as possible.  This post will focus on what to do before the interviews start.

hiringpeople

Follow this process when hiring someone for your marketing team:

  1. Write up new hire request and get approval from the necessary individuals. This includes figuring out salary range and adding this cost to the budget (including the overhead).
  2. Create the hiring plan including the time line for the hiring.  Share the plan with others in the company.  The hiring process could be 10 weeks or longer from approval to new employee start.  Make sure you take consideration of company events, trade shows, vacations and holidays when creating the time line.  The time line could be something like this:
    • Get approval and create plan
    • Do the posting of the job opening to the job boards & update website (1 day)
    • Gather resumes (2 weeks)
    • Review resumes (1 week)
    • Select top candidates (up to 15) (1 day)
    • Set up phone call interviews (1 week)
    • Hold phone call interviews (1 week)
    • Select top candidates (up to 5) (1 day)
    • Set up face to face interviews (1 week)
    • Hold face to face interviews (1 week)
    • Make determination (1 day)
    • Make offer and send paperwork (3 days)
    • Possible new employee gives notice to previous company (2 weeks)
    • Start date of new employee and onboarding start
  3. Finalize the job description.   Take your time on this important task for attracting great candidates.  Watch out for corporate-speak or terminology that is only known by those in your organization or a specific industry.  Watch out for acronyms.  Candidates might get confused if they don’t understand the terminology and therefore might not apply for the position.  Look at the description from the eyes of a job candidate.  Multiple folks should review the job description before posting.  A job description contains 4 parts: title, responsibilities, requirements and company information/benefits.
    • Make sure the job title clearly states what the job is all about.  Title is the 1st thing that attracts a candidate to a job opening.
    • Determine the job responsibilities for the position.
    • Determine the skill requirements for the position.  Mark which skills are necessary and which ones are added bonus.  Include what technologies they need to know.  Mention the level of education and experience you require for the role.
    • Firm up company information and benefits such as if relocation would be paid for.  Benefits should be beneficial to all genders, races and ages.
  4. Look at your job description before you post, answer the following questions and make adjustments:
    • Will the job description turn off qualified job candidates?
    • Are there too many skills required listed and are they too stringent?
    • Is there any  company specific terminology that will confuse job candidates?
    • Are the mentioned benefits unspectacular?
  5. If new position, update your organization chart.  Be clear on who the position reports to and who reports to the new hire.
  6. Determine where to find your next employee.  Consider posting on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed and ZipRecruiter sites.  Determine if you want to use outside recruiters or not.  If you have an internal recruiter, discuss with them the hiring plan.
  7. Post on the selected job boards and contact the selected recruiters.  Put the job description on the organization’s website. Make sure your career page on your website is accurate, interesting and showing your organization’s culture.  Send out an internal announcements to staff about the opening.
  8. Determine resume submission close date.  Depends on how many resumes you have received.  When you get around 100 resumes you should consider closing down the resume submissions.  Update the job boards by removing the position.
  9. Get resumes into one place.  I suggest numbering the resumes and putting them into a spreadsheet to keep organized.  You need to select the reviewers.  Have two individuals review the resumes.  Make sure the reviewers know the due date for review completion.
  10. Review resumes and select top candidates (up to 15) for phone interviews.  I would score each candidate on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being high.  Select the top ones by combining the scores but give each of the reviewers 1 to 2 candidates that they can select for the phone interview no matter what the other person thought of them.  Notify the candidates that were not selected.  And then notify the selected ones and schedule the interview call.

Feel free to read the second part of this hiring series on hiring process once the interviews start.  Hiring is one of the most critical responsibilities of a manager.  It is not easy.  It takes time and energy.  A bad hire can be stressful for a manager and possibly disastrous for an organization.  Be organized and do what is necessary to hire a great marketing person.  Please let me know your thoughts on hiring.

Photo Credit: stocksnap.io (139)

 

Marketing People – Improve Your Writing Skills

February 26, 2017 Leave a comment

agreementTo be a great marketing person you need to be:

  • Organized and a good project manager
  • A great communicator including being able to write effectively

This post will focus on how a marketing person can improve their writing skills.  No matter the marketing channels you use, a marketing person needs to be an excellent writer.  Period.  If you are not, then make it a goal to improve.

Each marketing channel (Twitter, blog, website, landing page, eBook, Facebook, data sheets, brochures, articles, etc.) has a different tone and style.  Make sure you know the tone to use when writing for that particular channel.

But in all cases grammar, spelling and clarity matter.  Even if it is just emails to others, writing accurately and concise is important for your career.

Here are some thoughts and suggestions on how to improve your writing:

  • Have a personal blog.  Set up a plan and write consistent blog posts.  I got to be a better writer by writing posts for my blog, especially when I decided to do a blog post a day for an entire month.  Read here for my blog post concerning that month of writing.
  • Keep a book journal.  As you read a personal development book or a business book write down notes.  Ideas are reinforced in the mind when they are written down.
  • For some, keeping a personal journal is helpful.  The more you write the better you will write. Practice, Practice, Practice.
  • Read. Read lots. Reading good writing will make you a better writer.
  • Read Stephen King’s book, On Writing.  Understand the habits and mindset of a great writer.  He mentions that after you write your draft go back in and cut down the copy.  I do this every time I write a blog post.
  • Get a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Review is as it will give you the fundamentals you need.
  • Purchase Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman.  This provides up to date information on how to write for the various marketing channels.

  • Read articles on English usage such as their vs. there or its vs. it’s.  Or how about site, cite, sight.  Nothing shows that you are not a good writer more than incorrect usage.
  • Subscribe to the Copyblogger and Problogger blogs.  Review their posts and follow their advice.
  • When in doubt about something, please look it up.  If working for a company then review the company’s style guide and look up usage when in doubt.  Be consistent.  For example, we had to make a decision on do we use “life cycle” or “lifecycle”.  Either is fine but you need to be consistent.  Also decide on capitalization.  At a company I worked at we decided to use “HelpDesk” instead of help desk to describe our support team.  Again, be consistent, including on tenses.
David Ogilvy is considered to be the father of advertising and was known for his ability to communicate a clear vision.  He wrote (in 1982) a famous memo, titled “How to Write”, to his employees.  He stated “People who think well, write well.” as well as “Good writing is not a natural gift.  You have to learn to write well.”.  Some of his hints in the memo included:
  • Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  • Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Never use jargon words.
It is to your benefit to improve your written communication skills.  Writing is a skill that can be taught, refined, and improved. The written word is still a powerful tool used in marketing. The better you write the better your marketing will be.  Hope that his post helped you improve.  Feel free to let me know what you have done to be a better writer.
Photo credit: stocksnap.io (68)

Add Influencer Marketing to Your Planning

January 23, 2017 Leave a comment

influencerInfluencers are thought leaders, experts in their field, strong communicators or advocates who have strong reach or credibility with the target prospects of your organization. They can sway people to your organization often suggesting they consider your product or service.  Therefore, you need to include influence marketing into your marketing planning and activities.  This influence marketing needs to have a long term mindset as it involves creating trust with these influencer  individuals which takes time.  By engaging with the people at the top of their industries, you find credibility among their contacts.

This post will answer the following questions:

  1. Who are these influencers?
  2. What are the benefits of building influencer relationships?
  3. What are the elements of an influencer marketing plan?
  4. What are some of the action items to attract influencers to your organization?
  5. What would you like these influencers to do?
  6. How can you return the favor to influencers if they assist your organization?

Who are these influencers?
Well they could be:

  • If law firm, lawyers from other law firms that don’t have your firm’s specialty
  • Bloggers in your desired market
  • Consultants who install products related to your product
  • Speakers who are respected in your marketplace that present at association meetings
  • Current customer that is the president of a respected association
  • Media or academia persons with a focus in your particular area

What are the benefits of building influencer relationships?
There are many but here are a few that I came up with:

  1. Partnering with influencers in your marketplace assists getting your message in front of your target audience and accelerates conversions to customer / client status.  They can increase website traffic and getting new leads.
  2. The more trust influencers have within their industry, the more likely they can push your prospect further along the buyer’s journey.
  3. Influencers are great at getting your brand known by discussing, promoting and sharing content.
  4. Lowers cost of sales as their recommendation did not need an expensive campaign and prospects are found without a great deal of sales and marketing efforts.
  5. Shorter sales cycle as the influencer recommendation eliminates the first part of the sales process which involves getting known and establishing trust.

What are the elements of an influencer marketing plan?
You want to develop focused value-add relationships with your influencers which necessitates a plan including the following elements:

  1. Determine the budget, goals and responsibilities – For influencer marketing to work it needs to be made a priority including having a budget.  Document the goals that you want for this marketing program.  Make sure that there are marketing resources available to assist with the necessary marketing activities.
  2. Finalize the influencer type(s) – Brainstorm with others and determine who your target influencer types are (bloggers, media, consultants, etc.). Document your findings.  Need to know who influences your buyers.  These influencers types should be mentioned in your buyer personas.
  3. Discover specific influencers – Now that you know the type of influencer, get down to the specific persons that can impact your business and your buyer’s decision making process.  This discovery is not easy.A tool to use is BuzzSumo, where you can search keywords and discover the Twitter handles of accounts haring similar keyword-related content.    Filters allow you to sort influencers by reach, authority, influence and engagement.  This tool identifies websites and social users with serious influence.  Find the most influential content for any topic, domain, or author as well as the influential users that shared and linked to it.  Find individuals who have an established voice and social presence.  Or if you don’t want to do the search yourself, go to an outsider, such as through freelance.com, to do the search and come up with the list of influencers and their contact information.Look at their reach (blog subscribers, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, YouTube subscribers, books sold, Instagram followers, etc.).  See how much engagement they get such as retweets or comments on their blog.  Look to see if they communicate to others and affect people.
  4. Understand the needs of the influencer types – These needs are much like what is included in buyer personas.  Monitor the community to understand them and what they need.  As you make the list of influencers, determine how you can help them.
  5. Determine the necessary action items – Brainstorm with your marketing team and come up with the list of action items.  Document these action items.  Put the necessary tasks on the marketing calendar and any expected costs onto the marketing budget.  Tailor your actions to the individual influencers.
  6. Do the determined action items – You want to build trust with high quality content and engagements.  Keep track of your efforts, just like other marketing programs, in your marketing project management system.
  7. Perform measurements and make adjustments – Measure the performance of your engagement with the selected influencers on improving your brand and increasing revenue.  Keep track of the source of your leads especially if they came from specific influencers.  Report the efficiency and effectiveness of your efforts.  Review these efforts and make any necessary adjustments.  Look for new influencers and repeat cycle.

What are some of the action items to attract influencers to your organization?
Every organization is different in how they market to their buyers, donors and prospects.  Every market is different.  And who influences these markets are different.  But here are a few actions that can be done to attract influencers:

  1. Since you might not have their email addresses, direct message (DM) via Twitter the influencers to start out a conversation.  Ask them to check out your website, check out a specific content piece of yours or check out your blog.  And most importantly ask them how you can assist them.
  2. Schedule a meeting with them at a conference they are attending or at your office to discuss how you can assist each other.  Remember they might be promoting their business or efforts as well.  Try to meet them in real life (IRL) as that enhances the relationship.
  3. Create your influence relationship management (IRM) system.  Get their contact information (including name, position, organization, twitter id, email, phone number (if possible), something unique about them (President of an organization), website URL and/or blog post URL).  You need this info so that you can contact them and to keep track of the relationship.
  4. Join associations that the influencers are a part of and that your target audience attends.  You might be a member already but increase your efforts by following the association blog, following their social networks and staying more engaged with the association.  Influencers usually appreciate involvement with associations.
  5. Attend conferences that influencers and your target audience attends.  Review the conference content and speakers.  Look for influencers at these conferences.
  6. Sign up for webinars being done by the influencers.  Gather information from these webcasts and communicate thanks to the influencers after the webinar.
  7. If you have a product and you want the influencer to recommend your product, consider sending them the product for free.
  8. Create a nurture campaign to keep them informed of your company, your services and your products.  This might be a newsletter or scheduled emails with information (blog posts, webinar mentions, ebooks, etc.) that they might find valuable.
  9. Follow their social media networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, YouTube channel, etc.), monitor the networks and engage with them such as retweeting their posts.
  10. Invite them to speak at your user conference or be included in a marketing piece such as an ask the expert document.

What would you like these influencers to do?
Be creative, but do encourage them to do the following:

  1. Mention your product or service to those in the marketplace.
  2. Share your content via their social media networks such as Twitter.
  3. Retweet your organization’s tweets to their large number of social media followers.
  4. Contribute a guest blog post to your organization’s blog.  Hopefully they will share that post on their social media networks.
  5. Be interviewed for a blog post or a video for posting on your YouTube channel.  Hopefully they will share this content on their social media networks.
  6. Contribute to an eBook or an article that you are publishing including those that are asking for expert opinions.  Hopefully they will share this content on their social media networks.
  7. Ask your organization to be on a panel of speakers at an association meeting.
  8. Present in one of your webinars or at your user conference (and make sure you record these presentations).

How can you return the favor to influencers if they assist your organization?
Remember that this is a 2 way relationship and you need to thank them when necessary by:

  1. Give them a call or send them an email thanking them for their assistance
  2. Offer to collaborate on projects so that they have more ownership of the content you want them to promote
  3. Exchange an email unrelated to any content you are promoting.  For example, if you saw that their blog was nominated for an award, send a brief congratulations email
  4. Thank the influencer in a tweet for any help they offered you that week
  5. Follow their social media networks
  6. Share their content
  7. Engage with them thru their social media posts (comment on their posts)
  8. Promote their events or their speaking engagements via your social media networks

The concept of reciprocity is simple: if someone does something for you, you naturally want to do something for them.  Although every influencer is different, when developing these relationships, remember to be as authentic and personable as possible.  Respect and genuine interest are what will make these valuable partnerships last.  A blog post can become outdated and a tweet can be forgotten, but what will last are the genuine connections you create with influencers.

If you have not already done so, you need to start building your influencer network now.  Make influencer marketing a consistent part of your marketing plan.  Find the relevant people, reach out to them, and build a relationship to support your organization’s sales and marketing efforts.  Hope this influence marketing post helped.  Feel free to comment back on your influencer efforts.

Photo credit: StockSnap.io (132)

Marketing Series for Legal Professionals

December 28, 2016 Leave a comment

This is my 11th blog post for lawyers and law firms this year and I thought I would have one post that combined the previous 10 posts into one post for easy access.  The series of posts covered a variety of topics including nurture marketing, social media, blogging, digital presence and planning.

You need to market your law firm to survive and grow.  There is a lot of competition out there.  Selling legal services requires it be a trust sale.  Marketing is different for all law firms depending on your size, your specialty and your geographic area.  Tailor your marketing to fit you.  Hope that these ten marketing related posts for law firms helps.  Enjoy.

legal

Nurture Marketing for Gaining Legal Clients

Client Retention for Law Firms

How Should Law Firms Measure Social Media

Gain Clients with Email and Social Media Marketing

Why a Law Firm Should Have a Blog

Law Firm’s should Review their Social Media Efforts

LinkedIn – A Few Suggestions for Lawyers on Its Use

Lawyers, Please Firm Up Your Digital Presence Now!

10 Ways to Successfully Market Your Law Firm

Time for Law Firm Marketing Planning

Hope that these posts were beneficial to your law firm.  Let me know if I can assist you in any way.

Time for Law Firm Marketing Planning

December 19, 2016 Leave a comment

At least once a year and preferably 4 times a year, a law firm needs to plan their marketing efforts for the future, in order to perform efficient and effective marketing activities, that will allow them to attract and retain clients.  And the plan should include an estimated budget, necessary resources and calendar of activities.

Make sure you adapt your plan as additional information comes in that affects your clients, your legal specialty, your internal resources or your law firm.  The firm needs to quickly respond to change so that it has a competitive advantage over other law firms. Welcome change.  Don’t be reactionary, be proactive.   This post contains my thoughts on the marketing planning for law firms.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin

A photo by JOHN TOWNER. unsplash.com/photos/bZXQ6zUmqkw

Communication – As always stated, communication is key.  Make sure while creating your marketing plan that you have gotten feedback from others in the firm.  And make sure you gather feedback from those individuals after you announce the plan as they might have additional information that you didn’t have when creating the plan.  You want to establish trust with others in your firm.  Living up to your plan goes a long way with others.  Also don’t forget to create a marketing plan for your marketing plan.  Do internal  communication so that others in your organization know what the plan is.  Also put the plan in a public place, like an intranet, so that others in the firm can see it at any time.

Internal – During your planning determine what tools you need to be more efficient and effective in your marketing activities.  Maybe you need to implement a marketing automation solution like Hubspot, an email tool like Constant Contact or maybe a new social media tool like Hootsuite.

Calendar – Establish a calendar and make sure that events, webinars and campaigns are listed on an estimated calendar or timeline. Don’t overload activities in a certain month.  Make sure activities are spread out over the year

Alignment – You can’t do a plan without knowing the firm’s objectives.  Have them in place as they affect budget and the activities that need to be done.  Don’t want to waste time or money on activities that won’t happen.  Make sure that plan is aligned with the plans of the firm.  Mention in the plan how the firm wants to be positioned and known in the market

Resources – Have a discussion on if you need additional resources to accomplish your plan.  Do you need a marketing coordinator or do you need to establish a relationship with an outside writer for blog posts?

Budget – As you determine the activities that are on the plan, determine an estimated cost for these activities so that an estimated budget can be determined.

Competition – It is OK to review your competition and tailor your marketing plan to beat the competition.  Who are the 3 law firms that you consider to be your 3 largest competitors.  Check out their website.  Determine what they doing for social media and blogging.

Activities – Your plan should contain brief thoughts on many items including listing the possible activities that the firm will be doing such as:

  • Events – Decide what events (trade shows and conferences) that the firm will attend, exhibit at and present at.  When finalized put these events on your marketing calendar.  Check out my post on what to do for events and my post on how to promote your event.
  • Social Media – Firm up your goals for social media activities such as how often to post and what are the objectives for each of the social media channels. Social media needs to be integrated with other marketing activities and your marketing plan should keep this in mind.  Check out my post on social media for law firms.
  • Webinars – Determine your expertise, select presenters, select when webinars should occur and get them on your marketing calendar.
  • Website – Decide on what major changes you need to make your site.  Maybe you need a new page describing a specialty.
  • Associations and Directories – Review which ones to continue to be apart of or which new ones to join.  Make a public list of renewal dates, costs and objectives of each of the associations and directories that your firm partakes in so that it can be referenced by others in the firm.  Make sure the costs for these are in the budget.
  • Collateral – Determine the major collateral pieces that should be created.  Review current collateral and see if any of them need a refresh.  Maybe this is the year to do a law firm brochure, or an eBook on your legal specialty or an infographic.
  • Blog – Finalize the frequency of posts and the types of posts.  Also determine the next few blog post topics and the writers for these posts.  Check out my blog post on why law firms should be blogging.
  • Emails – Figure out the email sends (either target or newsletter) that will done for finding new clients or informing existing clients.  Check out my blog post on emails.
  • Campaigns – Campaigns contain various marketing activities such as webinars and email blasts that are connected around a specific theme.  These campaigns need to be integrated for effectiveness and done at the proper time.  Firm up the activities for the campaigns and the appropriate call to actions.  Check out my blog post on nurture campaigns.

Additional Thoughts:

  1. An item that should be included in the plan is community involvement and cause marketing.  Have a honest discussion with others in your firm on how your firm can help others and hooking up with an organization that you can work with.
  2. Make sure that you review the past year on what worked and what didn’t work.  Make sure in the marketing plan that you increase what worked and fix what didn’t work.
  3. It is important that in the plan you have included marketing to existing clients.  Maybe it is time for a client newsletter or a client survey.  Client retention is important to a law firm and feel free to check out my blog post regarding the subject.
  4. Consider having something new from the previous year in your marketing planning.  Maybe it is time to start a blog or create a firm overview video or join the local chamber of commerce.  You need consistency in marketing but you need to be changing as well.  Keep it fresh.
  5. Make sure you have a solid foundation as continuous attention to marketing fundamentals enhances agility and efficiency.  Check out my blog post on a marketing foundation.
  6. Don’t spend so much time on the plan that you don’t execute.  I love the Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines quote, “We have a strategic plan, it’s called ‘doing things’.”

Good luck in your planning.  Let me know if I can help in any way.

Photo Credit: StockSnap.io (125)

Cause Marketing and #GivingTuesday

November 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Now’s the time to choose (or continue to support) your cause, personally and for your business.  The Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. is labelled #GivingTuesday. Take a moment and firm up your giving.  This post will discuss personal charity selection, how to follow the charity, reasons for Cause Marketing, what a business needs to do for Cause Marketing and my selected charity, the CHOC Foundation.

Give

Personal Charity Selection

Select one non-profit organization that you will follow this year.  Choose one that you feel a connection to.  It could be health related as you know someone with or has had this health issue.  It could be a political cause.  It could be religious.  It could be local such as the local high school education fund.  It could be outside of the country such as an organization focusing on starving children in Africa.  It could be a small non-profit or it could  be a large non-profit.  Maybe it is one that you will follow for many years or maybe for only a year.   The decision is yours.    Be comfortable with your selection. By following one or more non-profits this year you will be helping others as well as feeling better about yourself.

Non-profit Following

What do I mean by following?  Here are my thoughts on this:

  • Review the chosen organization’s website and get to know the organization such as what is their message, who do they help, what activities do they have coming up and how you can be involved with them.  Know enough about this organization so that you can comfortably tell others about it.
  • If the organization has a sign up to receive their newsletter, sign up for it so that you can get notified of any events or new information for this organization.  Make it easy for that organization to communicate to you.
  • Check out their status to make sure they are legitimate and worthy of following.  If they are a larger non-profit, check them out on http://www.charitynavigator.org.
  • If you use Facebook and if they have a Facebook fan page, become a fan of that organization so that you are can be easily informed of information from this selected organization.  Make sure that you suggest to others that they become a fan of this organization.
  • If you use Twitter and if they have a Twitter account, follow them.  Suggest to others that they follow this organization.  Remember to send out a tweet about the organization on charity Tuesdays or when they have events such as a walk-a-thon.
  • Check out other social media networks of the organization such as YouTube channel, Instagram page and blog to get a better understanding of the organization.
  • If they take donations, make a donation, even if it is a small amount.  This donation solidifies your connection with this organization.  Or make a non-money donation, that the organization can use for a drawing such as sporting event tickets or a week at your vacation home.
  • If they have a fund raising event like a carnival or pancake breakfast, make sure you attend as well as encourage others to attend including your LinkedIn Connections, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers, workmates and neighbors.
  • If they have some kind of volunteer activity, if possible, volunteer some of your time.    This could include volunteering activities such as a beach cleanup or manning a booth.  Or if you have an expertise that the organization could take advantage of, please volunteer your services.  For example if you are a graphic designer then you could help them create their next event brochure or ad.

Multiple touch points with the organization is key.  These touch points might draw others into being involved with your selected organization.  Much like Twitter followers, usually one follower leads to another follower.  Much like LinkedIn Connections, a new connection usually leads to another connection.  A small activity by you could lead to great benefit to your selected organization which could lead to assisting a great amount of people.

Selected Non-profit

CHOC Foundation is my chosen non-profit.  The CHOC Foundation for children exists to generate community awareness and resources for Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), supporting specific strategies that underscore the hospitals’ local and national leadership in prevention, treatment and research programs. CHOC Foundation for Children’s fundraising activities are guided by six philanthropic aspirations: to provide quality medical care for all children; to treat chronic and catastrophic illnesses; to emphasize illness and injury prevention; to support the well-being of children; to achieve medical breakthroughs; and to serve as a community leader and partner in the care of children.  Check them out at: http://www.choc.org/

Cause Marketing

I feel that any business with more than 5 employees should have a cause that it supports and promotes.  Cause Marketing involves the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit.  It is a relationship and not just a giving.  The for-profit business wants to be “doing well by doing good.”  It has to be authentic.  Do it right or don’t do it at all.

Reasons for Cause Marketing

  1. Brand differentiation.  Be different.  Be memorable
  2. Makes employees feel good as they want to work for a company that gives
  3. Clients are expecting it as they want to do business with businesses who are making the world a better place

What a Business Needs to Do

  1. Find your own true social mission based on your company’s values.  Talk to your employees and clients.  If your business sells to higher education then maybe the non-profit would be one that focuses on education.  If you sell locally then maybe the non-profit should be one that helps those in your local community.
  2. Find the right non-profit partner.  Sounds easy, but does take some time.  Check them out and make sure they are reputable.   Find out if they are willing to work with a business.  Maybe they are too small to execute activities with your company.  Or maybe they are too large and won’t spend the time to work with you.
  3. Plan and execute the Cause Marketing activities to maximize the marketing benefit.  Make Cause Marketing part of the marketing plan.  Remember that social media should be a big part of these activities.  The for-profit business must share the real pictures and real stories of the cause.
  4. As with other marketing activities, measure the impact of your Cause Marketing.
  5. Make any necessary adjustments (maybe change non-profits if necessary) and repeat.

Thanks for reading.  Wishing you the best for you and your selected non-profit organization.  And send me your information on your non-profit (including URL) as well as your Cause Marketing thoughts.