Marketing mix is used as a tool by the managers to design marketing plans and to achieve desired results. It comprises of 4 Ps: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. Drawing a parallel with NGOs:
- The Product for an NGO is the cause or idea it supports or a core programme or project.
- Price is the budget to be asked to the donor, the project or program cost.
- Promotion refers to all the methods of communication that a marketer may use to provide information to different stakeholders about the product or service.
- Place: The final P, the Place denotes the ease of access to the product for the consumer.
Here are some of the marketing principles which can help non-profits to achieve their goals, build effective and functional linkages with donors and to raise funds.
Business organizations use the ‘segmentation’ approach to understand a consumer and then offer a proposition, which can be a product or service. They also highlight how their proposition fulfills the needs of the consumer better than that of the competitors.
How to work out a communication strategy for your non-profit:
Internet and social media are changing the information and communication realm as we used to know it. Communication has become faster than ever, but there is merit in ‘quality and quantity’ of communication rather than just the ‘quantity’. Communications for an organization can be for internal and external stakeholders. Here we will discuss the strategy for external stakeholders.
For non-profits, here are some tips to note before embarking on devising a communication strategy:
- Know your target audience: Your communications must keep the target audience in mind, and must be designed accordingly.
- Clearly chalk out your goals: What you want to convey to the target groups must be very clear to you first.
- Make the communication strategy a strategic one: Most non-profit organizations design their communications built around fundraising. However, it is important to keep the overall strategy in mind, including the self-identity, focus on the target groups/ beneficiaries, and future plans.
- Make sure that your marketing and fundraising teams speak the same language: Ensure that an amalgamation of the goals of cross-functional teams takes place, rather than teams working in silos. It is important to remember that communication and marketing go hand in hand.
- Ensure the message has the correct pitch: Even if the primary objective of your communication plan is fundraising, no problem! Just ensure that it has the correct pitch for fund-raising- your message for the potential donor must clearly convey your requirements, goals and strategies!
- Make the best match of quantity and quality: Know what to convey, when and how, and how frequently. Many organizations develop communication tools, but their efforts remain inadequate in dissemination, or fade away with time. Remember, the target audience needs to be reminded of your message, if you want it to be heard!
- Choose the medium carefully: The medium must be chosen carefully and as per the target audience. The newer media of communication give the speed, flexibility, convenience and agility to your efforts, like websites, social media.