News, Third and Fourth Sectors

Five Days of Marketing: Relationships

The following is an excerpt from my new book, The Fruition Coalition Marketing Plan Workbook. ISBN 978-1-300-59132-1. $24.99.

Congratulations—you have completed the first two sections of this workbook! We are now going to explore your organization’s relationships.

Relationships are perhaps the most important thing in life, and this maxim holds true in the practice of marketing as well. Marketing is the process of making the most of your organization’s relationships in, I argue, a non-manipulative way that creates value for everyone.

In this section, we are going to explore your organization’s relationships with multiple stakeholders:

  • Program participants—the people who actively engage in the programs and services offered by your organization
  • Philanthropic partners—the people and organizations that provide financial support to your organization
  • Staff—the people who perform the work of your organization for remuneration
  • Board of directors—the group responsible for governance of your organization
  • Other volunteers– people who contribute their time to the work of your organization
  • Strategic partners—organizations that collaborate with your organization
  • Communities served—groups of people who benefit from your organizations
  • Communities of practice—other organizations that are providing similar programs and services

These groups are called target markets in marketing practice, but I like to think of them as friends of the organization to emphasize the mutuality of the relationship. Another marketing practice is called segmenting. This is the process of organizing large groups, such as program participants, into more specific groups based on relevant characteristics such as age, length of involvement, or depth of involvement.

On the pages that follow, describe each type of organizational friend, or target market. You might find it helpful to complete a worksheet for specific individuals or market segments. You may also find that you are able to identify market segments by thinking through the questions about each group.

Make sure that the information you record for each target market is not based on unexplored assumptions. Use formal and informal means to gather information about each group.

After describing each target market, we are going to analyze the networks that connect your organization to individuals and groups both within and outside of your community.

The Fruition Coalition Marketing Plan Workbook can be purchased at our store. An eBook version is also available.

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