Ewald in Practice
Blog Home All Blogs

A Breakdown of Short- and Long-Term Marketing Strategies

Posted By Ewald Consulting, Monday, April 20, 2020

marketing stragety book and laptop computerConstructing a marketing strategy is a crucial practice for any organization. It is important to keep a timeline in mind when creating your strategy, as some activities will help you achieve short-term goals and others will help you achieve long-term goals. The distinction is important for project organization and task delegation.

Short-term marketing strategies: They are used to temporarily increase sales or awareness. These plans are generally set for less than a year. If you have a new product or service, the activities surrounding its promotion would be in the short term. That would be a temporary boost. Short-term plans also include smaller details surrounding the promotion of those goods and services such as how social media is used, any outreach to media or email promotion.

  • Consider events that would warrant short-term marketing. Do you have a conference? Online professional development? A new e-book? Think about how you are going to get the word out about it.
  • Marketing automation tools can help with scheduling emails (and so many other tasks) in the short term while providing analytics to inform a longer-term strategy. Best-selling author Neil Patel offers a guide to help streamline marketing functions.
  • Social media is great for short-term marketing. It is free and relatively easy to reach people.

Long-term marketing strategies: These comprehensive plans are used to increase sales or awareness over a longer period of time. These strategies should be aimed toward organizational goals. Long-term marketing strategies include things such as branding, building a public relations team and maintaining a social media presence. Generally, anything that stretches over a year would count as long-term. While it’s possible for one person to create and implement a long-term marketing strategy, a team approach provides more varied talent and perspectives.

  • Search engine optimization is a powerful tool to have as part of your long-term marketing strategy. It can help you determine keywords to include on your website and give insight into what your competitors are doing.
  • Generating quality content on a regular basis is another building block in a long-term strategy. Blogs, e-books, printed or online magazines, podcasts and recorded webinars can all be used to show thought leadership and expertise. The Content Marketing Institute has excellent resources to help with ideation and implementation.
  • Qualitative research is another tool to consider in building a long-term strategy. This kind of research helps you discover more in-depth insights like the strengths and weaknesses of your organization or how your organization is seen. QRCA (Qualitative Research Consultants Association) has wonderful resources to teach you about and help you conduct qualitative research.

It is important to have a balance between both short- and long-term marketing strategies. Short-term strategies are great for individual projects and smaller goals while long-term strategies ensure that the organization as a whole is working toward larger goals.


Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Tags:  association management  marketing & communication  strategy  tools 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Essential Items in a Marketing Plan

Posted By Ewald Consulting, Thursday, April 9, 2020

Marketing plan graphicMarian Burk Wood, author of The Marketing Plan Handbook, defines marketing plans as “comprehensive documents that summarize marketplace knowledge and the strategies and steps to be taken in achieving the objectives set by marketing managers for a particular period.”
According to the Content Marketing Institute, it is important to remember that marketing plans are not editorial calendars or a to-do list full of marketing-related tasks. It should outline a clear strategy to achieve a goal.

Here are some key elements to consider adding to your association’s marketing plan (or reviewing with fresh eyes if your plan has been in place for a while):

  1. Your target customer
    According to Forbes, you should think through and research who your typical customers are. Come up with personas for your typical customers and even give them names. Think of these customers when you are making decisions. It is crucial to understand who would use your product or service in order to market to them. Consider current, lapsed and prospective members as you develop your segments.
  2. Positioning
    According to Inc., you should research your organization’s position in the market. This will help you get a feel for how customers view you compared to your competitors. Consider not just other associations that may vie for your members/customers, but for-profit companies that may provide educational offerings that compete with yours. When you pinpoint your current position in the market, set a goal for where you would like to be positioned in the future.
  3. A unique selling proposition
    Forbes also explains that a marketing plan should include a statement about why your organization is different from other similar ones. For example, Jimmy John’s uses their slogan “Freaky Fast” to show that they deliver faster than any of their competitors.
  4. Competitor analysis
    Take the time to research your competitors. Inc. explains that you should have a solid understanding of their market, pricing and how their services are different than yours. Including this in your plan will help you determine how you stand out and help you find ways to market those strengths.
  5. Marketing strategy
    Inc. suggests adding in the resources you have for marketing. Does this include comprehensive social media? Websites? Webinars? Conferences? Emails? How will these resources be utilized? And how often? Consider these items when creating your marketing plan.
  6. Conversion strategy
    Forbes explains that you should include how you take interested people and turn them into customers. Do you offer any free content to draw customers in? Do you advertise to people in a certain industry or profession? Lay out how you draw people into your organization.
  7. Budget
    Think through what you can spend on marketing and how the money will be spent. Inc. says this is a crucial element as you will be able to see your return on investment after the plan has been implemented.

The Content Marketing Institute stresses the importance of taking the time to create this plan:
“Many marketers and firms will claim they have the marketing plans in their head, or within the tribal knowledge of the organization. This is simply not good enough. Many firms will have several disparate pieces of a marketing plan spread throughout the organization (i.e., with the sales department, product managers, marketing department, executive leadership team, strategic business planners). But in order for marketing to be successful, your organization must create and own a proper marketing plan, first and foremost.”

Tags:  marketing  strategy 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Recapping Board Performance: Practice Meets Strategy

Posted By Murphy Pickett, Thursday, September 8, 2016
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2016

On August 31, I attended the Board Performance: Practice Meets Strategy event co-hosted by Association Forum and Association Management Center. This session was promoted as “key strategists will share corporate lessons learned and how their experiences translate into organizational performance in the association community,” and that was what piqued my interest. We do quite a bit of work on strategic planning with our clients and I was curious as to how the planning process and implementation in corporate America differs from the non-profit industry. I also wanted to learn what strategies could translate to help improve the implementation of our client strategic plans.

The panel presentation kicked off with speakers Mark Miller, Partner, Performance Improvement Consulting, Ernst & Young, LLP and Carrie Shea, Managing Partner, Phoenix Strategic Advisors, sharing the process they use when working with Fortune 50 corporations. Their process included both an internal and external analysis where the board and senior management consider the following:

        External Analysis                                                                        Internal Analysis

1.     Industry Trends                                                                           Purpose (core values), Vision and Goals

2.     Consumer Trends                                                                       Core Competencies

3.     Competitor Positioning                                                                Structural Assets/Barriers

4.     Technology and Innovation                                                         Financial Positioning

The Board would then go through a process where the strategic initiatives developed during the SWOT Analysis would be vetted and prioritized in order to find 6-8 critical strategic initiatives. From these strategic initiatives, the Board would develop its strategic plan that cascades down throughout the company and divisions. It was noted that often the planning process will involve staff at all levels to get buy-in and help identify core issues/ideas from each level of the organization.

A few key takeaways I got from this part of the presentation:

  • Many of our groups follow a similar process, where a SWOT analysis is conducted, strategic initiatives are developed and prioritized, and a formal strategic plan is adopted. Rarely, though, do we have a group that takes a month or several months to complete the process. The process is usually condensed into a half-day, one-day or two-day meeting.
  • In most cases, corporate clients are not conducting full strategic planning sessions annually. More commonly, the board will meet and review progress, adjust timelines, revisit initiatives for as the industry evolves.
  • First, start with defining and focusing on core competencies. From there, expand into opportunities that are adjacent to the core and beyond the core. As you move away from your core, the risk increases. Focusing on your core can be difficult to do as new opportunities present themselves.

The program continued with Mitchell Feiger, CEO and President, MB Financial, Inc. Mitch discussed how the strategic planning process works with his Board of Directors and how the strategic planning is communicated and implemented across the 3,000+ employees of MB Financial, Inc. Mitch is in a unique position as he is the only employee to sit on the 11 person Board of Directors.

With the general differences between for-profit and non-profit boards, I found myself thinking about how the board dynamic might change if non-profit boards took a page from corporate America:

  1. Composition – If non-profit boards recruited for talent, knowledge or skills that would help advance the organization rather than having board members elected, how might that change the board process, culture and outcomes for the organization?
  2. Term and decision making – If the resolutions and actions you made as a board stuck with you in perpetuity, rather than your 2-3 year term on the board, how might that affect the board process?
  3. Constituents – If decisions you make were done solely to increase value to shareholders, rather than to the various segments of your membership, how might that change the board deliberations?

Mitch also talked at length about the importance of defining core values and how that influences the corporate culture. MB Financial has a “Culture Committee” that ensures the core values permeate throughout the company. These are the thoughts that were going through my mind during the presentation. I walked away energized, thinking about how to meld the best of both worlds within the governance structure of non-profit organizations.

Finally, Linda Caradine-Pointsett, PhD, MBA, MJ, Account Executive, Association Management Center, and Executive Director, Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, shared highlights from her doctoral research which focused on organization leadership. An interesting differentiating point between for-profit CEOs and non-profit CEOs came in the discussion about strategic plan leadership. In the for-profit world, the CEO is celebrated for having complete and total ownership of the company strategic plan, whereas in the non-profit world, CEOs often need to tread carefully so as to not overstep the board. Many of the thoughts throughout this piece were introduced during Linda’s presentation.

This session was thoughtfully composed in a logical manner where the corporate process and implementation were discussed as well as the impacts and takeaways for non-profit organizations. The presentation by the panelists was both thought-provoking and practical. This was the second session in a three-part series; the final presentation is in production and will focus on culture. I intend to be there as well.

Tags:  analysis  board  board performance  strategy 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
KNOWLEDGE & RESOURCES

MANAGEMENT | View all Management articles
A Successful Year Starts with a Solid Budget by Bill Monn
Read full article

MARKETING | View all Marketing articles
9 Marketing Ideas for Your Organization by Kathie Pugaczewski
Read full article

MEMBERSHIP | View all Membership articles
A Holistic Approach to Membership Recruitment by Darrin Hubbard
Read full article

VOLUNTEERISM | View all Volunteerism articles
Three Ways to Stronger Volunteer Engagement by Paul Hanscom
Read full article

© 2020 Ewald Consulting | All rights reserved
1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252 | St. Paul, MN 55114
p. (651) 290-6260 | f. (651) 290-2266

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal