Thu, September 25 2008

Do you have 5 year old or 9 year old marketing?

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

My daughters will illustrate.

I asked them both how they would get someone to buy a toy.

This is what the five year old said:

Mommy can you please buy it?

I said that might not work.  So what would be another option?

She said:

Mommy can you please, please buy it?

The nine year old said this:

First you have to make a good toy.  Because it’s cheap, people will get mad and sue you.
Then you have to tell them all the great things about it and why it’s wonderful.  Don’t make it too expensive.
Then you have to get them really excited by telling them the cool things it does for them.
Make the commercial colorful, interesting and realistic.

So which kind of marketing do you have?

Please, please, please give me money.  Pretty please.  (Repeat often.)

Or: We have really amazing programs, here is why they are interesting and here’s why you should care.

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Mon, September 22 2008

Model website… from the government no less

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Websites and web usability •

I get a lot of inquiries during speeches and here on the blog about good websites.  Which websites do I think are effective?  Who has the right stuff?

These are hard questions to answer, because most nonprofit websites fall prey to “all about us disease.”  They fail to be laser-focused on the audience.  They forget to answer the question “how we can help you?”

Today, I was alerted to a website that does all these things right - and it’s from the government, no less.  Bravo.

The newly launched has all the things a home page should: 

-A big engaging visual focal point
-Clear calls to action (in this case, ways to get fit that are easy, clear and rewarding)
-A clear set of benefits for taking action
-Tools that help me
-Clever information-gathering mechanisms for the site owner - they are going to get great audience data from the quizzes on here

The only thing that’s missing is a way to take these cool tools and share them or post them on my blog or Facebook page.  But I’m told they are planning widgets soon.

This is great stuff.  Unlike the dreadful redesigned food pyramid, which I panned in my book, this is health advice I understand and want to use.

Follow this model.  It’s going in my next speech.

Hat Tip to Dan Jeffers for the site information.

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Fri, September 19 2008

GREAT branding: Bald Girls Do Lunch

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Suppose you’re creating an organization for women with alopecia areata — the autoimmune skin disease which stops the normal growth of hair on the scalp, brows, lashes and body.  You want to convey that you are about community, support and fun.  You want to make women with this condition feel empowered.  And you want them to be absolutely COMPELLED to join you.

Typical nonprofit approach?

Call it the Alopecia Areata Association.

A brilliant approach?

Call it Bald Girls Do Lunch.


Congratulations Bald Girls Do Lunch on amazing marketing.

PS Full disclosure: I learned about this group when they signed up for Network for Good fundraising services. I work at Network for Good.  When I saw their name, I just had to know who they are.  But this post isn’t about business, in fact they don’t know I blogged this:)  Yet.

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Fri, September 19 2008

Wall Street is tanking, but your ROI is gold.

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

It’s easy to worry the financial crises rocking our markets are going to kill fundraising this year.

Just remember, in an era when Lehman is nearly worthless and so many investments look like they’re offering low returns, you are priceless.

Remind your donors of their amazing ROI with you.

For a few dollars, they get a helper’s high.  They feel good because they did good.  It’s cheaper than therapy.

Their investment in your organization doesn’t yield paper profits.  It changes lives.  Always.

Be passionate and persuasive about your emotional ROI - and your human ROI. 

Those who can afford it will get it and give.

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Thu, September 18 2008

Good thoughts from Seth Godin

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Seth Godin kindly donated his time to Network for Good yesterday, presenting our most popular Nonprofit 911 call ever.  Over two thousand people registered for it!  You can listen here, but here’s my most favorite thing he said (and I paraphrase slightly):  we have to stop spamming people for support.  Stop trying to interrupt them and get them to pay attention.  There are too many people doing it.

As Seth said, this not working as well as it used to.  The number of people who are trying to interrupt audiences has gone way up.  The noise has increased dramatically, so a lot of nonprofits are struggling.

If you take this approach, you have to talk to 100 people to get one donor or 1,000 people to get one trustee. 

Instead, you should get your biggest supporters talking for you. 

That changes the equation fundamentally.

So what do you do?  The opportunity is to not to interrupt people.  What you do is empower people who already believe in you to speak up on your behalf.  Create ideas worth spreading. 

People don’t talk about our causes for many reasons, from discomfort to laziness, so we have to change that by organizing our work to be worth talking about.

You can read Seth’s free publication on this - called Flipping the Funnel here.

Thank you Seth for your ideas and inspiration!

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