Day 23 – Impact of Marketing

Define what would be lost without a marketing program.

Valuable insight can be gained by asking, “What would be lost to the organization or to the community if the marketing department were downsized or even eliminated?”

A mission statement focuses on why we exist, our raison d’être. Sometimes, though, it helps to understand our mission by looking at things from a negative vantage point.

I always love watching the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life. As you may recall, George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) hit rock bottom. In his despair, he was given a glimpse of what his small town would look like if he had never been born. By examining his life from that perspective, he could clearly see his inherent value. He realized how much others really needed him.

Occasionally, I will mentally create my own version of the Wonderful Life movie. I visualize what the American Red Cross would be like without an effective marketing program. How would the organization be less effective in fulfilling its mission? What would go missing if there was no marketing? What would be the measurable impact upon the bottom line? Would revenue be lost, either directly or indirectly?

The questions can drill even deeper:  What intangibles would be lost if current donors were uninformed because of a lack of communication? Or if prospective donors were never made aware of the impact they could have? Or if potential volunteers did not know the needs they could fill?

I am convinced marketing helps to make a more “wonderful life” for the thousands of people who rely upon the humanitarian services of the Red Cross. As a nonprofit marketer, I find that to be professionally rewarding and personally rejuvenating.

This idea was originally created as part of the Rejuvenation Project, a month-long challenge to find one actionable idea per day that could help me to 1) keep my batteries charged, 2) remain focused on career priorities and 3) rejuvenate the creative spirit.

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