While putting together my PowerPoint slides for an upcoming marketing session at GCN’s Nonprofit University, I had an ‘aha’ moment. I clearly saw that positioning was key to virtually everything we were going to discuss in the session.
A positioning statement is a tight, focused description of the core target audience to whom a brand is directed, and it provides a compelling picture of how the nonprofit wants its targeted audiences to view them. A well-constructed positioning statement brings focus and clarity to the development of a marketing strategy and tactics. Note: Brandeo is an online marketing resource and provides an excellent description of positioning and what is needed to craft a positioning statement.
I truly believe that the only way to be heard above the noise, and to create and sustain what your audiences think about your organization is to position it correctly.
A couple years ago, I worked with a dynamite team on AMA Atlanta’s pro bono project. The Team conducted a SWOT analysis, reviewed and critiqued all written materials provided by the nonprofit client and the website, and conducted audience discovery calls.
The audience discovery consisted of 11 interviews from members, funders, sponsors, partners and a legislator. Looking at the interviews by audience segment, it became clear that their Funders found the message and purpose of the organization to be clear and concise, and felt that they were valued partners. However, its sponsors/members/partners and the legislator believed the client needed a clearer message statement. They wanted more involvement with the organization to feel included as a valued stakeholder. The organization had an opportunity to gain additional funding through its members/sponsors/partners by having a clear message and involvement with this core group. There was also much to gain on the advocacy front with these segments knowing the defined mission, vision and services.
After analyzing the results of the SWOT and Audience Discovery calls, the team decided to create a Vision Statement, two positioning statements [The client separated its advocacy and program/services into separate units] and to provide a list of marketing communications opportunities in the short term.
If you would like more information on positioning and audience discovery calls please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.