The fact that development and marketing are charged with making the same relationship-building and communications decisions means that it is time, once and for all, to actively align these functions. Yesterday in Part 1 we discussed the natural linkages between these functions and that, first and foremost, everything we do is about the customer experience. Today, we’ll elaborate so that we can persuade the “powers that be” of the need for a united front.
Key points of persuasion:
- Development and marketing have the same two basic decisions to make: (1) which “product” to offer, and (2) which channel(s) to message in. Put another way, the right product must be offered in the right way to the right customer. If marketing and development are targeting the same constituents (and there is always significant overlap), yet each choose a different product or channel, we’re already in trouble. Development and marketing efforts must have coherence. Yet too often no one has authority (or too many people share authority); the result is anarchy.
- We can no longer get away with inconsistent messaging due to the proliferation of messaging channels that is finally clarifying for people the fact that marketing and development are one and the same. In both the development and marketing worlds, everywhere you go you hear about “multi-channel” this and that. Fundraisers are starting to understand that we no longer just write fundraising letters and grant proposals. We must write for the website, mobile devices, tablet devices, social networks, micro-blogs and more. All of our content must cater to these formats, while delivering a unique and tailored fit for our users.
- Neither development staff nor marketing staff can effectively make choices or analyze results in a vacuum. They must work together in creating the messages, engaging in the dialogue and measuring the outcomes. Then they must collaborate to continue this decision-making process, tweaking strategies as customers change behaviors.
- Everything we do is (fill in the blank with “development”; “marketing”, “customer service”). The point is that we cannot separate who we are from our relationship with our customers. In the world of NPOs it has long been accepted wisdom that everything we do is development. We have strived to create an organization-wide culture of philanthropy, understanding that the way the phone is answered has a lot to do with ultimately creating and sustaining donor investment. Now, people are saying that everything we do is marketing, and that everyone in our organization is a marketer. The only way these theses can both be true is if development and marketing are…. drum roll please… the same thing!