Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Godin on not-for-profit marketing

Seth Godin took part in a Q & A today on The Chronicle of Philanthropy website. If you work for an organization that depends upon donors or volunteers, or if you're a nonprofit with a limited marketing budget, it's well worth a read.

I'm currently working with a large nonprofit that is considering a major strategic change, moving from a "being all things to all people" model to a "doing one thing and doing it well" model. It's a big move, but I'm convinced that not making a change is the only risk. And Godin's response to the question below reinforced my belief in the urgent need for organizations of all kinds to differentiate themselves, or become wholly irrelevant:

Question from Ashley. Large social-service nonprofit: Our agency has 22 programs, serving newborns to the elderly and everyone in between. We have decided to focus our marketing efforts on the strongest three programs next year to ensure their continued strength and to help support the other programs. Good or bad decision?

Seth Godin: In the Dip, I talk about this, about being the best in the world at what you do. Your approach is brilliant. If you become the go to (the habitat for humanity of your space, the roomtoread of your space) then you win over and over again. If you are third best at ten things, you never win.

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